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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Is this normal? Zeus has always had thinner/finer fur on his underside and I figured it was a short-haired dog thing. But Im attaching a pic (I hope...Im using my cell so not sure if it'll work) for your convenience.
We're still battling patchiness on his neck. :( We've gotten into the habit of leaving his collar off unless we're taking him out somewhere, but his neck still seems irritated. When we last took him to the vet, they said it wasnt bacterial and suggested not using his prong collar (we havent since early January), washing his collars, and gave us some sort of anti itch spray. Admittedly, I stopped using the spray about 2 weeks after getting it because he had stopped itching, but now he's scratching again and I'm pretty sure that combined with when we do put his collar on is irritating him again.

I've started giving allergy medication again. That seemed to help a bit last time.

Any suggestions on different collar types? His is a regular fabric one from the pet store. Would a different material be less irritating to his neck? And is his belly area normal for a dobie?
 

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Eva 10 y/o Dobe HADR, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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Gamer,

Here are some pics of Spock's belly hair for comparison to Zeus's. I only get occasional pics of his belly when he's sleeping, otherwise I'm rubbing belly when he rolls over for obedience reward! Spocks belly hair is thin around his legs, maybe cause he always moving when outside- loves to run. :2smile:

Looks like Zeus might have some belly hair thinning going on. We have found that flea reaction in summer time will cause our Dobes to scratch thin areas into coat. Both ours are on Bravecto during warmer months to prevent this. I also brush in Cedarcide topically about every 2 weeks. We use leather collars and nylon web harnesses for walking. Prong collars have caused thin hair on neck area when used frequently (not for us anymore except on Eva/Spock when DW walking in public park, lots of dogs walking opposite way on trails)

I believe leather is preferred collar/harness material as it doesn't tend to catch and pull hairs out in weave pattern. Additionally, it is safer to leave all collars off when in house or fenced yard, because they can get caught on fences, etc. Also when Dobes are playing and wrestling (rough housing) with other Dobes/Dogs they can break teeth on other dogs collars.


Spock's Belly Pic 1- Living Life of Riley on Fav Sofa



Spock's Belly Pic 2- Spread Eagle on Bed
 

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The hair up front on his belly does look thin, but I'd have a hard time believing that it was caused by an itchy collar. I could see a collar causing thin hair in the neck area - and have seen that.

I would start with a thyroid panel to rule out a low thyroid.
Several years ago, I went through an itchy patch with two of my dogs, and found that when I switched kibble from a chicken based kibble to a fish based kibble (with no chicken), it totally cleared up. So if you rule out thyroid, I'd look at food based allergies first.
 

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For the longest time my female always had thin hair on her chest and abdomen. It never bothered her and she was in great health otherwise. I noticed after putting her on a different kibble (victor lamb or fish based) she starting growing hair where she never had before- chest, abdomen, and between her back legs. What do you wash his bedding with? I recommend you use dye free/fragrance free plant based detergent and no dryer sheets!
 

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My male Dobes pretty much always have nearly no hair on their belly. But, although the hair forward of the belly--it's their chest really--may be a little thinner than on their sides and back is usually fully covered.

Zeus's hair on his lower chest looks very thin to me.

I agree with Mary Jo (Fitzmar) if you haven't already done this I'd want to do a full thyroid panel and see if he's low or below 'normal' range. Dobes often need to be supplemented if their thyroid numbers are low but not entirely out of range.
 

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Hey Gamer...good to hear from you........send us an update on how you like your new area of residence..........
 

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I would try a good quality rolled leather collar, or a minky collar to see if you can clear up the irritation on the neck. He may have issues with the metal in the buckles, so you may have to look for a nice, high quality metal when you're shopping.

What food are you feeding right now? Maybe a food switch is in order. It wouldn't hurt to test his thyroid, because it could certainly be that, but I know he's pretty young for thyroid issues.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone! Yes, I know the collat wouldnt effect the fur on his neck. Sorry if that was confusing! I just added the neck part because there are issues there as well and they've been ongoing.
Right now he's eating Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine, and he's in need of a new bag soon. Does anyone have any food recommendations so I can try the gradual change of food? Im going to make a vet appointment to see what the vets here have to say about both his neck and belly area. Not sure if NM has any different types of bugs/irritants/vegetation worries that I need to be aware of. We've been outside a lot cuz there are TONS of walking trails and parks here! Zeus has been living it up. Ill post pics on a more appropriate board. :)

We recently switched his heartworm and flea medication from Trifexis to Bravecto and Heartguard (that was done last month). The vet in TX said Bravecto is a 3 month medication, so he wouldn't be due for another one til the beginning of April. Im not sure if that'd have any effect on his hair loss.

Im going to look on Amazon today for a better collar. Not sure if pet stores would carry those or not, but Amazon is my go to for most things anyway. Thank yall for the recommendations!

Love yall and I'll post Zeus pics soon! Thanks for the help, as always.
 

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Thanks everyone! Yes, I know the collat wouldnt effect the fur on his neck. Sorry if that was confusing! I just added the neck part because there are issues there as well and they've been ongoing.
Right now he's eating Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine, and he's in need of a new bag soon. Does anyone have any food recommendations so I can try the gradual change of food? Im going to make a vet appointment to see what the vets here have to say about both his neck and belly area. Not sure if NM has any different types of bugs/irritants/vegetation worries that I need to be aware of. We've been outside a lot cuz there are TONS of walking trails and parks here! Zeus has been living it up. Ill post pics on a more appropriate board. :)

We recently switched his heartworm and flea medication from Trifexis to Bravecto and Heartguard (that was done last month). The vet in TX said Bravecto is a 3 month medication, so he wouldn't be due for another one til the beginning of April. Im not sure if that'd have any effect on his hair loss.

Im going to look on Amazon today for a better collar. Not sure if pet stores would carry those or not, but Amazon is my go to for most things anyway. Thank yall for the recommendations!

Love yall and I'll post Zeus pics soon! Thanks for the help, as always.
I wouldn't look for a new collar on Amazon - you'll find lower quality stuff with metal plating, rather than high quality. In fact, is his prong collar high quality? I wouldn't use anything other than Herm Sprenger (and DON'T buy that off Amazon, either - there are quite a few known issues of fake Herm Sprengers there...buy it from some place like Leerburg).

Maybe try something like a rolled leather collar with a brass buckle. Bold Lead Designs has quality products: https://boldleaddesigns.com/shop/blds-rolled-leather-dog-collar/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks @MeadowCat .. yikes! You saved me from what probably wouldve been a bad buy.

Zeus doesn't use a prong collar at all anymore. The only collars he wears are his regular flat fabric one (only when we're out and about now, not in the house) and his training e-collar (SportDog brand, worn during obedience lessons and when we're out and about).

I'll check out the website you suggested. Thanks!
 

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McCoy is the first boy that we have had that has a hairy belly. One of our boys had virtually no hair there. McCoy also has pretty thick hair in general. He also has a ton of cowlicks.

Collars: McCoy does have a nice leather collar with all of his info including rabies and microchip # tags. However, as he is never in public off leash, he rolls naked. The only exception is when we travel. If I want to have a handle on him, he wears a cotton bandana.

He occasionally gets a bit itchy. I've always assumed it was a seasonal environmental allergy.
When this happens, I make a spray with filtered water, pure aloe and Lidocaine.I spray him liberally and then wipe him down with a clean cotton towel. It's cheap and very effective.

McCoy does walk on a prong quite often. We use a Lola Limited Secret Powers prong collar.
It looks like a Martingale, so one avoids the stigma having a Dobe on a prong. Plus, the actual prongs can be removed. I check his neck every time I put it on looking for irritations. There never are any, it's just an old habit, like running my hands over his entire body once a day to check for irregularities.

John
Portland OR
 

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Eva 10 y/o Dobe HADR, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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Thanks @MeadowCat .. yikes! You saved me from what probably wouldve been a bad buy.

Zeus doesn't use a prong collar at all anymore. The only collars he wears are his regular flat fabric one (only when we're out and about now, not in the house) and his training e-collar (SportDog brand, worn during obedience lessons and when we're out and about).

I'll check out the website you suggested. Thanks!

Here is link to DT Collar-Holics Thread to my post where I detailed purchase of two heavy duty collars mfg. by Whiskey Collars. They make top quality, customizable, double leather dog collars from good materials. Spock & Eva have been using daily for 2-years now with no appreciable wear. I'm cheap and don't have a plethora of collars like the other DT gals on that thread! :2smile:

https://www.dobermantalk.com/genera...-holics-not-so-annonymous-53.html#post3813313

 

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One more thing you might try on the neck - if it's irritated, I really like Chloracare for irritated spots (assuming it's NOT anything infected, etc): https://naturesfarmacy.com/clora-care/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is link to DT Collar-Holics Thread to my post where I detailed purchase of two heavy duty collars mfg. by Whiskey Collars. They make top quality, customizable, double leather dog collars from good materials. Spock & Eva have been using daily for 2-years now with no appreciable wear. I'm cheap and don't have a plethora of collars like the other DT gals on that thread! :2smile:

https://www.dobermantalk.com/genera...-holics-not-so-annonymous-53.html#post3813313

Wow, I really like that collar! It looks like Whiskey Collars is no longer active, maybe? I tried looking them up and just came across broken links. Very nice, though!
 

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Eva 10 y/o Dobe HADR, Lanah Chi-Cairn X 6 y/o, RIP Sunking's Spock, Lillah Chi-Terrier X
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GM- Yeah, looks like Whiskey Collar on Etsy is no longer in operation.
It's a shame as they made such good stuff.
If you search for "Leather Dog Collars Custom" on Etsy you'll come up with a lot of other vendors, some overseas. If you go on Collar-Holics thread you will see other vendor references that you can use, as well.


Another View of Spock's Collar with PhotoBucket broken Link:




Note: I just finished this morning downloading & transferring all my Photobucket photos to Flickr, a long and tedious process....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Vet appointment for Zeus's hair loss is tomorrow. Wish me luck! Im one nervous dobiemom. I hate it that something is wrong with my boy and I don't know what or why! Was holding off on your ointment recommendation @MeadowCat til after the vet in case hes prescribed the same thing. Going to switch to a rolled leather collar. I contacted the company on Friday about purchasing one in a size that wasn't offered online in the color I liked, but havent heard back yet, likely due to the weekend and holiday. He's hardly been wearing anything around hus neck, yet the fur there is still patchy :( Belly/chest looks the same. I will give updates after the appointment tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update for those interested:

Zeus's appointment went well, I guess. Vet did a test for mites which came back negative. I asked her about possible thyroid issues, and she said most dogs with thyroid issues usually start off with hair loss around the shoulders, they have large dandruff flakes, and their skin is oily. She said Zeus didnt have any of those symptoms and doubted it was his thyroid. So she prescribed a steroid (Prednisone) to combat his itchiness and see if that clears him up. After 2 weeks, we have a recheck. If it doesnt seem like it's helping, she's going to refer us to a dermatologist.
 

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Hi Gamer..

We have had various dogs on Prednisone for what likes seems forever. One of our guys (now a senior) has been on steroids his entire life, mostly Prednisone.

It's a very effective drug for certain things. Just be aware that in my experience dog may experience excessive thirst and urination (some times, incontinence) until he/she becomes inured to the drug. It's not a cause for worry, but if it happens you should let your vet know. They may adjust the meds.

Here is an article on the subject:

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/steroid-treatment-long-term-effects-in-dogs

Again... We have had very good success using Prednisone for various issues. I hope this works for Zeus's problems.

John
Portland OR
 

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Hi Gamermouse,

Just for the record--if you look up a couple of sites for hypothyroidism you'll quickly see that there is an entire array of possible symptoms that can show up.

Hypothyroidism which is incredibly common in Dobes, in my experience (hypothyroid dogs from the 1990's on--all of them, sooner or later.) And I've had Dobes since 1959

I've never had one show up with either dandruff or with oily skin. The first place I usually have seen hair loss is back of the ears, topline from just back of the shoulder to the loin initially and sometimes front side of the neck and weight gain with no decrease in excercize and no increase of food.

Good luck in tracking the cause of the coat problems you are seeing--skin and coat issue are the pits--hardest to pin down and often the hardest to find a good treatment for the symptoms.
 

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My first Doberman had similar hair loss. His thyroid was tested through Hemopet. Put him on meds. No change in appearance. Adjusted dose. No change in appearance. Adjusted dose again. No change in appearance. Both my regular vet and a dermatologist disagreed with the thyroid diagnosis. Since I felt like they were just throwing dosages out there to see if anything would stick and I never saw improvement, I stopped the meds all together. My boy supposedly had food and environmental allergies.
 
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