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Puppy skin itchy and hair loss

by Patricia
(Alpine, Texas)

puppy hind end

puppy hind end

puppy hind end
puppy tummy

We have had our puppy for 2 weeks now and she has been itchy since she came here. She constantly bites at her feet/legs and scratches. She is a 6 week old female English Setter puppy.

Lately we've noticed hair loss and she is very pink on her belly and the hair is thin on her hind end (see photo above). We took her to the vet who noticed this and took a skin scraping but found no mites.

We spoke with the puppy's previous owner and he said that the mother and other puppies were also very itchy and one of the other pups and the mother had been taken to a different vet and skin scrapings were done but nothing found.

We don't know what to do and the puppy seems frustrated from all the itching. It is definitely getting worse with the hair loss showing now.

We also have 2 other dogs and a cat (no symptoms with them). I also have 2 children and worry about what they may catch as well.

What is wrong with the puppy and what can we do to help her?

Thank you, Patricia

Comments for Puppy skin itchy and hair loss

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Dec 20, 2010
My Online Vet Response for Puppy skin itchy and hair loss
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Patricia,
Being from Texas, and considering her breed (English Setter) and where she is losing her hair, I would be very concerned about flea allergy. Flea allergy is very itchy. Another consideration would be inhaled allergies, but she is too young for that.

Demodex (mites that cause mange) is usually not itchy (And it is NOT contagious to other dogs or cats or humans). See our page on Dog Skin Conditions, under 'Parasites'.

Of course, with her white thin hair and light skin you would SEE fleas. I would ask the breeder if the mother had been sprayed for fleas while she was pregnant, or right after she gave birth and/or if they were using a topical flea repellent on her while she was pregnant. If the itching is due to fleas and your puppy does not get any more fleas, then the itching will subside and go away in the next 2-3 weeks.

In the meantime, I am very concerned about her immune system and her overall well-being. In the last photo of her sitting there, she looks too depressed and quiet to be a healthy 6 week old puppy!

How old was your puppy when she was weaned? You said you had her for 2 wks, and she is 6 wks old now? Or did you adopt her at 6 wks and now she is 8 wks old? Was she vaccinated at the time you adopted her? That is too young to be weaned and also too young to be vaccinated. Has she been checked for worms? NOT dewormed, but had a fecal done to see if she has worms?

I would advise seeking out a local holistic veterinarian, who would use homeopathy to remove the effects of 'vaccinosis' and recommend NO more vaccinations until she is at least 16 weeks old, and in much better health.

Also, you should improve her diet to a a high protein, raw diet. NO dry food. See our page on the 10 best dog food options for more information.

In addition, consider providing dog immune system supplements. These will also help to remove toxins from her system if she was exposed to them.

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.

Related Pages:
- Dog Itchy Skin,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Skin Problems Section.
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Hair Loss Section

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