Being a good parent to your dogs is what makes taking care of your dog a rewarding experience. But along the way you bump into problems such as your dog hair loss and you think: why is my dog losing hair?
There are many causes of hair loss in dogs and treatments. But let’s first dive into what is hair loss.
What is hair loss?
Hair loss, known in medical terms as alopecia, is a disorder where it causes partial or complete hair loss in animals.
Many dogs have this condition making them lose their hair. It happens by a variety of reasons.
Causes of hair loss in dogs
Here is the answer to the question “Why is my dog losing hair?”
A trigger for hair loss is allergies. These allergic reactions for dogs are from environmental triggers like pollen, molds, dust mites, or parasites like fleas and mites.
Another allergy that affects dogs is food allergies which also cause hair loss. Some common food allergies are from beef, wheat, dairy, corn, chicken, and soy.
Symptoms of your dog having allergies are scratching, licking, and biting their itches, red areas in their skin, and hair loss.
2.) Infection or Infestation
Fleas, mites, ticks, or fungi such as ringworm can cause various infections that contribute to dog hair loss.
Signs that your dog has mites, ticks, or fleas are itching, inflammation, and redness. Your dog will also experience hair loss around the ears, eyes, chest, and abdomen. These parasites cause pain and discomfort to your dog.
While fungal infections such as ringworm has symptoms that include circular or irregular hair loss, infected crusts , and inflammation.
Some dog breeds are more prone to baldness than other breeds. Most of these dogs have the genetic condition that appears right after birth.
There are two different types of dog hair loss. The first is affecting the hair shaft. Once it affects it, it will affect the hair follicles. Because hair follicles are affected, it prevents hair from growing.
The second type is affecting the hair follicles by making it weak so it begins to fall after growing.
Some of the signs of genetic hair loss in dogs are graying throughout their coat, dry hair coat, melanoma formation,a type of skin cancer.
An example of breeds that are born hairless are Chinese Crested and Mexican Hairless.
4.) Pressure sores
Pressure sores are also called as bedsores. They happen in the elbows or other bony parts such as hips when they regularly come into contact with hard surfaces.
As a result, the friction and pressure cause parts of the skin to thicken, lose hair, and sometimes crack and bleed.
Older and heavy dogs are more likely to have pressure sores as they are prone to getting them.
5.) Cushing’s disease
Cushing’s disease, known medically as hyperadrenocorticism, is a disease caused by the overproduction of the hormone cortisol.
This overexposure to to cortisol causes hair loss in dogs. It also causes symptoms such as darkening of skin, bloated stomach, low energy, insomnia, obesity, and increased times of eating and urinating.
Other causes of hair loss in dogs include hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the hormone called thyroxine which controls metabolism.
Therefore, it affects the body as well as your dog’s coat making them lose hair.
This condition affects all breeds and is found often in breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Doberman pinschers.
Dog hair loss treatment
Treatment for allergies
The best treatment involves treating the region that has the hair loss and breaking the itching and scratching by removing the main cause.
Allergies caused by flea, ticks, and mites may be treated through the use of topicals or internally through the use of medications.
Another method is through Immunotherapy, known as allergy shots, strengthens the immune system to fight off and tolerate the allergy.
Food allergies treatment is by using a hypoallergenic diets which works in reducing the allergy by introducing a diet that doesn’t cause allergic reaction. You must consult with a vet to know the type of diet your dog will follow.
Treatment of an infection
Antibiotics that are oral or topical will treat bacterial, fleas, ticks, and mites infections. Also antifungals that are oral or topical will treat ringworm infection.
If your dog is itching, topical and oral medication is best uses to treat the condition. Remember to always consult your vet for the best choices.
Maintaining hair loss caused by genetics
Dog therapy and supplements ,such as fish oil supplement, are the best alternative to keep your dog’s skin healthy and prevent it from drying. There are certain types of shampoos that can help in providing moisture to dog coat.
Unfortunately, there is no cure to dog hair loss caused by genetics.
Treatment of pressure sores
Pressure sores are reversed by providing comfortable bedding and reducing your dog’s contact with rough surfaces. This is the case if it is not severe.
However if it is severe that there is an infection, your vet will recommend medication specifically oral antibiotics that typically takes from 4 to 6 weeks at minimum.
Treatment of cushing’s disease
Treatment is through medications mainly specific types of drugs. If your dog has the disease coming from a tumor in the adrenal glands, your vet may remove it using surgery.
For dogs having this condition, they will need the treatment for the rest of their lives. It is important to monitor your dog for changes, give them the medecine at the prescribed doses, and consult your vet at all times.
Treatment of hypothyroidism
Because the problem comes from the thyroid, thyroid hormone supplements are the best option for treatment to help with thyroid functions.
These supplements resolve skin condition that is in bad condition and makes dogs more alert and active.
In conclusion, if you ever wondered “why is my dog losing hair”. The answer to “Why is my dog losing hair” isn’t simple and needs constant monitoring and vet consultation.
You also need to understand the causes of hair loss and then know the treatment for each cause.
By doing so, you ensure that your dog remains healthy and free of pain.
To check whether dogs have fur or hair, check Do Dogs Have Hair or Fur: What You Need to Know.