Ideas from Experience?
The title implies that I understand most of us on the board are not vets or animal-health professionals. However, I would still like advice from those who may have experiences related to the issue below.
My lovely foster, Bella, came to me in June. Her fur was cut short then, and it was easy to notice little, flaky scabs on her hips. At the time, she would bite at these areas quite a bit. Her vet report did not say anything about a skin condition, and I noticed quickly that Bella would shift her biting attention from herself to a toy if one was presented. As she learned to chew on toys rather than herself, the scabs cleared up and went away.
Time passed without any noticeable scabs. Then one day I noticed she had new scabs in the same locations. Bella had been kenneled a bit longer than usual the day before, so I wasn't sure if she had started biting on herself because of habit or if there was something else causing problems. So, with rescue approval, we went to the vet to have it checked out. The vet did a skin scraping, which came back negative for mites and other parasites, but gave her an antibiotic anyway. The vet could not determine the exact cause of the problem (medical or behavioral). (Yes, I know many would disapprove of the antibiotic without a definitive diagnosis--no need to point it out.)
Bella took her pills like an angel, and the scabs went away. We made sure to provide a variety of chew toys whenever she was kenneled. With both of these 'treatments', the problem seemed solved: the scabs went away (as did the biting at herself) and Bella became a big fan of toys.
Months have passed over this period, and today, as giving Bella some cuddles, I felt a large spot on her skin near her shoulder. At first I thought it was a tick, but on closer inspection, it was a large, flaky scab! It easily fell off with my poking, taking with it the surrounding fur. This was the largest scab I had ever found, but even though I felt around all over her body, I didn't find any other scabs.
I know Bella can't bite herself in the spot on her shoulder where this new scab appeared, so I KNOW it has to be something else. She had not been biting at her legs or any other body part lately, so I don't think she feels itchy or irritated on her skin. Her belly and other exposed skin is pink and healthy in appearance. In all other areas, Bella is a healthy, well-adjusted dog--eats well, eliminates regularly, active physically, etc.
What could cause flaky scabs and isolated hairloss and come and go over a period of several months??
Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), Holly (ruby), & Bella (blen)