Dealing with External Parasites

Animal: Dog
Breed: St. Bernard

Pet Symptoms: Lately I have noticed she is still losing a lot of hair, I know they lose hair but this has been going on for nearly 5 weeks she has a bald patch on her neck where you can see her skin, she has lost a lot of weight but appetite is still really good, she has a few dark crusted spots on her body and something that looks like a skin tag on her stomach next to her nipples, it actually looks like a nipple but its not and she has few white spots on her stomach which are raised, she always looked depressed no matter who is with her until I come in from work then she wont leave my side, could you please let me know what you think is the matter with Kia.

Our Advice: I’d firstly ensure that she is up to date with all her worming and flea treatments. External parasites such as fleas, mites and ticks are sometimes very hard to see and are the most common cause of itchy, inflamed, dry and balding patches of skin that we see. If she is up to date with these, then it may be worth taking her to see your vet to examine her closely and possibly running a blood test to check her general health – as some illnesses can cause external signs with the skin such as you describe, including thyroid illness, allergies, adrenal illness etc.

The nipple does look like just that – a nipple, but could be a skin tag or some sort of growth – I would investigate further if it starts to change, or feels unusual around it – the vet might discuss these options with you depending on how it feels to them.

I also not that she is unspayed/not neutered – some cases of skin problems can relate to hormones in entire dogs. There is also an increased risk of mammary growths/tumors and uterine infections in entire female dogs that is worth checking her for when you see the vet too.