Chihuahua with Alopecia and Bad smell

Request by Vanessa Thunière – DAATA Student – Sept. 21st 2020

Male longhair black Chihuahua who had a "stress stroke" in January 2020. This was followed by severe itching, red patches, alopecia and a strong odor.

General observations

The animal is currently under medical treatment but has developed severe skin dryness. The smell is still present but the itching has for the moment disappeared.
Miss Thunière has sent me a few photos about the dog. The distance making it impossible to make the observations in person, the present case study is based on the photos sent.

Symptoms to manage here and factors to consider:

On the first photo we see a significant dryness of the coat. Accompanied by skin redness on the thorax area accompanied by a severe alopecia in the forelimbs and on the thorax where the skin is fully apparent.
On the second photo, the alopecia appears to be extended to the shoulders, back and thighs as well but sparser. We can see the skin through the hair. Suspicion of slight hyper-keratinization, especially in the shoulders (see photo 2) which could be one of the causes of bad smells.
Photo 3 and 4 allows us to see the importance of the inflammation of the skin in areas with alopecia (the presence of inflammation under the hairy areas should be checked).

Recommended DAATA grooming protocol:

Symptom priorities:
It is important to treat the inflammatory aspect of the skin first and the protocol will therefore be different once this first symptom has subsided. By managing inflammation, we should also be successful in managing dry skin.
Once the inflammation is managed, we will then need to focus on both the possible hyper-keratinization and the bad odors.

Photo 3 Very clear inflammation and alopecia

Photo 4: Inflammation clearly present

Complete grooming:

Protocol to be implemented as long as the inflammation is present
Suggested frequency: once a week until the inflammation subsides
Shower with mild shampoo. Avoid application to red areas (except medical shampoo provided for this purpose). Use the most moderate water pressure possible (if possible use a bowl of water to wet the animal and thus avoid the pressure of the jet).
Use water between 26.7 and 29.3 ° C if the animal is an adult. If the animal is old, use water between 29.4 and 32.1 ° C only for the first shampoo.
Once the animal has been washed and thoroughly rinsed, place it in a hydration bath in water between 29.4 ° and 32.1 ° C for an adult animal or 32.2 to 35 for an elderly animal. Considering the condition of the skin, leave the animal in this bath for about 10 minutes.
Then out of this bath (but still in the tub) if you are using a chemical conditioner: immediately apply coconut oil to the inflamed areas. Apply the chemical conditioner to the non-inflamed parts and detangle if needed only with a soft brush (use your fingers to part the knots). The skin should be pulled as little as possible. The rinsing will be between 29 ° and 32.1 ° C for an adult animal or 32.2 to 35°C for an old pet.
If the conditioner used is a 100% natural conditioner, such as organic coconut oil, it can be applied to the whole animal. The disentangling will be done during the conditioning and rinsing phase. The more water you saturate the hair, the easier the detangling will be with the conditioner.
Drying should be done with an ultra absorbent towel without rubbing. Allow the animal to air dry in a sufficiently heated environment, if necessary under an absorbent towel, making sure that the animal is not too hot under this towel.

Other grooming if certain problems appear

Protocol to be implemented once the inflammation has subsided
If skin dryness persists
Continue with the same protocol as before.
If the skin dryness has disappeared
As soon as the redness and dryness of the skin is gone, you can change the protocol and focus on the other symptoms: hyperkeratinization, bad smells and alopecia.
Shower with mild shampoo or medical shampoo provided for this purpose (but at this stage, there should be no more treatment). Wet the dog with a jet of water with moderate pressure.
Use water between 32.2 and 35 ° C if the animal is an adult. If the animal is old, use water between 35 and 37.2 ° C only for the first shampoo. Then return to a temperature of 29.4 ° C to 32.1 ° C for an adult dog or 32.2 ° C to 35 ° C for an elderly animal.
It is important to gently massage the skin with your fingers during the entire period of wetting, shampooing, rinsing.
Apply the conditioner and detangle if needed only with a soft brush and a massaging brush. You should pull on the skin as little as possible to avoid any reaction. The disentangling will be done during the conditioning and rinsing phase. The more water you saturate the hair, the easier the detangling will be with the conditioner. Consider massaging (with your fingers or the rubber massaging brush).
It is important to rinse the conditioner thoroughly (for several minutes - 10 maximum).
Drying should be done with an ultra-absorbent towel without rubbing. Allow the animal to air dry in a sufficiently heated environment, if necessary, under an absorbent towel, making sure that the animal is not too hot under this towel.
The frequency of the baths will depend on the needs of the skin.

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