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Dr Megan
Dr Megan, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 136
Experience:  Expert
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My black Labrador has had dry flaky bits on the top of his

Customer Question

My black Labrador has had dry flaky white bits on the top of his back and it’s really itchy for him. It’s getting worse and has spread down to his sides
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice the itchiness? Has the Labrador been licking or rubbing the skin?
Customer: about a month ago, he has been biting and scratching it quite a few times a day
JA: And what's the Labrador's name and age?
Customer: othello and he is 7
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Othello?
Customer: He has over extended tendons on all 4 of his limbs
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.
Hello, I am Dr Megan and I will be helping you this evening. 

I am sorry to hear that Othello is having skin issues.

Could you send me some photos of his skin? you can attach them directly onto the chat box using the paper clip sign.

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
It’s usually a lot worse than that but I have been trying to brush it away however it just comes back with a vengeance
Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.

I have some general questions about his health:

  • How is his appetite?
  • Does he drink more water recently or just normal?
  • Do you have rabbits at home?
  • when did the problem with his tendons start? Was there an injury or did this just start?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
His appetite is normal
He is drinking slightly more than normal
No rabbits at home but I have another dog
He was born with the tendon problem but it was only picked up when he was a year old and started emergency intense hydrotherapy and still swims once a week now
Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.

Ok thank you for the information.

Lots of things could be causing the dry flaky skin on his back such as:

- Dry skin (from a change in diet/environment/new shampoo/old age/ other condition)

- Parasites e.g. Cheyletiella mites cause dandruff like flakes along the back.

- Endocrine (e.g. diabetes, under active thyroid/hypothroidism))

- Many other conditions.

Do you think he is showing any signs of an uderactive thyroid?

  • Lethargy or dull mentation
  • Inactivity or unwillingness to exercise
  • Weight gain
  • Cold intolerance or heat seeking

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I have already changed his food twice over the past few months but it has made absolutely no difference so it’s definitely not his diet
Personally I think it’s something like lice or mites and I am just worried that they will spread to my other dog
What kind of medication do you suggest I give him??
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He has absolutely no signs of an under active thyroid
Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.

ok thats good no obvious signs of underachieve thyroid.

Would you say his coat is greasy? or just flakey skin?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Just really flaky like some one has dropped a bag of flour on him
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I tried rubbing coconut oil into his skin but that made no difference either
Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.

Lice are small but can be seen easily on the hair/skin. They aren't that common in dogs, usually only dogs living outside.

Mites such as Cheyletiella mites, also known as walking dandruff. Other mites (sarcoptes, demodex) usually cause hair loss and itching.

I would advise a vet appointment so they could take a sample of hair/flakes to check for mites and lice, and decide best treatment. For example ivermectin injection or stronghold spot on (selamectin) which is not licensed for cheyletiella but is effective against it. A vet would need to discuss a safe dosing schedule for him.

If no mites are found then this is likely a hormonal change causing his skin barrier to not work well. Medicated shampoos are often useful if no parasites are found. For example: DOUXO® S3 SEB Shampoo used twice weekly for 3 weeks, then reduced to once weekly, then reduced again. 

Expert:  Dr Megan replied 18 days ago.

Hope this has helped, let me know If you have any further questions.