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Losing his hair!

by Gail Fountain

Help! I have a six year old little boy Maltese named Teddy. About 8 months ago he started loosing his hair and developed dark brown spots all over his little 10 lb body. I was very concerned because my Chow had just gone through treatment for the mange. My vet told me he didn't have the mange (though he never took a skin sample), and told me the brown spots were oil. He claimed Teddy was so infested with fleas, and that's why he had such dark skin oil. He perscribed advantage and he hasn't had a flea since. However, his skin is still covered with brown spots and he continues to lose hair! He was first treated in February and he still has all the same symptoms. Now the vet has him on Synthetic Thryroid because his level was a little below normal. He has been on this medication for 2 months without improvement. Does anyone know what could be wrong with my little darling? Also, are there any side effects I should be concerned about with the synthetic thyroid? I think my vet is a capable doctor, but I don't think toys are his specialty (he has Golden Retreivers). Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Gail: I have no first hand knowledge nor information, sorry about that. But have you consulted another Vet that you may have more confidence in? February is a long time ago, and if I was suffering from something that long I'd hope my owner would look into additional help. Both my girls have brown spots, they can't be seen unless they are wet. From what I've learned on this board a lot of our babies have the brown spots and it hasn't seemed to cause them to lose hair. Good luck

I am also perplexed...My 7mo Fanci lost all hair on all 4 legs. She is a terrible sight, has beautiful silky hair on body, with bald legs! After thorough check for diseases, fleas, etc by the vet, he said allergies. I have to admit that she is constantly wanting to play in the yard (fenced w/grass, flowers, shrubs) and loves to play with the cats...so there could be allergies. After trying cortisone, I prefer natural products so I put her on Missing Link, and the hair seems to be slowly returning...I try to keep in mind that she didn't lose all the hair in one day, so it won't return in one day. It worked on my friend's cat, and it has beautiful/healthy hair. If this notice seems familiar, I recently gave a reply to someone asking about Missing Link...

Thanks for trying to help! Actually, my current vet is my second vet to treat Teddy. My frist vet had let my Chow suffer for 2 months before he bothered to check for the mange. He assumed she had an allergy and was treating her for that. I had him look at Teddy and he gave me anit-biotics which did nothing. So naturally, I looked for another vet when I saw no impvorement. Since this problem didn't happen overnight, I too didn't expect an instant cure. I waited 6 weeks and sought out my new vet. That's when he suggested Teddy was infested though he didn't have but one or two fleas on him, he did have internal worms caused by fleas. I waited another 6 weeks, after getting advantage and another antibiotic for the worms. Still no improvement, so I returned to the vet. He gave me more antibiotic and felt that would do the trick. I returned to the vet again, very agitated, I asked him to please check for the mange. He did, and also took some blood. The skin culture came up negative for any parsites, but he was a little enemic. He gave Teddy a Iron shot, and the artificial thyroid. He is also concerned that it might be an allergy, but since I haven't changed anything in his diet or his bathing regimine, it does not explain why he should be getting allergies now.

Another problem I just noticed last week and wanted to mention is the fact that his nose is lightening up.....from black to charcoal grey! Does anyone know what might be causing this? I love my little Teddy very much and have spent a fortune on vets fees and invested a lot of time and energy into finding a good vet (My current vet Dr. Schroeder is one of the most respected vets in Pinellas county!). I don't appreciate the accusation that I have let my little baby suffer since Feb. without doing all I could! I would appreciate any offer of advice from anyone who has something helpful or thoughtful! Thank you.

Since the vets can find nothing wrong with the dog, you might want to try Lipiderm. It makes their coats pretty and their hair grow really fast. You an purchase it at a pet store and put it on their food. Also, if your vet thinks it might be an allergy, might want to try something gentle at bathtime like Johnson's baby shampoo, and Johson's de tangler for kids spay. Also wash his bedding in a baby laundry detergent and then double rinse. Allergies can do strange things. I developed allergies at the age of 33. Maybe your dog is a late bloomer like me.
-Marsha A.

Hi again...I responded earlier about using Missing Link to cure Fanci's poor bald legs. We all seem to be on the same track here, and that is allergies. Having fought allergies for myself & daughter for 30 years, I thought I would post a couple more ideas. It's true that allergies do funny things to people, so why not to dogs? My vet and my (people) allergist agree that we develop allergies to things that are consistent in our lives; i.e., using the same spices & foods most of the time because they are our favorites; using same products for long periods of time, ranging from shampoo to laundry detergent, etc, etc. The 2 Doctors also agree that our allergies change; and, wow, has that proven true. I tried changing her food to lamb/rice, but had no improvement; so I started the Missing Link. I followed the instructions about doubling it for a period of time for severe problems, and it's working (slowly, but surely). For precautionary measures, I am going to change shampoo and stopping her playtime with the cat (I read about that in the archives). Allergies are usually a combo of things. As to the nose color being lighter, I read somewhere that labrador owners corrected that by not using plastic feed/water dishes, and using crockery...may sound goofy, but who knows...nature is mysterious and fascinating. Good luck to both of us!

Gail,Well, I felt like an idiot today. A month ago, I took my puppies to be groomed. I picked them up and got home and noticed Bridget had a big hole in her side, like he had clipped very short in that one area. I looked at it and she had not been cut by the clippers or anything. She looked horrible so I decided to get another groomer. I was very ticked that he had not at least told me about it. Anyway, took them to a new groomer today. Told her about it when I left them and I went to pick them up and they were gorgeous. Except, Bridget had a "hole" on her back this time, totally different place. The groomer told me she thought she might have some kind of worms and showed me that the skin underneath was very dry and a little crusty. I immediately took her to the vet. She did a blood culture to test for mange--came back negative. She looked at it under florescent lights to look for worms. She didn't think that was it. I also told her that Bridget had been chewing on her feet lately. She really thinks that it is allergies. She gave me an antihistime (liquid) to take orally and a topical spray. I use the spray for 5 days and them I put Vitamin E oil on the spot. The vet said the other spot had almost cleared up on its own. So that part confuses me since that one was never treated. I'll let you know how this works. Who knows? I guess sometimes it has to be a trial and error thing, since our little ones can't tell us anything. Good Luck.

P.S. I am going to call my first groomer and tell him what happened and I am going to apologize. I felt so bad!

Marti,I also wanted to reply to your comment on Missing Link. I have also started my two babies on it. I did it because I heard it was good for tear stains. It seems like you know alot more about it than I do. Can you tell me where you get it (it might be less expensive) and also what you like about it. Have you been able to tell a difference in certain areas? Things like that.

Also, relating to the "Losing Hair" part. I posted an earlier message but I wanted you to know, my Bridget is only 5 months so I guess that they can be any age for this to happen. Thanks, Pam

This is in reply to Pam's question about Missing Link. I must sound like I work for them, but I don't..just want to pass on to others the success I am having with the hair loss.There are 4 different types: dog, cat, equine, and people. I can't vouch for M.L. concerning tear duct drain, but one month of it has certainly begun the regrowth of healthy hair on Fanci's legs. I checked with two AMA show/breeders and they both used Tylan, (marketed by Omaha Vaccine) to stop eye drain. Tylan is actually an antibiotic for poultry, and is $35 per jar, which is more than I'll ever need because you give only a pinch per day for 30 days. It completely stopped Angel's eye drain, and reduced Fanci's eye drain about one half, as she is still teething. My sister used the Tylan on her 3 Maltese, and she couldn't believe the great results. As neither my sis or I have tested M.L. for eye drain alone, I don't know the answer..sorry. Petsmart and local feed stores charge $16 per lb, and Jeffers Catalog charges $11 per lb. I just realized there is a phone number on back of the M.L. pkg, so don't know if you can order cheaper from them....1-800-774-7387. Pkg must be used within 90 days after opening, and must be kept refrigerated.One last thing, I remember seeing a posting to this site that someone wouldn't buy M.L. because it contained green barley, but my opinion differs. Guess that's what makes the world go round. :)

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