How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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The German Shepherd is a prolific shedder – which means they shed year-round and especially twice a year when they blow their fur. This high rate of shedding in German Shepherds is totally natural, although it could become a nuisance if uncontrolled.
Pattern of hair loss – Generalized hair loss could be a sign of mange or bacterial infection. Patches of hair loss could indicate conditions like ringworm, bacterial infection, mites, or mange. Hair loss in the rump and tail base area is often due to a flea allergy.
Biotin: Dogs with this vitamin H deficiency have a dull coat, flaky skin, and hair loss. In one study, 60% of the dogs given a high dose of biotin (5 mg/10 kg/day) improved when given this vitamin even though they did not all have biotin deficiency.
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Hair loss can also be caused by mites on the skin, external parasites or even skin and fungal infections. These may cause red bumps or sores to appear on the skin in addition to the hair loss and coat changes. Your vet can take a skin scraping of the area to check for mites and infections, and a preventive flea treatment can remove any external parasites. If an infection or mites are present, your vet can also prescribe an antibiotic or topical cream to treat.
After any treatment it may take a month or two for completely bald patches to grow back in. This is normal as the skin and follicles need some time to heal prior to beginning the hair growth cycle again.
Was a biopsy performed on the testicle? Because intra-abdominal testicles frequently turn into Sertoli cell tumors, which also cause symmetrical hair loss. If a biopsy was performed you should know for sure whether that was the cause of the hair loss or not. If the testicle wasn’t cancerous and removing it did not resolve the hair loss then the next step is a skin biopsy, unfortunately. Sounds frustrating – good luck.
If you are seeing patches of hair loss, or any other signs of illness in addition to excessive shedding, then scheduling a senior wellness exam with your local vet is always best to check for aging-related issues which may be causing hair loss or other symptoms.
There are a few bladder abnormalities that can contribute to UTIs, including urachal diverticulum (a little pouch or out-cropping of the bladder) and ectopic ureters (the ureters do not enter the bladder at the appropriate spot). On the outside, she could have a redundant vulvar fold, which is predisposing her to trapping fecal matter at her vulva, and the bacteria is ascending up to her bladder and causing recurrent UTIs.
The other possibility of that she got a UTI initially and it was never treated appropriately, i.e. The appropriate antibiotic wasn’t used and it never really resolved, but it seems like it’s coming back. I think this is less likely, as it’s really uncommon to begin with to see UTI’s in dogs this young. I also once saw a 4 month old dog with bladder cancer, but that’s incredibly rare and I think highly unlikely in your dog.
Your question got cut off at the end but it sounded like you were about to say that she may have kidney problems. If that’s right clearly this is becoming a serious problem for her.
Your dog needs a competent vet to work up this problem. It’s likely that she’s going to need some advanced imaging, including possibly an x-ray procedure called a cystogram and possibly an ultrasound. You might consider taking her to a veterinary internal medicine specialist at this point, if one is available in your area.
If your dog checks out healthy, other things could be causing his change in behavior. If he is not neutered and is reaching puberty (usually around 7-8 months of age, though it does vary by breed), he may be starting to have a marking behavior. This is when a male dog lifts his leg and leaves just a little bit of urine behind to mark that he was there. Neutering can sometimes help stop or decrease the behavior though it may take several months for results as it takes some time for the surge in hormones to leave the body. Stress, or anxiety if another dog or person in the house may also make the behavior appear as a dog tries to claim his place in the household, or if he is stressed out by another pet.
Be sure to also clean any accident areas with an enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners are designed to break down urine particles and remove scent, making it so your dog cannot smell where he has had an accident before. This can sometimes prevent dogs from repeatedly urinating on an area they had staked out before.