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Ask the Veterinarian/Aussie with skin problem by eye


Hello, I have a 6 month old male Aussie who has some kind of skin issue at the corner of his left eye. He started showing symptoms of this a few days ago, and this morning, he has lost some hair in the area, it is a bit swollen and red and slightly irritated looking. His eyeball looks perfectly fine and his vision is fine. It's just the skin at the corner of his eye that looks irritated. He does not itch at it- he shows no sign whatsoever that it bothers him. Do you have any idea what it can be and what I can do about it? We live on a farm and he runs around outside a lot- especially in the tall grass. There are no cuts, abrasions, and it doesn't look like a bee sting because it's not that swollen. It's swollen alittle bit, but not enough for me to think it was a bee sting. The skin just looks somewhat flaky, reddish, and has lost it's hair- about 1 1/2 inches is the size of the patch of skin that's lost the hair. Could it be mange? I do have lime/sulfur dip- should I use that? I'm afraid I'll get it in his eyes, though. He is acting perfectly fine and eating like normal. Thank you!

My first thought was demodex mange, especially on the head of a 6 month old puppy.  Your vet will need to do a skin scraping of the affected skin and look at it under a microscope to see the mites to be sure.  If that is what it is, you could do some topical therapy, and near the eye that could cause problems.  Mange is usually all over the body and you are just seeing hair loss in one spot, so I usually recommend a whole body treatment with amitraz dip.   Because he is an Aussie, I would stay away from the ivermectin treatment you might read about because some Aussies are very sensitive to that type of treatment.  It could be something else entirely, and that's why you should let your vet evaluate this area.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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