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Help - Sheltie Losing Fur

Discussion in 'General Health' started by sheltiemom5, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. sheltiemom5

    sheltiemom5 Forums Novice

    Sep 21, 2015
    My 10 year old Sheltie (male/neutered), started losing hair around age 6. It started with his tail and has been slowly working it's way up to his ruff. He has lost all his undercoat. He looks awful.

    I've been to 3 different primary care vets, a canine dermatologist, canine oncologist and canine nutritionist. My dog has had every test under the sun, some several times by different vets. No one can find an answer.

    If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it.
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Couple more questions - is he on any drugs, what treatments have you used so far (eg elimination diet, medication, supplements)? What is his weight like?
    I assume you have tested for thyroid problems, which Shelties seem to be prone to? Others on SF can tell you more about thyroid issues.

    My male sheltie had a very similar problem. His skin was dry and scaly and I tried all sorts of treatments, diets and skin supplements and yes I saw the dermatologist. It started at the base of his tail and moved to his tummy and up his back.

    The only thing that seemed to help was a senior multivitamin. However, even the vets didn't pick up the significance of that. It wasn't until he was dying that he an internal medicine vet said he had Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and wasn't absorbing nutrients properly. Unfortunately the IBD had progressed into cancer and he only lived another week. In the month prior I put him on a new skin drug called apoquel, but unfortunately as he had undiagnosed IBD and cancer the drug hastened his death.

    If it's IBD there are many non-specific signs. Does he regularly get upset tummies, diarrhea or vomiting, more than other dogs? Is he always hungry or eating grass or losing his appetite (signs of an upset tummy). Does he have issues with taking some medications? What is his diet like? Has he had pancreatitis, HGE, blood or mucous in the poop.

    Sometimes the flare up can be diet related. For example, I know that my dogs can't have chicken or sweet potato. My current female (11yrs) also has IBD and is on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal low fat in the tins which is helping. I also do a limited ingredient cooked dinner and she has a minute steak once or twice a week for her teeth. No treats no bones and no deviations from the diet. The Internal medicine vet said dogs with IBD should be on a very simple diet. The specialist also recommended Dermoscent essential 6 spot on to treat the dry skin she has developed.
  3. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    I’m sure you’ve had his thyroid checked, but it’s worth mentioning that normal values are different for shelties and may require medication.

    Check out Jean Dodds’ website. She may be willing to weigh in on your test results.
  4. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Definitely have the thyroid checked. Sheltie values need to be higher than other breeds.
  5. Katie’s Mom

    Katie’s Mom Premium Member

    Feb 8, 2019
    Suffolk County,NY
    Our Sasha had dermatomyositis...the vets didn's know anything about it. After hours of researching on the internet I found a study being done at
    Texas A & M...they were so helpful with the treatment. It was unusual that Sasha developed this at the age of 8...usually prone to younger shelties and collies.
  6. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    I second this suggestion. Dr. Jean Dodds is an expert in this field and is wonderful about doing consults by phone. It's worth trying. I can't believe none of those vets can give you an answer, although I have a young girl with skin issues too and every test under the sun has been negative. We're headed to a canine dermatologist next. They tell me skin problems are the most difficult to diagnose. Good luck...hope you find an answer!

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