Most dogs are known for being our furry friends, but sometimes that is not the case. You may have noticed that your dog is losing its hair, this is called alopecia. Today our Gaithersburg vets will talk about alopecia in dogs and possible cases.
About Alopecia: Hair Loss In Dogs
Alopecia, otherwise known as abnormal hair loss or baldness, is the inability to regrow hair regularly or when hair falls out partially or entirely over the dog's body. It occurs when the body attacks its hair follicles, resulting in hair falling out.
8 Possible Causes:
Allergies are the most common reason your dog would be scratching and losing its hair. Dogs can be allergic to pollen, mold, dust mites, or other environmental factors.
Dogs can also be allergic to food. But to know what is causing the allergic reaction, you should take your dog to your Veterinary Referral Associates vets for an assessment.
Bacterial skin infections can cause redness, hives, alopecia, pustules, and scabbing. These can commonly occur secondary to dermatitis. Fungal infections, such as ringworm, can also cause hair loss in dogs.
If you suspect your dog is suffering from an infection, bring them to the vet immediately, some infections can be very serious and need to be treated right away.
Parasites can also cause hair loss in dogs. An infection due to fleas, ticks, or mites is another common cause of hair loss in dogs. Hair loss due to a parasitic infection will generally be around the eyes, ears, abdomen, and chest. If your dog has mites, it may also have inflammation, itching, and redness in addition to hair loss.
Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s disease, is a condition in dogs that causes hair loss due to increased levels of the hormone cortisol.
These hot spots can damage the hair follicles on your dog’s skin when they get inflamed, which can cause the hair to not grow back. Hot spots on dogs are often exacerbated by a dog scratching, licking, or chewing on the affected area.
Hair loss in dogs can also be easily confused with seasonal shedding. All dogs shed, but some more than others, and it can appear like your dog is losing an excessive amount of hair when in reality it’s a normal amount.
Shedding is normal, but if your dog starts to shed more than normal, it’s a good idea to bring them to the vet.
Certain dog breeds are more prone to hair loss than others. Doberman Pinscher, Daschuand, Chihuahua, Italian Greyhound, and Whippet are all dog breeds that are more inclined to hair loss or bald spots on their outer ears, chest, back, thighs, or lower backs.
Underlying Medical Condition:
Various underlying medical conditions could be causing your dog to lose hair. Hormonal conditions, like hypothyroidism or growth hormone disorders, can all contribute to hair loss because they throw your dog’s hormones off balance. Stress, poor nutrition, pregnancy, or lactation can all also cause hair loss in dogs.
If you suspect your dog has an underlying medical condition that’s causing its hair loss, consult with your vet so you can get a definitive diagnosis.