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Sunny Daze Farm
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Discussion Starter #1
I found an australian shephard wandering in and out of traffic on a busy highway today, and of course picked him up. There weren't even any houses nearby to ask, so I took him home. He seems fairly healthy although quite matted and also seems to have some kind of skin condition. I have him in a stall in my barn for now, in case it is something my dogs can get. The hair is gone on his belly, armpits, and back and inside of hind legs. It is definitely red and irritated, and a little scabby but most of it is pretty smooth. It is hot to the touch. I gave him a bath with a betadine solution and sprayed hydrocortisone on it. What are the possibilities for what this could be? I really don't have alot of extra money to be spending in vet bills right now, but want to make sure he is ok before he goes in with my dogs. Is there any way to tell if it is mange without taking him to the vet for a skin scraping? I am hoping it is just some sort of allergy that is treatable...he did have a flea collar on and not many fleas at all. I haven't had much experience with dog skin conditions, any ideas?? Thanks!!
 

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It could be malnutrition. Our dog, Tom, looked like that when we found him. In fact, Tom was almost bald! The vet tested him for mange...negative. Then he told us it was a condition that some Lab mixes have and Tom would always have problems with it. Well, we started giving him fish oil capsules in his food and rubbing him down with petroleum jelly at night. Look at him now:



I would recommend a good bath, fish oil capsules in his food, Benedryl if he's scratching and a daily rubdown with some type of lotion, cream, etc.
 

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Sunny Daze Farm
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Discussion Starter #4
Wow, what a shiny coat! and a happy dog :) I gave him a bath earlier, I will try the fish oil and anti-itch cream. I have been researching mange online and I don't think thats what it is, which is good. I don't think it is ringworm, it is pretty smooth and not really too bumpy or raised. I'll keep an eye on it and see if it improves any. I have to work on cutting out the matts too, poor guy. Thanks for the responses!
 

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With mange you won't always find the little buggers with a skin scrape anyway. My understanding is that if it looks like it and there may have been exposure, it is treated as such even if they don't come up with something on a scrape. Similar to human skin issues, it can be hard to determine the cause esp if you don't have a history. Frankly, if you don't have history and can't rule out something that might pass to your other dogs you might want to explain the situation to your vet and see if they can't reduce charges for you and get it checked out. You can try what you're doing for a few days and see if there is any improvement before making that call. Remember too that if it can pass to your dogs it can also pass to you. If you suspect an allergy, try some benadryl. I think there may be a sticky at the top of the forum page for dosage.
 

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Could be flea allergies. They don't have to be loaded to lose a lot of hair. All it takes is the bite of one flea to make the dog crazy itchy. It kind of sounds like the typical areas for flea allergies.
 

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(formerly Laura Jensen)
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The huge majority of skin problems in dogs (and other animals) are caused by an underlying fatty acid imbalance. If your dog's skin is healthy, he'll scratch at fleas, but won't get hot spots. Ringworm can't get a foothold. Etc., etc. A good fatty acid supplement is 1 part flax oil, 2 parts codliver oil, 5 parts sunflower oil, all organic if possible. Mix, add a 500 IU vitamin E capsule for preservative and store in the refrigerator. A 50 lb dog would get 2 teaspoons a day on his food. Expect results in three to four weeks, probably sooner.
 
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