My dog’s hair is falling out and he has a sore. What is the cause and what are some home remedies I can try before seeing a vet?

Original Question: My dog's hair is falling out on the tail and under his thighs and it's forming a sore. - Marguerita

My dog’s hair is falling out and he has a sore. What is the cause and what are some home remedies I can try before seeing a vet? Aug 27, 2018

Hi Marguerita,

Thanks for your question.

It’s not possible for me to give you a diagnosis based on the information in your question, but I can give you some thoughts to consider.

There are numerous reasons why hair could be falling out from the areas you mention. They include bacterial infection, yeast infection, allergies, parasites, seasonal alopecia, ringworm, self-trauma, among others. It’s important to try and diagnose the problem before treating it. I would recommend that you see your veterinarian and have a skin scraping performed. This is a simple and inexpensive test where your veterinarian will gently scrape the top of the skin and look at it under a microscope. This can be performed even in the appointment room. They will be able to determine whether bacteria, yeast or parasites are present. If a diagnosis is made, the appropriate treatment can be started.

If you want to try a home remedy and see if it resolves without running into the veterinary hospital, here are a few thoughts. First, I don’t want you to do this if the lesion is getting worse. It could harm your dog more by not making the diagnosis and treating it with something inappropriate. So if any treatment you start is not immediately working, please consider seeing your veterinarian for a consultation and physical exam to determine the cause. In the meantime, a lot of skin conditions can be due to bacterial infection. You could pick up an anti-bacterial shampoo from your local veterinary clinic and bath the area once a day for a week. Be sure to leave the shampoo on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off and dry your dog thoroughly. Leaving moisture on the skin can promote bacterial growth. By doing this, you can reduce the level of bacteria on the skin and the lesion may improve if the bacterial infection is the cause.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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