8 month old basenji pup with hair loss on the ear tips

  • Hi all, I am new to this forum and whilst I have an 8yr old Jack Russell, I have only belonged to a Basenji since January, so I am hoping you guys will be able to give me some advice please!
    My 8 month old male puppy is healthy in all respects (activity levels, engaging in play, eating, drinking, good coat, weight, clear eyes etc) but at the beginning of July started to have small patches of hair loss on the tips of his ears. This seems to be slowly getting worse. He is treated regularly with Advocate and to my knowledge has no allergies (although I know he is only young, so this is a possibility). As well as the tips of his ears, he seemed to be scratching the backs of his ears and the hair there was getting a little thin but this could just be him losing his puppy coat (he has puppy tufts on his sides and behind his ears at the moment) and he does not seem to bed scratching nearly as much now. I wondered first of all if the ear tip hair loss was him being bitten when he goes through the fields in the long grass and crops, (which is his favourite thing to do!) but there has never been any broken skin and it seems like it's gone on too long and is too symmetrically located to be this? The other thing I wondered is if it could be where his ears touch the top of the crate in the car when he sits up. He isn't crated at home but is in the car and he goes in this at least once a day. With the ear tips being sensitive parts of the body, could this be a possibility (He began going in the crate in the car end of May but maybe grew enough now to touch the top!)?! Just a note, he was castrated a month before the problem appeared...could hormones be anything to do with it?! And finally.... I've read a lot about this problem seeming to appear in winter but this is the opposite, he was fine from January through to July, so not sure what's going on! I have attached pics taken today. He doesn't seem at all bothered by it....but I am! As you can see, I have considered lots of reasons including hyperthyroidism and am generally driving myself mad now lol! Any shared experiences would be greatly helpful! Thanks so much x


  • Hi @roojuice, welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear your pup is having issues with his ears. Chance had similar hair loss issue on the tips of his ears, but I believe it was seasonal allergy related as it has stopped for a few months now and he has regained hair in some spots, where others seem to be permanently damaged.

    Here is the thread from 5 months ago.


    We did full thyroid panel, swipes for mites all of which produced nothing. So we ended up using topical ear cream for a few weeks prescribed by the doctor, then vitamin E oil on the ears and a spoon of unprocessed coconut oil with each meal for the last 4 month. Chance is not itching his ears anymore and has regained some hair on his ear tips.


  • @Alex Thanks so much for replying 🙂 My leaning is also towards it being allergy/seasonal (we're in the U.K.), so I may well try the vitamin E oil and coconut oil and see what the change in season brings.....I rather suspect though that I'll end up taking him to the vet next week, as is my usual reaction to everything lol! I think I keep them in business with my visits there! Thanks so much again, Mandy

  • I would suggest that you have a scrapping done by the Vet to make sure not mites...if you have not already... You can also use a bit of Vit E oil on the ear tips. What do you feed him?

  • @tanza thanks! I've got a vet appointment booked for later this week but weirdly today someone mentioned sunburn as a possibility. He certainly is a sun bunny and the tips of his ears are I guess always exposed. I've applied some vitamin e baby cream today and will get some doggie sunblock tomorrow and see how we go. Thanks so much x

  • My 9 yr old Basenji has the same problem and when I scratch the tip of her ears, it looks like dirt is coming off along with her fur. I don’t think it is allergies but will try vitamin E oil on her ears and adding 1 tsp olive oil to her meal. Her coat and skin are also flaky.

  • I am a firm believer in Vitamin E oil, but also in Econeem and Tea Tree Oil for helping heal and hair regrowth. And for curing flaky coat and skin @DoGo-0 Forget any suggestion of sunflower or olive oil. A tiny amount of lard (bacon dripping) daily - they need the animal protein - will help coats to shine. We have always given the pack each a small amount on the end of a teaspoon with their morning meal.

  • @dogo-0 said in 8 month old basenji pup with hair loss on the ear tips:

    when I scratch the tip of her ears, it looks like dirt is coming off

    If you live in a particularly cold climate, the edges of your pups ears may have a touch of frostbite. That would explain the dark skin cells that are sloughing off when you scratch or rub at her ear tips. Try to protect her ears in the cold. Be gentle when you rub the ends. Depending on the severity, consult your Veterinarian, antibiotics may be needed.

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