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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17878
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My adopted Retired Racing Greyhound suffers from hair loss

Customer Question

My adopted Retired Racing Greyhound suffers from hair loss on thighs and around buttocks area.
We have been advised to use Benzyl Benzoate. Comments Please!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that your retired racer has hair loss on the thighs and buttocks.Is this area of the skin very itchy for him? Is it red and irritated? Or is there just hair loss and some scaling?If it is not itchy then this pattern of hair loss is extremely common with these pups. Some of it is due to chronic wear on those areas against cage sides and bars, and transport carriers, and some of it is likely an extreme variation of a normal coat pattern for this breed. They tend to have very thin coats in general, with a very fine or even sometimes missing undercoat. These areas are poorly haired in many breeds but the pattern is exaggerated in these dogs. If your pup is recently off the track then the stress of racing and inadequate nutrition may be a contributing factor as well.If a skin biopsy is taken it will show the hair follicles in that area aren't active. There isn't usually a treatable disease behind this coat pattern.It may help to use a follicle flushing shampoo like Pyoben to help clean out any debris in the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.It may also help to supplement with an oral omega 3 fatty acid supplement. These are extremely important is skin and coat health and are natural anti-inflammatories so they are helpful if some of this is related to rubbing or trauma to the hair follicle. I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 40mg of EPA per kilogram of body weight per day. For example a 40 kilogram dog could take 1600mg of EPA per day. Benzyl Benzoate is one of the older preparations used to treat scabies. Scabies is a skin infection caused by the mite sarcoptes scabiei. Dogs with Scabies have severe itching (particularly at night when they aren't distracted by other things), red spots, and may develop a secondary bacterial infection. In dogs this mite is normally found on the ears, elbows, bottom of the chest, although it time it can become generalized (all over the body). It would be very unlikely to be found just on the thighs and buttocks in the dog.Benzyl benzoate is lethal to this mite and so it could be used in the treatment of scabies. It could also used to treat lice infestation. Benzyl benzoate is not the treatment of choice for scabies however due to its irritant properties. It can cause skin burns and raw areas on your pup. I would not recommend using it for a couple reasons. Greyhounds have very sensitive, thin skin as it is and I would worry that this could cause more damage then good. Also given the pattern of hair loss, especially if he doesn't seem very, very itchy makes it unlikely that he has Sarcoptes in the first place.If he was diagnosed with Scabies there are much better and more effective treatments available.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.