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Why Is My Dog's Hair Falling Out?

Pet Peeves: Boerboel Going Bald!

Readers, workerbee1000 needs your help! Her pup is losing hair, and she doesn't know why:

I've got a 7-year-old brown female Boerboel which has been a well groomed beautiful dog for most of her life. Recently she's developed some sort of skin issue where she scratches constantly (to the point where she starts bleeding). She's losing a lot of hair as well. I've had her at the vet numerous times where antibiotics and antihistamine tablets as well as a course of cortizone tablets have been prescribed, but nothing helps.

After the 3rd visit to the vet, I figured that these guys actually have as much of a clue as what I do as to what's going on with my poor dog (which is NOTHING). Throughout all these treatments that the vets have prescribed, she continues losing hair and scratches all day. She gets bathed once a week and nothing seems to help. The twist in the story is that I've got another cream-coloured female Boerboel who is 2 years younger, and she doesn't show any signs of the symptoms that the other one's showing.

I booked them in at the doggy parlour the other day and the lady who owns the parlour advised me that the better option is going to be to shave my dog completely and then dip her. This was all done the same day and yet my poor dog keeps scratching.  This made me realise that whatever's making her itch so much is under her skin and not in the hair or on the skin. The lady at the parlour suggested that I try an oil-based substance called "Efizol." Apparently this product has been designed to cure skin problems in dogs and cats. I went to the vet on Friday afternoon and asked them about this product. The ladies at the reception counter assured me that if nothing else has worked, then Efizol definitely will do the trick. (Why didn't they tell me this the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time I had the dog there???)


Keep reading for the rest of this reader's dilemma, and to offer your suggestions!

Today marks the 3rd day that I've been pouring 15ml of Efizol onto her food and I haven't noticed any changes yet. I have no idea how long I have to wait before this stuff takes an effect, but I'm certainly  not going to pay my vet another R400.00 for a consultation when he clearly doesn't know what's going on with my dog.

I originally thought that this might be an allergic reaction to something, but if that was the case, the antihistamines should've made some sort of an improvement. I've changed dog food brands numerous times and all it seems to be doing is making an even bigger hole in my pocket. If there was an improvement, I wouldn't mind paying the extra money. I have a suspicion that she may be allergic to the grass in the garden, but to be quite honest, I just don't know what to think anymore.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!

Any tips for workerbee1000? Please share them in the comments! And if you have a dilemma you need the community's help with, tell us all about it in the Pet Peeves group!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Ladygrinningsoul Ladygrinningsoul 6 years
Two thoughts. Your older dog is not adjusting well to the new dog. Where they introduced properly?The dog may feel he is being replaced in your heart. Give him a bit of extra love. Both meeting outside on nuetral turf. Otherwise the older dog may feel his space is being invaded. It may be Mange. A parasite that needs to be checked by a vet. I would never return to the person who shaved him and then immersed him with his cuts and scratches in chemicals. In fact, I would demand my money back. Write to local vets, if they resisted returning your cash. Tell every customer who enters while your there and notify the BBB. It was just a way to get your cash. With NO thought for the suffering the chemical caused your sweetie.
workerbee1000 workerbee1000 6 years
Hi Guys, Thanks for all the comments and ideas. We've been back to the vet since and he ran all sorts of tests on her with no result. :( I found out about a product calles Efazol (spelling might be incorrect), It's got all sorts of nutirents in it and is designed especially for dogs with skin problems. I bought it from the vet over the counter and started putting 15ml of this oily substance on her food on a daily basis and the results are AMAZING!. She's still scratching, though it's much much less. Her fur is growing back, and the sore spots where she scratched herself open are healing nicely with the help of Vaseline and "Fly-go" spray. My pup's starting to pick up weight again too, so I definitely think we're on the right track. Smacks, I tried your advice, but the vet laughed at me telling me that all those tests would not accomplish anything. (Why, I still don't know).. The main thing is that there's major improvements, so I can only hope that things keep getting better? Thanks again for all the feedback! :)
chuckie3cheese chuckie3cheese 6 years
Sounds like it's time, maybe was awhile ago, to find a veterinary dermatologist. If you don't have one locally, look for a university that has a college of veterinary medicine. They have wonderful resources; equipment, people, medicines, etc. I do hope the poor guy gets better. He's suffered enough!
fuzzles fuzzles 6 years
I would start looking for a vet in your area who is a specialist in animal dermatology and/or allergies. While your regular vets may be great general practitioners, it sounds like you have been spinning your wheels a bit in getting much needed results. Best of luck, and skritches to the pup!
Choco-cat Choco-cat 6 years
oops, i liked - i just checked with my friend and was told it's actually puppy OCD. He gets 20 mg of fluoxitine (generic Prozac) every morning for it. They do still work at distracting him when they notice him doing it, both things help.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 6 years
My friend's dog was doing this - and it was, I believe, a boredom thing. They worked on disciplining the dog and trying to distract the dog with play when he'd start doing it.
Smacks83 Smacks83 6 years
I would look into getting a thyroid test, a full blood panel and an allergy test. If topical stuff isn't working it could very well be something systemic. The thyroid test will tell you if it is functioning fully, the blood panel will let you know if your pup has any kind of viral/bacterial/yeast infection that could be causing these symptoms and the allergy test will tell you what your dog is allergic to (so it takes all the guess work out). Hope it helps and hope your dog finds a little itch relief :)
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