Q. I have an 8 week old Shih Tzu/lhasa apso mix puppyshe is quite itchy and has a few patches of what looks like scabs or very dry skin.

A. She should be examined by your veterinarian. Skin scrapes may diagnosis mange. An exam may diagnose fleas. A culture can diagnose a fungal infection.

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A. At 8 weeks of age (sweet baby!) the most likely cause of itchy, scabby skin is external parasites. They just don't have the other stuff, like allergies or auto-immune skin disease, at this age. Your vet can help you comb her for fleas, and provide treatments to get the active fleas off, kill the eggs, and keep the fleas off, if that's the problem. She could also have mites, which are commonly known as "mange". Testing for these involves scraping the skin and looking at the debris under the microscope. There's a very specific treatment for mange as well, so see a vet to get this figured out and treated.

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