Hair loss in dogs can be especially concerning and troublesome for pet owners. Alopecia, as it is medically known, can be caused by several diseases and conditions. Luckily, hair loss in dogs does not necessarily mean a serious condition.
Common Causes Of Alopecia In Dogs
What could be causing your dog’s hair loss? Here are five common causes you should consider discussing with your veterinarian.
Often hair loss in dogs is caused by allergies. Just like people, dogs can have allergies to all types of foods and environmental triggers.
Some common environmental contributors include:
– Dust Mites
– Other Parasites
Some common food allergy sources include:
When it comes to allergies, there are other signs to look out for in dogs. If your dog is scratching and biting their itches, and shows signs of irritated red areas on their skin, allergies could be the cause. It can take as little as one parasite to induce an allergic reaction and a reaction can last for days. Allergies in dogs can be treated topically or internally with medication, with dietary changes or with immunotherapy. You may wish to bring your dog to the vet to determine the exact cause of the allergy to help guide you better in the future.
2. Infection or Infestation
Infections due to parasites, including fleas, ticks, and mites, or due to fungi such as ringworm, can be another source of hair loss in dogs. If you notice parasites on your dog’s skin, as well as inflammation, scratching and red areas your dog may be suffering with an infection.
Hair loss due to infection has a kind of pattern. Look for hair loss around the ears, stomach, chest and eyes. Hair loss due to a bacterial or fungal infection depends on what is infecting the dog. For instance, ringworm causes circular or irregular hair loss. Severe infections require antifungal shampoos or other topical treatments or drugs. However, small infections may clear up on their own.
3. Cushing’s Disease
Cushing’s disease or its medical term hyperadrenocorticism” data-scayt-lang=”en_US”>hyperadrenocorticism, is caused by an overproduction of a hormone known as cortisol. Your veterinarian will need to evaluate and diagnose your dog. They will be able to determine the best course of action for treatment. Cushing’s syndrome may be treated with surgery or medication.
Besides hair loss, Cushing’s syndrome has other telltale symptoms to look out for.
Cushing’s disease symptoms include:
– Dog is 6 years or older
– Increased frequency of eating, drinking, urinating, panting
– Potbellied or bloated like appearance
– Less energy
Seeing a Vet About Dog Hair Loss
If you’re concerned about hair loss in your dog, you may be unsure if your dog needs to see a vet. If alopecia in your dog is accompanied with:
– Weird odor
– Infected skin
– Behavioral changes
– Skin lesions that seem to spread across pets
Your safest bet is to bring them to your veterinarian’s office and have them evaluated. Come visit us at Mount Vernon Animal Hospital to learn more and get your dog checked!