Original Question: My dog has a skin itching problem especially under his arms and legs with dandruff and hair falling out. She is getting very weak, drinking water excessively and the floor gets wet after lying down. She has also problems with gas and indigestion. Please help me. - Sankha
Thanks for sending in your question.
Regarding the skin issue, I recommend you have your veterinarian perform some diagnostics to identify the cause of the itching in these areas. The first test would be a skin scraping. This is a quick inexpensive test that is performed in the clinic whereby your dog’s skin is scraped with a scalpel and the material collected is looked at under a microscope. This test can identify ectoparasites on the skin, bacteria, and yeast along with other entities. If the lesions have a circular appearance, I would recommend that your veterinarian perform a fungal culture to look for ringworm. A test that is not performed often enough is a culture and sensitivity, whereby your veterinarian will swab the skin and send the sample to a lab that will grow the bacteria on the skin and expose it to different antibiotics to determine which ones will kill it. By performing these tests, or even the first one, it could provide a lot of progress and help determine an initial treatment that could be very beneficial.
The other symptoms you mention are quite concerning. The excessive water intake and weakness. These symptoms can indicate many different possible disease states and if left untreated can progress to serious levels. This may also indicate an underlying disease process that is compromising her immune system’s ability to resolve the skin issue if it is indeed an infection. These symptoms can indicate any number of issues such as Cushing’s disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism, or kidney disease to name just a few. To start investigating these issues, I would recommend that you speak to your veterinarian about diagnostics such as blood work and urine testing, urine cultures, and whole body X-rays.
It’s really important that you start to investigate these issues with tests to determine what is happening here. There is no way to know the right treatment if you don’t.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Clayton Greenway