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Dog scratching and hair loss with red marks

by Joanna
(Bulgaria)


I have recently noticed that my dog is losing a lot of hair for this time of year, which is strange as now in Bulgaria it is winter and she should be putting ON her winter coat.

To add to this she has started scratching quite a lot and when I looked at it today I noticed there were some red scratch marks on the lower belly, the underside of the hinds and also her armpits.

She had a little itching earlier this year and I looked at holistic treatments for her, so I added some apple cider vinegar to her water and bathed her a little with a lavender solution.

I have just done this now also for her but made an apple cider vinegar solution with lavender...she tries to lick it off after but seems pleased when I apply it.

I have put her blanket out...I think they maybe need some airing...but I have another dog who is fine so if it is the bedding it is not affecting her.

I feed them a natural diet and cook their own food, recently it has been mostly vegetarian with protein replaced by soya...I mix vegetables (fresh and cooked), grains with brown rice, lentils, etc and the soya, some eggs, a bit of cheese and last night they had mackerel put in at the end for their omega 3's.

I also will drizzle a little olive oil, some flax seed oil and I have been sprinkling some spirulina flakes for extra protein and amino acids. They LOVE their food so I hope it is nothing from this...my other dog is completely fine. But she is 4 and my big white dog, Marmite (the love of my life!!), is now 10 years old.

Another factor could be stress. I have been moving houses, been having to travel away to work and been having relationship problems, as we all know dogs are so receptive to these things. But she seems very happy. I live in a little villa in the country so we are out a lot in the nature.

I have also started practicing reiki with an aim to become an animal healer in trauma centres...I have my book and will give my dogs some reiki over the next few days to see how they get on with it. It can do no harm and they can decide how much they want.

I just really want your advice on this, any other things I can be doing to nip this in the bud now. It is cold here and I want her to be warm! :)

It is not a serious problem right now but obviously I don't want it to progress any further.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME

My kindest regards,

Joanna

Comments for Dog scratching and hair loss with red marks

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Dec 02, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Dog Scratching and hair loss with red marks
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman


Hi Joana,
What you are describing may be due to a flea allergy. Scratching on the lower abdomen, inner thighs and armpits, with hair loss, especially after moving into a new location, could be from fleas.

If the previous owner had a dog or cat with fleas, even if the house had the heat turned off, flea eggs can remain dormant for up to 2 years. And adult fleas can go 6 months without taking a blood meal.

Once the heat is turned on and dogs and humans come in, then fleas will start to become active. If there are a HUGE number of fleas, you would also get bit. If there are not too many, the fleas prefer cats first, if no cats, then they go to dogs, if no dogs, then they will bite people. If the other dog is not allergic to fleas, he would not be affected.

Washing the bedding would be more effective than just airing it out. See our Dog Flea Medicine page for more information. It also discusses flea control in the environment.

Giving her a bath with a shampoo that contains oatmeal and aloe would help decrease the itching.

Applying aloe vera juice to the itchy areas would also give her some relief. (I do not know if you would have access to an aloe plant, otherwise, purchase the 100% pure Aloe vera juice, the kind you drink, and apply it with some gauze or cotton. You may need to apply it 3-4 times daily to help provide relief.) It is ok to continue the Lavender if you wish, it also has healing properties.

I only recommend the apple cider vinegar if I am concerned with a dog becoming too alkaline. You can monitor the pH of her urine by using Litmus paper, or pH paper. It is available at Pool supply stores, or possibly at Pharmacies. (I am not very familiar with Bulgaria at all!)

Dogs normally have an acidic pH because they are carnivores. Water is neutral at pH of 7.0. Urine with a pH of less than 7.0 is acidic (dog's usually register at 6.0 or 6.5) and higher than 7.0 is alkaline. If they maintain at 8.0-8.5, it can contribute to the formation of bladder stones, specifically triple phosphate.

Continued on Part 2.

Dec 02, 2010
My Online Vet Response Part 2-Dog Scratching and hair loss with red marks
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Joanna,
Here is the rest of my answer:

The best time to check the urine is in the first morning sample. Since she is on a vegetarian diet, it may be important for you to check her urine pH to see how healthy she is.

If her urine is very alkaline and this itching persists and her skin is worse, you might need to consider gradually adding a small amount of chicken or turkey or beef to her diet.

Otherwise, I think that her diet sounds good. But you may need to substitute the flax seed and instead use Omega 3 fish oil. Dogs have a harder time utilizing the vegetable oils and seem to respond faster if you use the oils derived from a fish (animal) source. The Omega 3 fish oils provide an anti-inflammatory effect, and are also good for the joints and the heart!

In the meantime, a holistic veterinarian may be able to diagnose more specifically what the problem may be, using a skin scraping (to check for mites or yeast), culture and sensitivity (to check for bacteria), and cytology (if there is an increase in eosinophils, it would indicate an allergic reaction) and proceed to treat in a holistic manner.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

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

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Skin Conditions,
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Dog Skin Rash,
- Dog Skin Allergies,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Rashes, Marks, Spots, Lesions & Patches (including itchy skin and mange) Section.
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

Jun 18, 2012
Don't use Soya
by: Anonymous

Soya, or soy protein is what dog food manufacturers use to "pad" their claims of protein. It is not at all useful to use as real protein in dog food. It does not digest well nor does it benefit your dog at all. Hopefully you will use raw or poached chicken or meat.

Jun 18, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Dog Scratching and hair loss with red marks
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Joanna,
This anonymous posting noticed a detail that I had overlooked, and brings up a good point. Using Soya or Soy Protein in the diet will NOT help create a more acid pH in the body, since it is derived from a bean or vegetable source, instead of an animal source. It is true that dogs can be vegetarian, but in the natural world, they do eat meat and are considered carnivores.

Since your dog has a skin problem, it indicates that you might be able to correct it, by improving the diet! Include some meat. Raw would be best. But NO RAW PORK or RAW FISH.)

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

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

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us
by clicking the like button at the top of the left
margin
. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. 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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