5 Reasons Your Dog Might Lose Hair
The beauty of our pets is something that often requires lots of care and is more than skin deep. Dogs (and cats) with long, luxurious hair require regular grooming to remain pleasing to the eye and to avoid health problems related to hair ingestion.
However, that long hair can hide early signs of trouble, say pet health care experts. Loss of hair can be insidious on long-hair breeds and therefore not recognized until an illness has progressed.
Here are five possible reasons your pooch could start losing its hair:
1. Allergies are the most common cause of hair loss in dogs, according to the folks at insidepetsworld.com. Allergies to food, fleas and mites and environmental factors such as pollen and molds are often the cause. Experts single out flea bites as the most common reason for hair loss in dogs. Some dogs can suffer from infections resulting from biting and licking flea bites. Pay close attention and take them to their veterinarian if you suspect they have an allergy to flea bites.
2. Cushing’s disease is another cause of excessive hair loss. It most often afflicts middle-aged and senior dogs. In a nutshell, the hormone production process gets disrupted, causing an overproduction of steroids. Along with excessive hair loss, symptoms of Cushing’s disease include energy drops, abdominal swelling and weight gain.
3. Parasite (mites, ticks, lice or fleas) infestations are another cause of hair loss in dogs. Once infected, bald spots will occur all over a dog’s body. Hair loss will also occur around the eyes, mouth, ears and elsewhere. A parasite infection can result in thickened skin, lesions, scratching, itching and scaling. Additionally, be on the lookout for inflammation, skin redness and parasite eggs on your dog’s skin or fur, according to the online story by insidepetsworld.com titled What Causes Hair Loss in Your Pooch?.
4. Pressure sores are most common in senior, heavy and large breed dogs. These are also known as decubitus ulcers or bed sores and are injuries in the elbows, hips and hocks. Hair loss results from constant contact with hard surfaces for long periods of time. Thickened skin that results from pressure sores can crack or bleed.
5. Genetics play a role in our pooches experiencing hair loss. The dog breeds predisposed to hair loss include Chihuahuas, Doberman Pinschers, Whippets, Dachshunds and Italian Greyhounds. Baldness targets the ears, lower neck, chest, back and thighs.
You should consult your Clifton Park area veterinarian if your dog experiences any of these hair-loss related symptoms. And if your pooch is a long-haired breed, extra vigilance is needed to catch symptoms early!