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Ask A Vet!!
  • ProspectProspect June 2011

    We are pleased to introduce the "Ask A Vet" feature to Post your dog-related health questions and curiosities here. Once a month Dr. Kelly Hogan will select a few questions to answer. Those answers and more information about Dr. Kelly Hogan can be found at

  • vanessavanessa June 2011

    What causes extreme shedding? I brush my dog Clyde daily and when done looks like I sheared a sheep! He is part Belgian Malinois and something else?? I have tried supplements but nothing seems to help. Wondering about castor oil--what do you think? Advice much appreciated!

  • Hi Doc! Our dog Whiskey has some skin issues. He's a huskyish rescue a little over two years old and had terrible skin and coat when we got him (one year in a cage with no bath and malnourished will do that to you!). We got a better food (blue wilderness), invested in regular grooming, and some of the problems subsided. He still gets the itchies (no fleas) but the worst place seems to be his front elbows. Under the fur they are red, scaly, and the fur looks almost as dried out as the skin. What can I do to help him? He also has terribly red eyes but he never scratches them. I wonder if that's part of his "sensitive skin" package? Thanks for your advice!

    Itchy Elbows in Alabama.

  • My boxer and pit bull mix also have the same problem with sensitive skin. We live in Florida and I had to switch foods several times until I found something that agreed with them externally AND internally LOL! We settled on Iams Lamb & Rice (for sensitive skin) and they get no people food (except for the occcasional thievery when my back is turned) and only milk bone treats. The boxer started out with a very strange itchy scaly patch on her back, which we finally got cured with salmon oil on her food and applied to her back (the bald patch grew back with gray hair - how strange) and we use oatmeal shampoo for them. I started trying Comfortis rather than Advantage or Frontline - I thought it might be affecting them, but they still have strange itchy patches. The most significant one appears to be in the belly button area (theirs not mine haha). They will scratch it and chew it until it bleeds sometimes. They also have the front elbow patchiness, and the pit bull mix has HORRIBLE tail problems. Right at the base of her tail she will chew it until it is scabby and yuckified - along with a patch on her tail. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

    Thanks so much - itchmescratchmedogs in Florida

  • loboluvr July 2011

    Shedding is my question also. I have a mastiff, she sheds all year round. During winter vet said "dry heat" shedding cuz of heat and of course they shed in summer. Shedding comes naturally so I am a little leary of trying deshedding shampoo or something like that. I even asked a vet if it could be something in her diet. My daughter also has a boxer and this poor dog needs to go to get shot once a month. Itches himself til he is raw and bloody. Tried different food etc., doesn't seem to help. He gets no treats or ppl food, unless he sneaks into the garbage of course..

  • Phyl July 2011

    Does shaving a dog during the summer really help them to stay cool? I have heard that leaving the coat can actually insulate them from heat.
    I have a sheltie/chow who inherited the lushest coats of both breeds - he looks like a sheltie with a bad hair day - poof! I have had him shaved several times before and it takes almost 2 years two grow back in - it grows slowly back in strange mangy looking clumps. He doesn't tolerate heat very well and I want to do what is best for him. What is your opinion?

  • RescueGangRescueGang July 2011

    I have a very strange thing going on. My lab mix is eating dirt, but not just any dirt. She will go to my neighbors house and there is one spot in her yard that has very fine dirt. They has lived there for over 12 years and they have NEVER pour any grease or anything in that area that might attract her to it. She will eat it by the mouth full at least 3 times a week. This is the only place/dirt she will eat. I have taken a sample of it to have it analyzed to see what minerals etc. are in it but have not gotten that back yet. Can you tell me Why would she be eating dirt ?

  • AnnieAnnie August 2011

    We also have a shedding problem. Annie is a yellow lab ans seems to have decided to grow her winter coat then shed, then grow again, then shed again. We are in SW MO and with the heat this year, I have no idea why the winter coat problem. Her food (nutra)/treats(all natural)/activity(get the ball!, etc) is all the same. Any ideas?

  • Diane7 September 2011

    I have a 1yr Tabby Point Siamese that has a small dog problem. "Kimba" has a Medial luxating right patella, grade II. His upper leg is slightly bowed so it doesn't line up with the lower leg and the grove that the patella glides in is shallow. He doesn't need surgery yet, but told I should have him exercise his legs to strengthen his muscles, like building a tall cat tree and see if that will help to keep the patella from popping out. He said that surgery is only needed if it is a stage 3 or 4 and he wasn't sure that would help since the bones are so small. The bones on my Chihuahua are too, so I don't understand, if my kitty might need surgery in the future, why this might not help. Have you heard of any cats with this problem and what has or hasn't helped? Thanks for answering this question that is sorta dog related!

  • lulusmom October 2011

    I have a 13-14 year old Lhasa Apso. This summer, our a/c went out for a day or two and I thought she had gotten hot spots from that. She had sores under where her harness went on her back so I took her to the vet who gave her a shot for the itching. She was good for about a month after that, then got the sores came back and all over her chest and back. The vet put her on cephalexin(SP?) and told me to keep her on it for about a week after she clears up. She had a staph infection from some other infection, he said. It's about a month and a half later, and now it's back. This time she's licking herself incessantly. I have her back on the cephalexin and have taken out her bed and given her a new white blanket that I can bleach once she clears up. I bought a special shampoo for itchy skin, but when she's done being bathed, she tries scratching by rolling on the floor and just looks so uncomfortable! She's on Beneful and has been for close to 5 years. Could it be that she has a food allergy or is it just that I didn't keep her on the antibiotics long enough? Please help!

  • Zippy October 2011

    I was adopted by an energetic Plott Hound pup almost a year ago; she is now about 18 months old, around 50 pounds, and healthy as can be. We had hoped to take her with us on short trips (usually under 2 hours drive time) for camping and other outdoor fun, but she becomes horribly motion sick even after just 15 minutes, whether in the back seat of the car or in the back seat of our quad cab truck. What can we do to prevent motion sickness, or to treat it once it begins? We have tried frequent stopping, keeping water available at all times, and that has not helped. We have wondered if over-the-counter products such as Dramamine or Pepto-Bismol are safe for dogs?