Why is fur around my dog’s eye itchy, becomes crusty and falls off? What should be my next course of action be to get this treated?

Original Question: My 9-year-old Shepherd mix keeps getting crusty fur around her right eye, it is very itchy and the fur comes off. It just started this year and she’s been on antibiotics and steroids 4 times. Now she’s on zinc tablets and Isaderm gel. This week I was told she must have part Husky in her because they usually get alopecia and dermatitis. Please help. - Marion

Why is fur around my dog’s eye itchy, becomes crusty and falls off? What should be my next course of action be to get this treated? Apr 25, 2018

Hi Marion,

Thanks for your question.

It sounds like you have done a lot already in figuring this issue out. There is indeed a rare disorder of Husky-type dogs called “zinc-responsive dermatosis,” in which they have a genetic problem metabolizing zinc. This can cause localized skin problems and hair loss. However, there are many other causes of these signs as well. I would encourage you work with your vet to determine a clear diagnosis. This will help guide treatment, and ensure that you are selecting the right medications. Many skin disorders require a biopsy (taking a piece of affected tissue) and examination by a pathologist to determine a diagnose. You could also consider referral to a veterinary dermatologist (they specialize in skin disorders).

Best of luck with your dog!

Dr. Kim Hester

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