>Off the Beaten Path>Dog stress or allergy?
Loves the outdoors
I have been away for a week and my beloved dog has been in kennels. I picked him up to find that he has lost several patches of hair around his head and his whole head in general looks less fluffy. A couple of patches are down to the skin and have some scabbing. I'm really very worried that this is a stress reaction and that he has been rubbing his head a lot and this has caused these issues. It's never happened before, but he does exhibit a few behaviours at kennels that he doesn't at home. Including 1) very bad toileting behaviour, i.e going anywhere in his cage, 2) Mega humping of other dogs.
The kennels took my dog to our vet and they thought he's been rubbing a lot and to keep the wounds clean, but the kennels thought he was allergic to something. His diet did change to a natural raw food diet, but he was exposed to less vegetation than on our normal trail runs. They only have normal grass at kennels. He does sometimes react to some plants on his tummy, getting red and itchy. This skin that is exposed is not red at all and looks fine apart from I can see it when I shouldn't.
I've had a cat in the past go so nuts that it chewed off the end of his tail so that bone was all that was there. Hideous! He ended up on valium, so I am probably a bit more sensitive to the psychological issues than most.
To add, the Kennels think he isn't stressed when he's there and seems happy enough playing with other dogs. He does hate being left at home alone and as my husband and I work from home and he gets a run with me every day, kennels is a biggish change. But then I guess it is a big change for any dog. I had thought he enjoyed playing with the other dogs, but I am wondering if I'm kidding myself.
Does anyone have any thoughts? Any ideas as to what we could try? My step-sister is getting married in November overseas, but the thought that this will happen again to my dog is a real concern and I don't know whether I can leave him in kennels again but life does go on for us and we can't never go away again.
My dog had a similar thing happen when I boarded her a couple years ago, but it was on her neck rather than her head. It was what they called hot spots, although I would think your vet would have identified them immediately if that's what they are. I don't know what they are caused by, but heat, humidity, stress, and rubbing or licking the area seem to be the things that trigger whatever it is that causes them. For her it was in the upper 90s and humid all week, she has severe separation anxiety issues, and I never keep a collar on her other than the pincher collar when I take her for walks or runs, and she licks her neck when in full blown separation anxiety mode. It looked terrible. The hair was falling out, but the sores were open for the most part rather than scabbed. The vet shaved her neck, gave me an antibiotic lotion to apply 3 times a day, and Cephalexin 500mg twice a day (80lb rottie/lab mix), and it got much better in just a couple days, but still took about a month before all the scabs fully healed. The vet told me that Benadryl can help to prevent it. Don't know if it's the same thing, but figured I'd chime in.
Maggie & Molly
my Sabby never had any issues with kenneling until my kennel was doing some renovations. during his stay there was some banging, etc and he became anxious. He didn't lose hair but he did chew at his tail quite a bit and gave himself a raw spot. Once home for a bit he left it alone and it healed. We hired home dog sitters after that.
"It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop."Wisdom of Confucius