Ask the Veterinarian/loss of hair


My beautiful chiauaha male is 14 going on 15. He is very well taking care of and very much loved. Lately i noticed he has patches of hair missing on his back and leg. Being an older dog should his food be changed. Or should he have vitiamns. He's not itchy. He runs and plays like a puppy still.
thanks Cynthia.

Hi Cynthia,
This is a fairly tricky question to answer as there are a number of causes of hair-loss. If it is not itchy, it is less inclined to be allergies.

If it is a food allergy, usually they will be a little itchy, lick their feet and have redness and inflammation of the skin, so I don't think it will improve with a diet change.

I do like to give older dogs fish oils and supplements for arthritis like PAW Osteosupport, which has green lipped muscle. Great for arthritis, inflammatory disease, the coat (but will not cause hair regrowth unfortunately) and the immune system.

In older dogs thyroid disease and Cushing's disease will cause the type of hair-loss you describe. You can diagnose these with blood tests through your vet. Both area easily treatable diseases. He probably also needs to be checked for mites.

Where are you? Do you have a vet nearby?


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Eloise Bright


I am a vet with a special interest in dermatology, particularly allergic dogs and cats, behaviour and acupuncture. I work mainly with dogs and cats. If you are wondering why your pet is still itchy, despite good flea control, or why your dog licks his feet, I may be able to give you some solutions. I'm currently very passionate about behaviour and am doing some further education in this area. So if you have a troubling behaviour with your dog or cat, such as barking, leash reactivity, anxiety or a dog who is a little wild and difficult to control, I may be able to help you with some solutions.


I work in an area of Sydney where we see lots of allergic pets. I think behaviour problems are very common and I help a number of owners find solutions that will restore peace to them and their pets. Currently I enjoy answering questions, providing advice and writing pet care articles for

I graduated as a vet from Sydney Uni in 2006 and have since been completing my Masters in Small Animal Practice and am also updating my skills with a behaviour course through Sydney Uni.

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