Hi, My boxer-lab-mystery mix, Daisy, is 2.5 years old and has been experiencing patchy hair loss on and off for 18 mos. I have taken her to 2 vets and a vet dermatologist. She’s had biopsies and blood work. Her thyroid is fine, she has slightly elevated hormones, but otherwise they can’t find a reason for the hair loss. She was diagnosed with a form of alopecia (which can be allergies, seasonal, eclipse, anything, etc.). We got her when she was a few months old and her puppy food was blue chicken dinner. When we switched her to adult food, we changed to beef (blue bison dry and blue beef wet). I noticed the first round of hair loss when we changed her food from beef back to chicken after a few months. We thought the hair loss was normal shedding at first, but it started getting patchy. Her skin on belly and legs also got a lot darker. She has been off of chicken for a year and she still has periodic shedding. She currently eats Merrick Texas Beef dry and Blue beef dinner wet. I changed the dry food to Merrick because the Blue did contain some chicken in it. She seems to feel good and doesn’t itch or scratch. I recently reduced the size of her meals because she needs to lose 7 pounds. She has started losing her hair again since I reduced the volume, but i doubt that would be the cause. I also use an omega 3 oil on her food but it doesn’t seem to help at all. Her coat is fairly shiny in the sun but it’s pretty much bare on her belly and her legs. I would like to find one food that would help her issues.
Any advice out there would be much appreciated. Thank youanonymousMember
Obviously your dog may have environmental allergies. Intradermal skin testing is the only accurate way to identify the allergens. I can’t believe your veterinary dermatologist hasn’t recommended this?
Then you can identify the treatment options. Allergen specific immunotherapy (desensitization) subq or shots is the most natural treatment.
There is no cure. Atopic dermatitis is a serious condition and requires lifelong treatment. It has nothing to do with the food.
The skin discoloration you describe is hyperpigmentation, common in dogs with environmental allergies.
There is no cheap way out of this, testing will run. close to $1000, maintenance will run a few hundred a year.
There are no miracle cures for this condition.
Use the search engine to see my posts, /forums/search/environmental+allergies/
Thank you for your reply. I guess that neither vet, nor the derm, thought it was serious enough to test for allergies, since she doesn’t itch or scratch, but something has to be causing these symptoms. I’ll definitely ask my vet for allergy testing and hopefully we will get some answers. Fortunately, I have Nationwide pet insurance, which has been fabulous, so that will help reduce the out-of-pocket costs significantly. Thanks again
Daisy needs a diet high in Omega 3, have you tried a salmon/fish diet yet? you write you give her Omega 3 but what brand are you using, is it a New Zealand brand? in America they tested a heap different brands of un opened fish oils supplements off the shop shelves & 70% of them were no good, a waste of money, then they tested the fish oil supplements from New Zealand & their fish oil capsule were of better quality, the whether is cooler in NZ, so there’s no damage while being made.. Oxidation occurs when unsaturated fats such as omega -3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are exposed to heat, light or oxygen…how you’ll know if capsules are rancid/oxidized the smell is awful, smells real fishy smell & the gel capsules may have discoloration… store any fish oil in fridge…
same as oils in a kibble as soon as you open bag of kibble & the oxygen hits the kibble the oils start to oxidize, they say you have 2 weeks life on a kibble, so make sure its put in an air tight container & stored in a very cool place in the house, alot of people put their dog food in the garage or hot shed…
Cause you don’t know if the fish oil capsules are good or bad, best to buy tin sardines in spring water or olive oil, take sardines out of the tin & put in a glass air tight small container, store in fridge & give Daisy 2-3 sardines a day either as a treat or as a topper on her dry food….
I would start looking for a Salmon dry formula but not Orijen or Acana, Orijen & Acana tested high for toxins & contaminates….
Have a look at “Canidae” Pure Sea formula, alot of dogs with skin problems do really well on the Canidae Pure Sea formula, ingredients are good, its high in omega 3, feed for 2-3 months then rotate & feed the Canidae Pure Sky it has turkey meal & duck meal, turkey & chicken are cleaner meats, or rotate with the Canidae Pure Elements also the wet tin foods are really good to use as a topper, read thru the ingredient list see which formula you prefer but make sure you rotate with the Pure Sea especially when Spring & Summer is coming start back on the Canidae Pure Sea, https://www.canidae.com/dog-food/products
or try a vet diet try Hills new “Derma Defense” wet & dry, it’s a vet diet for Environment allergies, skin problems, with high levels of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acid, the Omega 3 is high at 1.80% the Omega 6-3.96%, the Omega 3 should be around 1/2 of what the Omega 6% is, alot of pet foods aren’t balanced properly & are very low in Omega 3 & very high in Omega 6, they’re not balanced properly & cause skin problems….
Hills Derm Defense helps strengthen skin barrier, formulated to help soothe & nourish skin & coat, helps skin recover naturally, supporting a healthy immune system, works with proprietary complex of bioactives & phytonutrients, antioxidants, including vitamin E, high levels of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids….
I know I lot of people don’t like the ingredients in vet diets, but they’re formulated for certain health problems, you could give the Derm Defense a try for just 3 months & see does her fur start to grow back, you’ve got nothing to lose also Hills is guaranteed to work or money back, contact Hills speak with one of their Vet Nutritionist & see what formula they recommend… I rotate & feed the Hills D/D Venison & Potato Skin health & Stomach, my boy has IBD & Skin Allergies or try the Canidae Pure Sea & Pure Sky formula’s first & see how Daisy goes…. Canidae will be cheaper then the vet diet… Canidae gets 5 stars on American consumer affairs site, Canidae grow all their own vegetables, Canidae is a family run business…. what your feeding at the moment isn’t helping, so you have nothing to lose..
also shampoo what are you bathing Daisy in to moisturize & nourish her skin?
Start bathing Daisy weekly with Malaseb medicated shampoo to wash off any allergens on her skin…
Thank you so much for the suggestions, Susan. I use a liquid Omega 3 in a pump called Omega-Tri-V (purchased from the vet, brand is Henry Schein). I store her dry food in an air-tight container inside the house, but I agree, I need to try a different food. I’ve tried a few salmon-based dry foods but she turns her nose up at fish; however, I haven’t tried the brands that you suggested so maybe one of those will taste better to her. l’ll look at both of the food recommendations and start transitioning her over to something new this week.
I still bathe Daisy with her oatmeal puppy shampoo that get at Petsmart. I’ll check out Malaseb.
Poor girl, she acts like she feels fine but I still worry that she doesn’t. Oh how I wish they could talk!
Thanks so much – I’ll let you know how it goes.
join this face Book Group called, “Dog, Issues, Allergies and other information support group” there is a post by a lady Mary Kennedy & her girl Rosie is 11yrs old having the same problem as Daisy is having, she has posted photos, Rosie is a cream retriever, she is lying down in her photo’s…. she has been to UC Davis 3 times they were use less she said, now she is seeing a vet & he has just punch holed some of her skin to be sent off & be tested… Mary is stressing out & can’t sleep worrying about Rosie…
Rosie the retrievier mum got the test results back when Rosie had 2 punch hole skin test done the other day & Rosie has Sebaceous…uncommon skin disease found in some breeds.. maybe have Daisy tested for Sebaceous if skin problem hair loss keeps happening as she ages..
Thanks again for your suggestions, Susan. Daisy had biopsies when I took her to the derm last year but they couldn’t pinpoint anything, so that ruled out some things at least. I have transitioned her to the new food, Derm Defense, and we’ll see what happens. She tolerates it better than her old food because her gas is 99% gone. I hope to see an improvement in her coat. If not, we’ll probably do allergy testing.
Hi Susan, You were really a life saver! Daisy has been eating Derm Defense since you suggested it in 2017 – it has been amazing. ALL of her coat problems went away after 1 25 lb bag. Thank you again SO MUCH. Unfortunately, Hills recently discontinued Derm Defense and the replacement is Derm Defense Complete. Since switching to the replacement formula, she has had a lot of excessive itching. She licks the front of her legs, mostly at night, and we believe it is due to the new formula. The other food that you previously recommended was Canidae Pure Sea (and maybe rotate it with some other Canidae formulas). Do you still recommend that one? Just though I would ask, since it’s been several years. 🙂 Thank you
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