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Dog Ear Crust & Hair Loss

by Stefany

I have a 1 1/2 yr old male pit bull who has been having ear problems for about 6 months now. Both of his ears have grey, crusty scales on the tips. There are also red bumps and sometimes these crusts can bleed slightly. They do not itch at all.

He also does not appear to have any itching anywhere else. His ears do not seem to cause him any pain and he also does not shake his head excessively so I don't think he has an ear infection.

The crusts started on the inside tips of his ears and now appear to be spreading to the outside tips. Where the crusts are, there is hardly any hair left, and the hair he does have left is very easily pulled out.

He just recently has started to lost hair around his eyes and mouth. There are no visible crusts or sores just hair loss. The hair around his eyes and mouth can also easily be pulled out just like the hair on the tips of his ears. He also has always shown signs of what looks like dandruff on his body his whole life.

Food: His behavior and eating habits have not changed. He also has been growing and gaining weight normally (since he is still a pup). He has been eating Purina Beneful dry dog food along with Purina ONE smartblend wet dog food.

Environment: He is an indoor dog and only goes outside for walks or to go to the bathroom. He has never had fleas. We also have two cats that he is contact with all the time. They are not showing any signs of of illness. He is also exposed to my parents' dogs every so often (maybe once a month) and they also are not showing any signs of illness. So I don't think that his symptoms are contagious.

History: The last time he was vaccinated was April of 2014. He received vaccinations for Rabies, Bordetella, DHP Parvo, and roundworm/hookworm. He is neutered. On November 17, 2014 we had to take him to the emergency vet because he was defecating enormous amounts of blood. He was diagnosed with Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE). He took Metronidazole 250mg 1 tablet every 12 hours for 10 days and has since not been on medication. This is the only medication he has ever taken in his lifetime.

Do you have any idea what this could be? And if so what can I do to treat him?

Comments for Dog Ear Crust & Hair Loss

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Feb 27, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Ear Crust & Hair Loss
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

February 26, 2015

Hi Stefany,
From the photos you sent of your young dog, I suspect he may have Demodex mange.

See our page on Mange in Dogs,

This does not cause itching, nor is it contagious between dogs. But it is very common in a dog with a poor or depressed immune system. It can be diagnosed with a skin scraping.

With a past history of Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis, (HGE), which is a VERY serious illness, I worry that he may have a poor immune system. You mention that he is eating Beneful dry food. Here is an article regarding Purina, Beneful.

Purina Sued for Allegedly Killing 4,000 Dogs With ‘Toxic’ Food

A class action lawsuit alleges a mold byproduct used in kibble is leading
pets to agonizing deaths.

See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options, and consider a gradual transition to a healthier food, and/or consider a RAW diet for him, such as Primal, Bravo, or Nature's Variety.

You should also seek the help of a holistic veterinarian to write an exemption from any future vaccinations. Especially, if he is positive for Demodex mange. And to help with treatment for mange.

In the meantime, I suggest you start him on some supplements to boost his immune system, such as Standard Process Canine Immune System Support, or Mega C powder,

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

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