Was it the frequent bathing?
Towards the end of December, I stopped sending Kip to daycare. Not because I felt that it was a bad place or anything, but because I noticed how much Kip’s hair had thinned out. My initial thought was that the hairloss was due to the weekly baths after his day at daycare. Kip shares my bed and it was not on option to not give Kip a bath after daycare because of the strong smell of the daycare (cleaning chemicals, dogs) and the slobber crusted all over his fur at the end of the day. So I stopped taking Kip to daycare. 3 weeks later, I did not see much improvement.
After a trip to the vet
I took Kip to the vet and was not satisfied with the answer I recieved. The vet wanted to test Kip for two types of skin diseases, which would have been fine except the vet didn’t think he actually had those diseases because usually they come with noticable rashes. The only reason the vet wanted to have the tests done was for “process of elimination.” The second thing the vet wanted me to try was again, process of elimination for allergies. She wanted me to try hypoallergenic dog food and find out which ingrediant Kip may be potentially allergic to. I would need to keep Kip on a strict diet with no treats for a certain period of time. With Kip enrolled for a training class in February, I would have to wait until the class was over to start it. I thanked the vet, politely declined to do the tests and left. If there is one thing my own experience with any sort of illness has taught me, is that it’s always good to seek a second opinion.
Was it the harness?
This is Kip’s neck (right under his throat). Because the fur loss is on other parts of his body and his harness does not actually touch that part of his neck, I don’t believe that it’s any sort of collar irritation. Kip doesn’t wear his harness indoors and only wears it when we go for a walk, so that is another reason I don’t think that is an issue.
A discovery at Mud Bay
In looking for other options to pet stores besides the huge Pet Smart and Petco, I found a few different chains and local stores in my area. One of the chains was called Mud Bay that appears to be native to Washington state. What I liked about Mud Bay was their more cozy store layout and how their staff seemed very interested in the nutrition involved in dog food. They also had various free informational pamplets (you can also read their pamplets online if you don’t live in Washington). One of the pamplets I picked up was titled “How to Help Dogs with Itchy Skin.” What immediately caught my attention was the following exerpt:
Only 1 in 20 itchy dogs is truly allergic. Most veterinary nutritionists now believe that only about one in twenty itchy dogs is actually allergic to any of the ingredients commonly found in high-quality natural dog foods. For the large majority of dogs with itchy skin, the problem is that the dog’s diet doesn’t meet all of its nutritional needs, or that the dog has built up an intolerance to something in the food, not that the dog is allergic to a specific ingredient.
I was happy to learn that Kip’s problem may not be allergies and have decided to look a bit more into Kip’s nutrition status. I’ve been doing some research on Kip’s food this past week that I’ll be posting shortly.