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Puppy with thin hair

October 6th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Hello, I am new to this site and looked at some of the previous posts about thinning hair. I dont think my boy Charlie fits into some of the previous discussions so I thought I would ask.

Charlie is a 10 month old black German Shepherd. I feed him taste of the wild, wellness treats, and the occasional fruits and veggies as a healthy snack. I am really conscious of what I feed him and how I take care of him. I have used the Furminator frequent use shampoo (he is a SDIT and needs to be washed often).

A few days ago he started to get a thin patch of fun on his snout right under his eye. The day it showed up he played a little too hard with a neighbor dog and I thought that he just got scratched. It has gotten bigger now and is the size of a silver dollar.

The skin is not red under and I have not seen him scratching at it at all. He has an appointment to see the Vet already in place for 2 weeks from now to have a bump removed from his neck and sent off for testing. The vet cant see me sooner because she has been out for a surgery. I dont really feel comfortable seeing someone else that doesnt know Charlie.

Seeing his age and what I feed him, should I be really concerned about this? Charlie is training to be a service dog and he is my life-line to being able to get out and about. I dont feel like it is something real serious but I am also concerned about it! Any advice or help would be great, thanks!!

October 6th, 2011, 10:08 AM
Welcome to the board! :D

The first thing that comes to mind is demodex mange, Kellynbobellen. One of our rescues arrived with it--she had some baldish patches but they didn't look red or inflamed, either. Demodex mange is more a disorder of the immune system than anything else--the vast majority of dogs have the mites that cause it, but only when the immune system is unable to keep them in check do you see mange. It most often occurs in young dogs whose immune system is still developing, and in dogs with compromised immune systems (in our Macie's case, her immune system was likely out of whack due to the negative effects of the stress of being rescued, rehabbed and adopted out).

If I were you, I'd make an appointment with another vet if you can't see your own, and ask for a scraping to be done. The reason I wouldn't wait is because if it's demodex mange, you may need to put off the surgical removal of the bump to minimize Charlie's stress, and you'll want to start treating the mange as soon as you can, as well.

There are other reasons for hair loss, as well, so the vet may want to do a blood panel as well to rule some of them out.

October 6th, 2011, 10:19 AM
Welcome to the board! :D

I would ask for a Thyroid panel (not just a T4, but a FULL Thyroid panel) as well as the scraping. GSD's are prone to Hypothyroidism. Most vets will tell you it doesn't happen in dogs that young, but those vets are wrong. Our Malamute was diagnosed at around 8-9 months old. He didn't have a lot of the symptoms, but hair loss/thinning hair is one of them. It can also cause a lot of skin conditions. There are 2 links below. One is a video on GSD and Hypothyroidism and the other is a link to Dr. jean Dodds and Hemopet. We have blood drawn at our vet and they ship it to Hemopet in California. It costs us $180.00, but is well worth it. She is one of the leading authorities on canine immune disorders and Hypothyroidism. She not only does the thyroid panel, but she tailors the results to the age/breed of the dog. What may be in the normal range for one breed could be high/low for another breed. Good luck and let us know how he is doing! :)

Hemopet and Dr. Jean Dodds