My 12-year-old Australian Shepherd/Greyhound mix has had a serious skin ailment for almost a year now, somewhat similar to this post:
- red rash on various parts of his body (at different times, on his underbelly, back, snout, ears, and under his front legs)
- yellow flakes, sometimes in areas with the rash, sometimes elsewhere
- hair loss where the flakes are worst
- major itchiness
The problems began around September of last year, two or three weeks after I took my dog with me on a visit to my parents. Within about a month, my mom noticed that one of her dogs had the exact same symptoms. (Her other dog died not long after of unrelated causes, but never had the same skin issues.)
Since then, both dogs have been to the vet several times. They've been given steroids and antibiotics, which only work to reduce the symptoms for a few weeks at a time. Both my vet and my mom's vet say this is probably caused by allergies, but I'm skeptical. The timing is just too suspicious.
- Neither dog has had allergy issues in the past (one dog is 12, the other 16)
- Both dogs were on the same diet (Beneful) until around April of last year. Now they are on entirely different diets. My dog has to eat Royal Canin Urinary SO for the rest of his life to prevent a recurrence of bladder stones
- They live 150 miles apart and only meet once every few months
- Both dogs had skin scrapings taken and no mites were found
- Neither dog has fleas
- My parents got a younger dog in November, but that dog has shown no skin problems, even after eight months of being around the older dog
It's clearly not contagious, but I also have a hard time believing that two dogs with no history of allergies, who live over a hundred miles apart and eat different food, would suddenly start having allergies within a month of each other.
Is there anything else that could cause this besides allergies?