I have an 8 week Fawn puppy whose skin is dry and flaky, and it looks like his hair is thinning. The vet recommended fish oil, but it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Can someone give me some advice to help my poor guy?
I'm dobebug, the one who owns 4x4 (John) dogs, grandsire. He's fawn and at 13 does have a full coat.
If your puppy is only 8 weeks it would be highly unusual for your puppy to be showing signs of CDA (color dilution alopecia)--usually even dogs who have serious CDA don't show signs of it as puppies--even at a year you would not be likely to see coat thinning. The dandruff can be from several other causes that have nothing to do with CDA but rather to puppy stuff. Some of the things have been suggested by other posters. And the best suggestion is that you take the puppy to see a allergist/dermatologist.
Unless that was a typo and he's really 8 months old not 8 weeks old here are a couple of suggestions that you probably shouldn't do without seeing a vet first--at least his own regular vet.
Don't put an 8 week old puppy on fish oil--what you are likely to get trying to dose a pup that young is a case of diarrhea. All my dogs are on fish oild (and Vitamin E--if you give fish oil you should be giving Vitamin E as well--200 iu per 1,000 grams of fish oil) but I don't start them on it until they are six months or over.
Have you had the puppy checked for possible worms? They can, in quantity ruin the look of a coat pretty quickly. You need a vet check for that. Fleas? Are you sure he isn't carrying a load of fleas? That'll ruin the look of a coat quickly.
What are you feeding him--he may not be eating an appropriate food. Good food will maintain a good coat but the bottom line is that genetics counts for more than anything else with dilute dogs when it comes to what kind of coat they'll have. You can do a lot of things to maintain what coat the dog is destined by his genetics to have but all the supplements, food etc will not make a dog have a good coat his genetics cause him to have CDA.
My fawn dog is from a breeder who has produced other dilute dogs--some of her early breeder were to dogs who carried the dilution gene and some of those dogs had pretty good coats. That helps a lot. I'd seen other dilute dogs (both fawn and blue) of her breeding and in general for dilutes they had pretty good coats so I was ahead of the curve when it came to what kind of coat my dog was likely to have as an adult.
How often are you bathing him? Bathing too often can and will cause dandruff and flaking skin--and if he is getting bathed often he should be getting bathed with a shampoo that is designed to deal with whatever condition he's getting lots of baths. Also you should use cool (nearly cold) water to bathe him--do not scrub his with brushes, your finger nails--use thinned down shampoo on a clean sponge or washcloth and apply the shampoo gently in the directing the hair lies--use cool water to rinse--rinse twice as long as you shampoo--shampoo left on the coat will cause irritation of hair follicles, cause itching and dandruff.
By the way--fish oil, given to improve coats takes weeks to months to show the effects--at 8 weeks your puppy can possibly have been on it long enough for you to see results.
And I'll ask once more--is he really only 8 weeks?
Good luck with your puppy, hopefully the dandruff and flaking is not the onset of CDA--but even 8 months is on the young side to be seeing actually thinning hair on a dilute puppy.