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Loss of Hair
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    My 11 week old Shiba Inu has hair thinning on his body, near his ribs, and also has large patches hair missing behinds his front leg joints (elbows). There's no visible rash or bumps and I'm unsure what the problem may be.

    Currently feeding him Blue Buffalo Puppy Chicken and Rice Formula. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I am planning on taking him to the vet soon for his 12 week shots.

    I also talked to the breeder and asked her about this before coming on here, and she said that he just has dry skin and to put baby oil on the spots where he is losing hair and that his hair will grow back.Julie with Mika the Shiba Inu and Kyuubi the Kai Ken - Life with the Inus
    Post edited by sunyata at 2012-08-09 09:09:06
  • Maybe its the chicken? Or maybe the rice? not sure..
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Hmm it could be allergies do you have any pictures of the areas where he is loosing fur? Blue buffalo is a good brand I think, but he could be allergic to the chicken, rice or some other ingredient in the food.

    I'd go get an vets opinion on this. Maybe try adding salmon oil to his food?

    My shiba inu has never had any allergies, but she did reverse sneezed when she was on kibble wither it was puppy kibble or wellness core ocean she still reversed sneezed, but now she's been on raw for six weeks she is doing great she now doesn't reverse sneeze at all.

    I've heard raw is great for dogs with allergies so if you switch to different brands and formula of kibble and nothing helps maybe try raw?

    I go by the do it your self type raw diet, but there are premade raw out there which is easier I never tried them yet, but I'd like to I've heard good things on primal raw.

    I hope you get your answer soon on whats going on if it's dryness, allergies or something please update us once you find out.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • jujeejujee
    Posts: 882
    Yeah, I figured it was the food as I've read that a lot of shibas are allergic to chicken and rice. I was wondering if there are any suggestions for a different kind of dog food I should feed him. I don't have the time to do raw right now or I would switch him to a raw diet :)

    He went to play with some of my friend's dogs today and I was able to get a picture of them playing and you can see where his hair is thinning out. There are other spots on his bodies with the hair loss, but I haven't been able to get pictures of it.Julie with Mika the Shiba Inu and Kyuubi the Kai Ken - Life with the Inus
    Post edited by jujee at 2010-05-03 08:00:26
  • BaliHaiBaliHai
    Posts: 19
    I've never heard of an 11 week old having allergies, I believe most shiba allergies reveal themselves at an older age. I have sometimes seen with my own puppies (especially in the hot summer months) a thinning of the undercoat, even though usually the first big blow is around 1 year old. Is it bald to the skin in these areas or just thinned out a bit? Some puppies can also develope demodex mites that are passed on from the mom from whelping, due to the stress of the whelp & the bitches immune system dropping a bit. This can also be the case in puppies having worms. All dogs have worms (even people), but the healthy immune system will keep them at bay. This is why all puppies are wormed before they leave the breeders home, mostly as a precausion that the puppy is worm free. With Demodex the puppy would most likely have actual bald spots. When taken to the vet the vet would do a scraping to test for it. It is an easy fix treated with antibiotic & not life threatening. Some breeds seem to be more susceptable then others & I don't think it is as common in shibas. I would hardly think it to be dry skin if the puppy is being fed a healthy puppy formular. Personally I wouldn't start switching a young puppies diet around especially one that has not been with the new owner very long. Puppies need time to adapt to their new surroundings & then a gradual food change can be made if need be.
  • philfotephilfote
    Posts: 32
    Try a fish-based grain free kibble if you can. Fixed Spike right up.
  • My Fira is now going through the same thing. She just turned 12 weeks old today and it seems her fur is thinning. She's eating Bil-Jac chicken based food, so per the above I think she should be switched to a fish-based grain.
  • INU RYUUINU RYUU
    Posts: 1507
    She might just be losing her puppy coat. Do a search on puppy coat.
    犬竜
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Hammond does well on the Pacific Stream (salmon) flavor of Taste of the Wild. Or the lamb one (Prairie? I forget).

    He started losing a lot of fur right around that time as well but it was just his puppy coat dropping. My vet said it seems to be common for Shibas to lose their puppy coat much earlier than other breeds. Hammond just turned 5 months and his coat is nice and thick again. Once the adult coat came in, the undercoat came in nice and thick, too. So it might just be that.

    Is the skin in the bald areas normal looking, or is it pink or dry looking? Does he have any scabs or scratches anywhere? Is he itching a lot? Does he smell?

    Part of what I attributed to dry skin/losing his puppy coat actually turned out to be demodex mange (like @BaliHai mentioned). He's been on meds for a month and all the bald/thin spots have grown back, the itching has stopped, and his skin is back to the normal pale pinkish-white color, rather than bright red/pink.

    So really, thinning coat all over is likely the puppy coat going away. Actual bald spots should be looked at by vet. (Though really, if the thinning is bad enough, ask about it at the 12 week vaccine appointment. Better to be a paranoid puppy-owner and ask the vet all sorts of questions than misattribute it to something minor then have it turn out your pup is very sick).
    Post edited by Anna at 2012-01-03 13:59:27
  • OMG! My puppy Kobi Leo, (15 weeks now) is doing the same thing...he is also on Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice puppy food...He's been non-stop itching/scratching...i don't know what to do...I took him to the vet because I panicked when I read about the mites..but the vet said it doesn't look like it yet, too early to tell and that it's probably just dry skin and suggested me get this medicated shampoo/conditioner...so i did that and he seemed temporarily fine for <30 minutes....and back at scratching again...I notice he's scratching at his front legs a lot, and belly area...I also lifted up his front leg and see very thinned areas on his armpit/rib cage and belly area....should I be freaking out? He goes in for his last set of shot on Monday...tomorrow...i hope it's nothing serious...do you have pictures of your dog and it's thinning areas?
  • schubesschubes
    Posts: 52
    I agree with the comment on going raw. No extra time is necessary.....just buy some meat at the grocery store, weigh out appropriate portions. The only extra time will be doing some reading to know how much bone, meat, organs are necessary for the size of your dog. Plus watching out for any enhanced meat products.

    There are also frozen tubes of raw meat which include bone and organ ground up together for convenience. These are more expensive but worth an experiment. Give it some time though. Keep in mind, dogs are carnivores (think wolf) and in the wild carnivores do not look for corn, rice, or any other grains for sustenance. They will eat every part of another animal except the stomach contents. The uncooked bones are very essential plus they keep your dogs teeth extraordinarily clean.
  • @usntruongj - no, I don't have pictures readily available (I don't get how to post pictures on here), but what you describe is exactly how my 12 week old Shiba is. She scratches and has the same bald spots. Her chest area was full of fur, and now it is nearly bare except for some wirey fur. I'm hoping this is due to the puppy coat being dropped as stated above. I'm switching her from Bil-Jac Chicken puppy to Blue Lamb & Rice puppy, so hopefully it'll help. I'm also thinking maybe the scratching could be a nervous tic or something, as I've seen her bite at her tail a little bit, which I've read is like dog-OCD.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @schubes, actually wolves are not strictly carnivore even in the wild. I remember reading that they do consume fruits, such as berries when available, and have been known to raid melon patches. But I don't think a dog's diet should be totally compared to a wolf either way. If the theory of dog evolution is to believed, where wolves started hanging around human trash heaps, it wouldn't be a stretch that they evolved to also consume more plant material, when you consider the fact that people back then lived on a higher plant to meat ratio. I've seen 15 year old vegetarian dogs, though I personally don't agree with the practice. I think it's probably wise to give dogs some fruit and vegetables, because they do contain vitamins, and they probably help with digestion. Its hard to deny that a dog with an upset stomach does best with rice and chicken, as opposed to just the chicken.
  • schubesschubes
    Posts: 52
    Inoushi, yes Wolves will eat berries or melons or whatever they can get if hungry and no meat is readily available. Dogs (and wolves) teeth, digestive systems and their behaviors are genetically predisposed to being a carnivore. It is a very interesting subject to delve into.

    This website might be of interest to anyone who thinks they are dealing with food allergies and using commercial kibble. The dog food advisor has loads of interesting and helpful info about commercial food.
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/canine-nutrition/dogs-carnivores-omnivores/
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    @usntruongj You can try running a fine-tooth comb through his fur (especially near the bald spots) and see if you find any fleas or flea dirt. Just one more thing to try and rule out.

    Despite being on Frontline, Hammond had some itchiness so I ran a comb through the itchy spots and did find a flea once. (I didn't see anything when I just tried looking him over, but the comb found it)
    Post edited by Anna at 2012-01-10 13:49:42
  • @infernofox10- I have seen the vet twice on this issue...they said most likely it is dry skin due to the weather and constant weather change...(Maryland) I thought he might have been allergic to something in the Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice puppy so I am switching him to Wellness Puppy kibble...he likes it so far because I am putting less than a tsp. of salmon oil in his kibble. As far as his coat, he is still really thin....I'm worried..hopefully it's him losing his puppy coat...but he used to be a fluff ball, now he looks like a thin cat...
    @anna-He doesn't have any fleas, I've checked over and over...it's so odd...
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    usntruongj - I just noticed in your introduction thread that you said he came from Arkansas. Just curious what the name of your breeder is?
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  • @usntruongj - I'm in the same boat as you totally then. I'm thinking that Fira and I will just have to stay the course and we'll have to deal with the fur loss as it comes. Fira has a wirey outer fur coat on the front half of her body, and her full puppy coat on the back half. And her chest and belly that was covered in her puppy fur coat is nearly all gone now, replaced with a light wirey coat too.
    I've often read that Shiba Inus adapt really well to their environment. I have Fira in a 72 degree apartment all the time, with her taking short trips outside to potty. I'm wondering if she's shedding her puppy fur to adapt to her more temperate indoor climate since she spends so much time inside? Just a theory, and no idea if its remotely true.
  • @Foxylover -Breeder was Tommie Kremer. www.kremerkennel.com

    @InfernoFox10- This issue still hasn't gone away. I actually was blind and didn't see the Wellness Puppy had chicken and fowl in it too...so I changed to Blue Buffalo Lamb and Oatmeal today..I'm going to see how he does...and btw, this issue is still not over. He's still full of dry skin, dandruff, thinned hair..he doesn't look fluffy at all anymore..boyfriend actually said he looks like a dingo now...I don't know what's going on..a vet online suggested I give him an ivermectin shot to rule out sarcoptic mange..and he said he most likely has food allergies.
  • @usntruongj - That's really not good, I'm really sorry to hear that. I switched Fira to Blue Buffalo Longevity Puppy and since making the switch two weeks ago today, her fur has bene coming back, albeit more slowly. I can really tell the difference because her underside, which was completely bare of fur, is now coming back with a more urajiro (white) adult tone. I'm wondering if she was just losing her puppy fur, along with the change of the season (fall to winter) added onto the fact that she may have had a chicken or grain allergy. Right on my package it says no chicken or grain feeds in it. I'm really happy I made the switch. She was also just tested for mange this past week and it all came back negative.
    I'm really worried for your baby; hopefully the vet you see can finally suggest something that will help him. I'm hoping the food switch will help you as much as the switch helped us!
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    @usntruongj - I wondered if it was the same breeder I got Foxy from. Don't know if you've read any of my prior threads but Foxy had a lot of these problems when I first got her. The Vet first just thought it was dry skin and gave me a leave in conditioner to put on her after her bath. Then as the itching got worse, I took her off Chicken/Grain. But then noticed that she was missing patches of fur and it turned out that she had generalized mange and she had to go be dipped at the vets office every week for 6 weeks. She's great now, but it's a lot to go through and takes time to figure it all out.

    I see that you're already putting salmon oil on his food. Another thing I give Foxy in her food in addition to the salmon oil is Missing Link. Pet Co carries it.

    Hang in there. It's very disheartening I know.... you just want your baby to be healthy and happy.
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  • Update on everything: since switching Kobi Leo to Blue Buffalo lamb and oatmeal, his coat has came back in fuller...although he still has realllyyyyy bad dandruff....he's not really scratching anymore and I hope chicken allergies was a part of the problem...I'm hoping its not mange or anything...@infernofox10, i'm going to try to get him on longevity, but can puppies eat that too? And they have dry kibbles of that? I don't remember...@foxylover, I really hope it's not mange...also, i'm wondering if we got our babies from the same breeder, if so...we need to bring it to their attention...hoping he'll fully be normal again soon...
  • FoxyloverFoxylover
    Posts: 971
    I got Foxy from Brooklyn Hills kennel and trust me, it was brought to her attention and she reimbursed me for her medical bills that I incurred during that time.
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  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Just letting you know, generally you won't see the effects of a diet switch no earlier than two weeks to a month. If your dog suddenly looks better when you just switched its possible, it was from the food prior. When Kenshin lost fur due to an ineffective flea medication, it took four weeks for it to stop being dry and itchy. When I added salmon oil, it took a little over a month of constant use to see the effects. Hang in there, I know how frustrating it is to see your pup scratching like crazy, but its best to stick with it for a while, so you can pinpoint the solution.
  • @usntruongj - yes, its actually Longetivity Puppy.
    http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Buffalo-Longevity-Puppies-9-Pound/dp/B003P9XFSW/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327938176&sr=8-1-spell

    When I gradually switched Fira from her chicken-based puppy Bil-Jac to this, during the week period I was doing the switch she was scratching less and her fur started to look a little better. Then after a week of eating just this Blue Buffalo puppy food, her fur looked MUCH better, and now the last bit of puppy coat on her back legs and butt looks like crap compared to her new fur coat! She doesn't have dandruff that I can see, and when we had her tested for mange she came back clean.
  • hellocarohellocaro
    Posts: 137
    Hey guys, I'm reviving an old thread but Charlie's missing some fur near/around his elbows too. We have carpet in our room and he slides under our bed frame and night stands often so we were wondering if it could be from that? He was on Blue Buffalo (what the breeder fed him) and we just switched him to TOTW about a week and a half ago. He's 11 weeks and we were planning on asking the vet when we take him in for his next set of shots, but any help now would be great!

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  • INU RYUUINU RYUU
    Posts: 1507
    Could be losing his fluffy puppy coat. Could also be a fungal infection like ringworm. What is the condition of the skin? Red, scaly, etc.? Is he rubbing, licking or scratching it?
    犬竜
    Post edited by INU RYUU at 2012-05-21 20:23:25
  • glitchglitch
    Posts: 189
    if he's a new puppy maybe it's stress related? Kazu had some small patches of hair missing when he was around 15 weeks. We got him scraped since we suspected mange but turns out it wasn't. We just kept monitoring it and It grew back after a week or two.
  • hellocarohellocaro
    Posts: 137
    @Inu: his skin looks fine but he does scratch the area a lot. He can't lick it because it's where his elbows are but he's scratching and licking a lot everywhere else. We just thought it was allergies or he is shedding his puppy coat but wasn't sure and thought the missing patches are from rug-burns or something.

    @glitch: Thanks for the advice, we'll def. ask our vet to check for mange.
  • ShibaToshiShibaToshi
    Posts: 33
    Toshi is at 14 weeks and I'm seeing the same thing! At his elbows and a small patch that you can barely see behind his ear. His tummy/rib area is showing patches of hair missing too!
    I'm feeding him HALO Spot's Stew Salmon Recipet puppy food, I give him a couple carrots a day, his treats are Wellness and Pupperoni.

    Could it be the heat? It's really hot over here in CA. ):
  • Good to hear that Toshi isn't eating anything with chicken in it; that was our main problem. You are right around the age where your baby is losing his puppy fur and will be growing in his replacement coat. I think the coat won't come in nearly as thick because of the heat, but give it a few weeks and it should come in. To be safe, you can consult your vet and they can always have him tested for mange.
  • ShibaToshiShibaToshi
    Posts: 33
    I was feeding him chicken for about 3 weeks when I first got him, then I discovered this forum and quickly switched him to salmon!

    I'll get him checked asap! (:

    Thank you!
  • ShibaToshiShibaToshi
    Posts: 33
    I'm noticing greater amounts of hair loss from Toshi! It's like he has little bald spots on his body but you can see there's new hair growing. His legs are losing its fluff as well. Could it be just that?? Or should I be worried?? It's like little indents of missing hair.

    Is it because he's losing his puppy hair?

    I'll post photos once he gets the chance to behave.
  • Yes, I think he's probably just losing his puppy fur. It seems to come out in clumps at that time of their life, and it can be a bit scary! As a precaution, take him to the vet to rule out things like mange just in case.
  • RulikaiRulikai
    Posts: 10
    Hi,

    I'm having a similar 'problem' with my 11 1/2 week old pup. He's been scratching like crazy since we got him at 8 weeks. It has gotten so bad that his entire stomach and now most of his chest fur, a patch on his throat, the inner leg and elbow areas are completely gone! He's been scratching like crazy despite ointments, change of food to a hypoallergenic kibble and a short round of antibiotics. I got better after a week into the ointment,... but it seems it is starting to spread again. The areas which were itching the most, now without fur seem to be fine and don't bother him at all anymore. Skin is not infected or shows no signs of irritation other than that of continuous scratching. I hate to not be able to help him and see him completely ruin his gorgeous coat. In a couple of days we'll go back to the vet to get his last puppy shot and hear what's what. Some people have suggested that he has the puppy itches becasuse he might be blowing his puppy coat... but it seems like something else... He also bites and licks his paws a lot, at least more than a dog should, also rubs his face with his paws,... stool, appetite and energy level are all fine. It's just that damn scratching!

    Any thoughts anyone?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @Rulikai - Have you taken him to the vet about this?
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • RulikaiRulikai
    Posts: 10
    @sunyata - Oh yes, when we went for his second shot he also gave us a bag of hypoallergenic kibble, the ointment and the antibiotics... He took several scrappings but could not detect any signs of mange. He has also had his deworming treatment yet but it also did not help. The weird thing is, as I metioned earlier, his skin looks fine. Once the hair/fur is gone he doens't scratch that particular place anymore... I just don't want to end up with a bald shiba. On the bald patches the hair is growing back... ever so slightly.
  • @Rulikai - I second Sunyata's comment - has the vet been made aware of this issue? I could guess yes because your post stated he got on antibiotics. The most common reason I'm guessing would be that he's blowing his puppy coat. Then I'd venture to guess and have your vet check him out, particularly for mange. I know you mentioned a hypoallergenic kibble, but what is that made of? A lot of Shibas, including my own, are allergic to chicken or chicken-meal, so you may want to double check to see whats in there and work with your vet again to try and rule out food allergies of any kind.
    There's nothing worse seeing your poor baby miserable or sick with anything, and it can be doubly mystifying to have him with a full appetite & energy but sidelined so much with scratching.
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 23
    Hey, much belated, but "ditto" to what everyone else with ~11 week old puppies said. My pup, Kiko, has been scratching and itching like crazy, and has some bald patches on her legs, belly, and behind her ear. My guess is that it is a combination of puppy fur loss (undercoat is definitely coming out in full force), a mild staph infection (she's on antibiotics now), and a horrific seed tick bomb that we encountered (all ticks are dead now, but there are still some residual scabs). Her scratching has definitely decreased since I took her to the vet and got her on NexGard and antibiotics. But I see that a lot of people here are suggesting food allergies? Kiko is on TOTW Pacific Stream puppy formula. However, she does get treats that contain grain or chicken. Do you think that is an issue? What are some good treats that avoid potential allergens? For super high-value stuff, I use cheese and cooked salmon skins, but I like to have a stash of lower-value treats (i.e. BilJacs Little-Jacs) mixed in with her kibble for regular training sessions or positive reinforcement.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1269
    @kittyms - I think it would definitely take some time to discern if it were food allergies, environmental allergies, or something else... Maybe if the symptoms still exist after her infection or other irritants aren't present, you could consider looking into an elimination diet...but also, I think an elimination diet with a young puppy could be risky. You want to make sure they're getting all the variety of nutrients they need to grow and mature, and feeding such a restricted diet could be tough to do well for a growing pup. If you end up needing to go that route, I would definitely do it under the guidance of a dog nutritionist or vet. Have you talked to her breeder about it?

    I'm assuming this information is applicable to dogs too, but at least in the case of humans, we were taught in my Anatomy & Physiology class that food allergies usually have an immediate (from seconds to no more than 2 hours) immune response often affecting multiple organs. Like someone with a peanut allergy going into anaphylactic shock. While a food intolerance or sensitivity (to either a food, ingredient, or additive) is usually more mild and hard to pinpoint. For example, someone with lactose intolerance (not an allergy) might be able to consume a small amount of dairy, or might be able to take lactase-enzyme pills to replace the lack of lactase production in their body. So, I would pay attention to stuff like if the symptoms seem to worsen right after (or within a couple hours of) her mealtimes or having certain treats, or if there are any other immune system responses you are noticing (ears, eyes, nose, paws, airways...). With a food allergy, even if someone has only had mild reactions in the past, they can still be at risk for having an anaphylactic response if they are exposed to the allergen again. So if you do think it's related to a food allergy, do mention your concern to your vet. Her scratching decreasing seems like a good sign to me. It's not common for someone being exposed to substantial doses of an allergen to have diminishing symptoms. Usually, each time you're exposed, your body has a stronger immune response. Though I know there's like...immunotherapy where the idea is to desensitize the body to the allergen by exposing it to minuscule amounts of the allergen and slowly working up from there.

    I highlyyy recommend the treats called "Cheese Please," which are like just cooked bits of cheese (shoutout to @Zenki for recommending them to me). Their only ingredient is cheese, and they are 99% lactose free. I also really like the fish and venison treats by The Real Meat Co. Both are pretty easy to break / tear into small pieces for good training use.

    When I first got Ozzy, he used to scratch a bit at his tummy. He never really lost fur, but had a red tummy and seemed bothered by it. We had just moved into a new apartment, so the carpets had just been cleaned. I assumed it might be a chemical from that irritating him. His breeder recommended using a warm, damp cloth to pat down his tummy with a couple times a day and using witch hazel. His little itchy tummy thing didn't last for long at all.

    Nimh is 11 weeks old now, and she isn't scratching like crazy or anything. For a couple of days after she got her 2nd vaccination (on Tuesday), she was sometimes trying to itch the back of her neck / shoulders where she had gotten the shot. Now she seems quite back to normal.
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 23
    I asked the breeder, and she said Kiko was too young to be showing allergies (she just turned 13 weeks) and none of her dogs have them. She suggested it might be the fur changes, because she is still shedding. There doesn't seem to be any hair loss aside from the belly and back of her legs, and the skin looks normal, so I'm just going to keep monitoring her. She goes back to the vet in a week for another set of booster shots, so if she is still itchy then I will ask them about it again.
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1269
    @kittyms - good that skin seems normal. Most dogs I’ve seen with allergies are having skin problems / reactions that are causing the itchiness and fur loss. I definitely think it’s still worth bringing up to the vet when she goes for boosters just in case. Nimh is shedding a bit now too!! She isn’t itchy or anything, but when I brushed her there was some puppy fuzz coming off. :(( they’re growing up too fast!
  • kittymskittyms
    Posts: 23
    Just wanted to update for others who might have itchy puppies - the scratching is much reduced now at 15 weeks. She is growing back some rough guard hairs on her belly. Still sneezing when she just wakes up, but no more hair loss (other than shedding of puppy fuzz) and much less scratching.

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