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Denver ER Doc
Denver ER Doc, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 1495
Experience:  Small Animal Medicine and Surgery Internship, Veterinary Acupuncture trained, Wildlife and Exotics
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My shihtzu puppie is 4 months old and his coat is very thin

Customer Question

My shihtzu puppie is 4 months old and his coat is very thin and he is shedding a lot... What can be the problem? I don't bath him to often and wit an oatmeal based dog shampoo please can you help
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 4 years ago.
Hi thre,

Does Django have any problems with itching, redness, flakiness, oiliness, or other problems with the skin, or just thin fur and shedding?

Any problems with watery or red eyes, chewing on paws, discolored fur?

What foods did you switch from/to?

Did this start before or after the oatmeal baths?

Dr. Paul
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He has had the problem before I started using the oatmeal shampoo ... His coat is very dry as my local vet told me ... Other was previously on bakers dog food but I have only recently changed it to royal canine from the vets . The thinning of the fur and shedding started before I made the switch ... He does scratch and lick his back paws a lot and they have discoloured as well .. He has just been flees and wormed and my local vet said he hasn't got fleas
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 4 years ago.
OK, thanks for the information.

What you are describing (the reason I asked the questions) sounds like allergies. Unfortunately, small breeds like shih tzus are pretty notorious for them. Scratching, and particularly chewing on the back feet and causing discoloration, accompanied by the dry skin, thinning fur, and shedding are all fairly supportive of it.

Once you have ruled out parasites, and it sounds like you have, common culprits are food and environmental agents.

You have a few options. To notice a difference from a change in food takes about 4-6 weeks. If you can keep the itch under control until then (your vet may prescribe an antihistamine or steroid), you may see a difference. Otherwise, you can try a hypoallergenic diet (ask your vet) to see if that alleviates the problem.

If you can't pin it on food and fix the problem with diet, the next step in a dog so young would be allergy testing. It can be a bit pricy, which is why most people will try diet first, but it is worth the money at that point because she has a lot of years ahead of her. Finding the underlying cause and doing some desensitization therapy may well cure her of it.

Hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Dr. Paul
Expert:  Denver ER Doc replied 4 years ago.
Hi Jaydee,

Can I answer any more questions for you? If not, would you please do me a favor and click "Accept" so that the question is clered from my queue? I am still available for anything else you need.

Dr. Paul