Hair Loss In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Puppy Tips

Hair Loss In Dogs
Hair Loss In Dogs

The sudden appearance of bald patches or thin hair on your dog’s body could cause concern from a caring pet owner – but don’t be concerned! It doesn’t matter if you observe the loss of hair in dogs when it occurs and not won’t disappear in a flash. Your dog’s coat didn’t disappear and go away and is unlikely to be back without care. Below are the five most typical causes of hair loss for dogs to discuss with your veterinarian when you notice that your dog’s coat has begun to thin.

What is hair loss in dogs?

Complete or partial Alopecia (or losing hair) is a common issue in dogs. It can be caused by various ailments, including allergies, skin infections, and endocrine problems. The cause may range from moderate to severe the severity. Regardless of age or breed, all dogs are susceptible to losing hair. Therefore, it is crucial to notify the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

The Signs of hair loss in Dogs

The loss of hair in dogs is generally an obvious problem and may occur at any time and in any breed and any body part. Many types and signs can manifest dependent on the root causes:

  • Thinning out of hair
  • Loss of hair around eyes and mouth
  • Hair loss in patches of total loss
  • The synthetical pattern of loss of hair in the exact location across both the sides
  • Foul odor
  • Itchiness
  • Black or dark grey skin under hair loss
  • Dry skin, scaly around the area where hair is lost
  • Inflamed, red skin around the hair loss
  • The flow of moisture or the bleeding around the area of hair loss (typically an additional condition)

Five causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

1. Flea

The flea is a frequent reason for hair loss in animals. Ctenocephalides felis (cat flea) has a very irritable bite that causes severe itching. The dog then scratches and rubs at the affected area till the hair has gone and, sometimes, the skin’s top layer! It’s possible that you do not notice any evidence of fleas or even of them.

If your dog doesn’t use an approved flea treatment from a veterinarian, the fleas may have left an itchy mark on your dog. A tiny fraction of the life cycle of a flea is spent with the dog.

Many people don’t realize that they are the cause of the issue. Dogs can catch an insect during a brief toilet break and could bring fleas into your legs and pants. The only purpose of a flea’s life is to attack your pet (or maybe yourself) to keep the life cycle running.

2. Inhalant allergies (atopy)

Another reason behind hair loss is that many of my patients with atopic diseases are allergic to molds, pollens, and dust. The allergic reaction causes itching. Itching can cause hair loss as a result of irritation as well as secondary infections. Atopy isn’t a treatable problem, but it can be efficiently managed with your vet’s assistance. Reducing the causes of atopy is not possible, but there are treatments to manage it and improve your dog’s hair and health.

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3. Demodectic Mange

The Demodex mite can reside on the normal skin; however, in dogs that cannot produce an immune reaction, the mites grow and trigger itching and hair loss (hair losing). You often see patches of hair loss around the puppy’s eyes or scattered across the body. The vet will be able to spot this fungus on dogs by using an exfoliation of the skin or a microscope.

4. Sarcoptic mange

The dogs with sarcoptic mange can be extremely itchy, with patches of hair loss. It is caused by another mite, known as Sarcoptes scabiei; it is common among dogs. It’s considered zoonotic (contagious in humans), but do not worry. It isn’t one to be around people and won’t cause all your hair shed. If your dog’s hair shows a loss, ensure that it’s not the result of mange caused by sarcoptic. Visit your veterinarian, and should they suspect sarcoptic, you may consult the services of a veterinarian.

5. Endocrine Disease

The hormones in your dog’s metabolic system referred to as endocrine disorders, can also lead to hair loss. “Endocrine disease” is a broad term that means “endocrine disease” and includes a range of serious problems, such as Cushing’s Disease and hypothyroidism. These diseases are crucial and need to be discovered at the earliest possible time to ensure the most effective outcomes in clinical trials.

Alopecia of this type tends to be non-inflammatory, i.e., the skin appears normal. However, the hair seems as if it has lost its luster. The other causes of Alopecia, legally classified as “endocrine,” aren’t as dangerous; however, you should consult your doctor to determine the best course of action. Hair loss that is not explained isn’t something to be allowed to go on without medical oversight.

Certain veterinary flea control products also provide protection for specific mites, so consult your veterinarian should you suspect fleas are the main problem. A lacking dog hair should have a check-up with a vet to safeguard him and the family members. Diagnostic tests can identify the root of the issue, and the appropriate treatment can be initiated at an early stage to prevent unnecessary discomfort. Loss of hair isn’t something to be ignored. Consult your veterinarian to be confident you are in good health.

Dog Breeds That Are Predisposed to Alopecia

Canines that are more susceptible to Alopecia could be:

  • Mexican Hairless, Chinese Crested (“normal”)
  • Genetics: Bulldogs, Dobermans, Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, Greyhounds
  • Nordic breeds, If cut, hair might not come back for Siberian Huskies, Pomeranians, or other species.
  • Atopy-prone species include: Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Bulldogs, West Highland White Terriers, and many more
  • A breed with poor Management, especially puppies, is prone to manage deformity.

Diagnostics of hair loss in Dogs

If your pet is suffering from hair loss, they must examine a vet to determine why and treat it. The diagnosis is determined by the beginning of symptoms, the patterns of loss of hair and the condition of the skin around hair loss, and whether or not your pet is itchy or in discomfort.

  • The pattern of hair loss: A generalized loss of hair may signify mange or bacterial infection. Hair loss patches could signal a condition such as ringworm, bacterial infections, mites, or mange. The loss of hair in the areas of the tail and rump is usually due to a flea allergy. The hair loss on the face and paws is occasionally due to environmental allergies (atopy). The loss of hair in an asymmetrical pattern may indicate an adrenal gland disorder, thyroid disorder, and abnormal levels of sex hormones (endocrine disorders). ).
  • Profil of the blood Blood testing can aid in diagnosing certain immune system disorders and hormone imbalances, Cushing’s disease, thyroid disorders as well as Diabetes mellitus.
  • Biopsy If skin cancer or tumor is suspected or if there is a persistent lack of response to skin lesions, a veterinarian might want to send an examination from the area affected to the lab to find out what the diagnosis is and how to treat it.
  • Skin impression Smears – pressing a small slide onto the area affected and then analyzing it may reveal the presence of yeast, bacteria, or the presence of inflammatory cells.
  • Scraping the skin scraping Scraping the skin gently using the help of a blade to collect hair follicles and hair on the slide may help determine whether there are mange mites.
  • The Luminescence (Lighting) A few species of ringworm glow in a bright green-yellow fluorescent in the presence of ultraviolet.
  • Elimination of allergens The feeding of a Hypoallergenic diet or treatment for fleas or avoiding using certain medications or shampoos could identify an allergy to a specific food.
  • Testing for allergies Skin or blood tests may help narrow down the potential list of environmental allergens.

The treatment for Alopecia in dogs

Treatment for Alopecia is based on the root cause. If it’s just cosmetic and a small, solitary lesion, there is no need for treatment. The cause of hair loss in dogs is dependent on one or more of the following factors:

  • Food trials
  • Medical medicines (antibiotics, antifungals and steroids, antihistamines, Anti-parasiticides, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pruritic drugs like Apoquel, Atopica, or Cytopoint injections)
  • Therapeutic topical (medicated Shampoos, Sprays, Ointments, and dips)
  • Surgical removal
  • Other

 Recovery and Management of hair loss in Dogs  

If the root of the Alopecia is discovered, stopping it in the future is crucial. It’s not always that easy; however, do what you can to help in preventing the Alopecia of your pet. It is a matter of making sure you are using effective, consistent flea treatments, maintaining your dog’s cleanliness and grooming, and avoiding known allergens.

If your dog begins to exhibit Alopecia later on, you must consult your veterinarian immediately to prevent the progression of symptoms.

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