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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There is a dog that was pawned off onto my bf's 80yr old grandparents that I am considering adopting/fostering. His name is Toby.
No one is quite sure of his age, but he looks to be a senior now.
His skin and coat are pretty bad. The skin is what I think would be considered scaly. Its kind of wrinkly looking and dry with a rough looking texture. The skin on his neck is completely bald and pinkish looking and the skin sags. It looks almost exactly like a rooster wattle. On his back he has hair but it is sparse and you can clearly see the skin underneath. His head, legs and feet seem to be unaffected from what I can remember. What is left of his coat is rough and dry.
Our first thought was mange, but apparently his condition used to be worse and now after some salves and lotions, it has gotten better. That makes me think that its something else because im pretty sure only special medicine and medicated baths can get rid of mange in an adult dog.

If i adopt Toby, he'll certainly be on a better food than he's getting right now, and he will be going to the vet; but 1 because the vets around here dont seem to be top dollar and 2 because i want to research and prepare:
Does anyone have an idea of what might be going on?

Other info: hes currently an outdoor dog, he used to have a doggy friend before she was given away to the neighbors and his food hasnt been changed recently.

Edit:
Took some quick photos of him while we were trying to give him a bath.


 

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He needs to see a vet. And I would also put him on a grain free alternative protein food, (no beef, lamb, or chicken). I'd also bathe him with Microtek anti itch shampoo every 3 days for 2 weeks, then every week for 2 weeks then every 3 weeks for 6 weeks, then monthly or as needed. The shampoo is anti fungal, and works REALLY well. But again...he needs to see a vet.
 

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Could be demodex, yeast, thyroid issues. There's no way to know for sure unless you go to a vet and get the skin looked at.

Also agree, a good food will help as well. Try something like Precise, Natural Balance (limited diets), California Natural. Fish or salmon oil might be a good idea too. I like Grizzly Salmon Oil because it has a pump, so easy to squirt on food.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Don't worry, assuming I adopt him, he will be going to a vet. :)
Like I said, I was just hoping maybe I could get a general idea of what's going on, based on his condition.
I'll be back there today, so I'm hoping to pick up some food for him + take some photos and what-not.

Oh, and do you really think it could be demodex even though he's essentially gotten better with only some salve/lotions?
 

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Demodex is really an immune system issue. All dogs have the mites, those without a strong enough immune system can't keep the mites under control and it flares up into the visible hair loss, raw skin etc. This is more common in puppies and young dogs but adult dogs who undergo a lot of stress and have a poor diet (like can happen in a shelter) may have it get worse and get a little better as their stress level changes. Lotions can sooth the skin enough to reduce scratching and that can let the hair grow back some.

So basically, mange is still a possibility.

Flea allergy is another possibility, especially if he's not on any preventative treatment. The coincidence of his skin getting better could have been just matching up with colder weather and less fleas.

I agree with using an anti-fungal, antibacterial shampoo like Microtek. It can help a lot of skin issues and at the least, will help prevent infection on any really raw areas. Should help the poor guy feel better too by removing dead skin and dirt and reducing itching.
 

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Added photos of Toby to my first post.
He does need a vet check- for the skin and in general since any new dog especially from a less cared-for background should have a check.

On the upside, he doesn't look overly thin.

Outdoor dog in TX, fleas would be my first guess. Environmental allergies are usually more seasonal but if it got better over winter, it could also be a plant or something around him.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He doesn't have any fleas at all that I can see and I know they give him drops to keep the fleas away. Do you suppose it's possible he could be that bad just from a bite here or there?
He was on Alpo (yuck) but we just temporarily switched him to Authority Lamb and Rice.
 

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My guess would just be a combo of being dirty all the time, exposed to the elements, collar rubbing, bad food, etc.---basically substandard living conditions. With good care and decent food I think you'll see a pretty big improvement. . .if the skin issues persist after that, only then would I worry about something worse. Of course the vet will probably have some opinion about his skin when you take him in.

He looks like a real sweetie. I'm glad he gets to retire to a nice home :D.
 

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He looks like he's had a bad case of flea's and that he could use a good bath.
I'd first switch his food to grain free and a different protein - fish/beef/lamb something to that nature.. Other than that, I totally agree with Willowy, he just LOOKS like a weathered dog who lives outside. He's a bit red though, so I'd worry about a yeast infection or something, but nothing major.
Honestly, you'll probably see a huge improvement in him over the next few months, and if you don't, take him in to be checked out.

Is he itching at all? You can buy medicated shampoo's without the vet, you want to look for a shampoo that lists chlorohexidine gluconate as the medicinal ingredient.

He could also really use a mani/pedi.. lol
 
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