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Hair loss in patches.

Species: Dog
Breed: unknown
Age: Less than 3 mon
Hi we live in a remote community up near Darwin in Australia. Four weeks ago we took a wee puppy off some local kids that were abusing her and have taken her in. We have wormed her and deflead her and she is alot healthier in general. I just have one problem. She is beginning to lose fur in patches and has red icthy skin in places. Mainly behind her front legs and behind her ears. Along her back she s starting to lose fur along her back. Do you think it could be mites? or maybe mange? We would love to take her to the vet but the vet only comes out once every three months and still has a while before he is out again. I was looking at treatments for mites and saw that Advocate has a treatment for mites and mange, is this worth a try? she is seven weeks old now. thanks for your time. Hannah Poi


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi there Hannah...thanks for asking your question! Skin problems are always difficult to diagnose over the internet, but I'll see if I can give you some ideas! It certainly does sound like this could be some type of mange. Mange is actually a skin mite. There are two types - sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Hopefully, if it is mange it is sarcoptic because dogs that have demodectic mange will often have it for life. However, dogs that have sarcoptic mange (the type that can be cured) often have itchiness in the areas you have described.

Advocate (called Advantage Multi in North America) is very good for sarcoptic mange. It does seem to help with demodectic mange as well. With demodectic mange it helps to get the numbers of mites down to a manageable level. It may never 100% clear up demodectic mange but if given every month should really help.

If it is sarcoptic mange then you may notice that the pup gets a little more itchy for a few days after applying the Advocate. If you have other dogs that are in contact with this one then you should treat them as well as mange is contagious from dog to dog. Mange mites can bite people and cause little itchy red spots but they go away after a few days.

In North America, Advocate is only available by prescription, but it sounds like you are able to get it without a prescription in Australia.

I am not sure if Advocate is labelled for pups as young as 7 weeks. You may need to read the label to see what the youngest age is that you can apply it. You might need to wait until 8 weeks.

It is also possible that your pup has a bacterial skin infection. If this is the case she will not get better until she receives oral antibiotics and these would need to be prescribed by your vet.

Another possibility is ringworm, but this sounds unlikely with the symptoms you have described.

Hope she does well!
Dr. Marie




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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.