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Question from Freddie Rentz

we have 2 male labs. they are both almost 2 years old. about 6 months ago the oldest of the 2 started itching. it has became almost uncontrolable. i use advatage, but he has lost hair on his back and his skin is supper dry. i think it could be mange. is there anything else i can do. thanks, freddie

Our Vet Says:

Based on the information provided, I can think of the following problems:
-          Adverse reaction to the use of Advantage. In very rare occasions skin reactions such as hair loss, redness, itching and skin lesions may occur. Agitation and disorientation has also been reported. With prolonged use of the product the intensity of the adverse reactions increases. My next question in this scenario is: are the other dogs fine? For the dog with the problem it is recommended to change the flea prevention product.
-          Dry skin due to improper use/frequent use of cosmetic dog products. Is this the problem? As a minimum, dogs should be washed monthly or at even longer time intervals, with a good shampoo (scented shampoos are not good for skin) and the shampoo thoroughly rinsed out of the dog’s coat.
-          Allergic reaction. This can be related to food, inhalants and/or contact particles. It is very difficult to find out what is the triggering factor and a long process has to be followed to eliminate other causes. Your vet will be able to explain more if this is the case. He/she will also guide you through this process, if required.
Mange in dogs can be demodectic or sarcoptic. Demodectic mange is caused by Demodex canis, usually it affects elderly dogs or dogs with debilitated immune system.  The first lesions appear on the head and chest.  Sarcoptic mange is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei  var. canis, is highly contagious and the first lesions usually appear on the elbow and on the ears.  Either parasite involved in the disease is contagious and other dogs should be checked for hair loss and skin damage. As a treatment you can use selamectin (Revolution). In order to make a 100% certain diagnoses a skin scrap should be performed.
What you can do:
-          Take the dog to your local veterinarian for an examination, he/she will be able to confirm or invalidate the mange diagnose easily.
-          Change the fleas preventive product for the affected dog and recommend the use of Revolution  (prescription product)
-          Use clorhexidine shampoos and rise it out well
-          Give him omega 3 and omega 6 supplements
-          Check the other dogs for similar skin symptoms
Hope this will be useful to you. I will appreciate if you will be able to get back to me with your comments and any other info you have on this problem, I am curious to find out the outcome. Best regards, Budget Pet Care Vet Team  


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