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No Fur On My Dog’s Butt! and Chemicals on My Pet

July 3, 2011

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Itchy, Red Skin on a Dog Demystified

“We tried everything, and we just don’t know how to make Maisie’s skin feel better!” said the 6-year-old Labrador-Shepherd mixed-breed dog’s mom. “We bathed her, gave her special holistic food, we read about benadryl on the internet and tried that, our friend’s dog had some left-over fish oil capsules we used; she’s going crazy and we don’t want steroids!”

Doc Truli was looking at a sweet, calm, miserable yellow lab/german shepherd mixed breed dog.  Her sad brown eyes focused on Doc’s right hand because she was hoping for another dog biscuit.

The front half of Maisie looked normal.  Even her ears looked healthy and light pink inside.  Her thick, short lab-shepherd fur shed easily, but that’s normal for her breeds.  Doc’s physical examination reached the tail end of the dog.

“See these bald spots on either side of her tail?” asked Doc.

“No, we didn’t see that,” said Maisie’s mom.

“Well, take a look.  There are bald spots on either side of her tail, right at the base of it.  Her anus is red and sore, and she has eruptions of grey-scabbed round sores under the fur up her back a few centimeters,” said Doc Truli,”this pattern is typical of a flea allergy dermatitis.”

“But we never see fleas!”

“But we never see fleas,” said Maisie’s mom, “And we have her on a topical flea product we got on the internet.”

Thin, Balding Fur by Your Dog or Cat’s Tail Equals Fleas

Veterinary dermatologists tell us thin, balding fur and little red and scabbed sores under the fur by the tail base means fleas 95% of the time.  95%!!!

Thin fur, no fur, or red, itchy sore spots by the tail base, or down the hind legs in a dog signals flea allergies

The bald butt of a flea allergic dog

So, before you get confused and overwhelmed and frustrated about what may be causing your dog or cat to itch, if the pattern is Tail-Base, Back of the Thighs, and/or Red, Sore Belly skin, the problem is fleas!

Food allergies are estimated to be only 10% of itchy pets.  Other allergies make the face, paws and ears itch.  Fleas make the butt and belly itch.

Focus on Fleas

You would think we would have fleas figured out.  The truth of the matter is, fleas are tricky.  They are highly successful life forms that excel at survival.  And survival means drinking blood from mammals in order to ovulate and lay 50-100 eggs a day that drop off the animal and look like dust.

  • Clean the environment, mopping hardwood or tile floors cleans out many, many flea eggs and their dormant cocoon state
  • Discourage strays and wildlife from living on your property where the pets roam
  • Use products that contain IGR “Insect Growth Regulator” to stop the eggs and cocoons from hatching and kill the adult fleas.
  • Visit you veterinarian for the new prescription flea products that work much, much better than the old topicals; you will be amazed!
  • Your pet can stay frantically itchy for 2 weeks after the last flea is gone.  You may need veterinary help calming the itch fire.  You can try a soothing Oatmeal and Aloe bath at home for relief.

#1 Argument That Keeps Pet Parents From Solving the Flea Problem

“But I don’t want chemicals on my dog (or cat)!”

Doc Truli hears this every day.  It’s awesome that people are starting to realize that chemicals may challenge the body, the environment, and the health of the planet.  The concern about flea treatments is out of proportion and misplaced.  Here’s what Doc means:

  • The food bag your pet’s food comes in is probably laced with preservative BHA or BHT, even if the label says “organic”
  • The cans your pet’s food comes in probably has BPA to line the can or to soften the flip top (that’s the chemical that disrupts estrogen in humans and their daughters)
  • Your pet’s nose is at exhaust-pipe, appliance exhaust, and dust level all day long
  • Your pet probably does not wipe his or her paws before coming in the house, but then she or he licks the paws and eat the toxins from outside!
  • You love you household cleaning products and good-smelling candles and disinfectants.  Your pet is 1000’s of times more sensitive to smell than you are, yet you think your house is clean when it smells good.  Even organic candles and cleaners release toxins and carcinogens.
  • Your pet has been heavily genetically modified.  Probably more than the GM corn and soy he or she eats. (What do you think selective breeding really is?)
  • So, are you still going to let a little “chemicals” stand in the way of finally solving that flea problem?
Doc Truli says, “Think carefully before you decide you don’t want “chemicals” to solve your pet’s flea problem.”

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