Just like human beings, dogs too can suffer from Alopecia, also known as hair loss. The reasons for this hair loss can be from the environment to genetics. But the major problem is that the doggy’s body is covered with fur, which can make an atrocious visual image for dog owners when their dogs lose hair.
Let us look at the primary suspects for hair loss in dogs:
Main Possible Reasons for Dog Hair Loss
Shedding & Genetics
One of the primary reasons for hair loss is the seasonal shedding which can result in large and abrupt hair loss in dogs. It is often believed that the fewer hair a dog has, the less hair fall the dog will experience during fall and spring shedding seasons, but that is not true. The dogs that shed less are known as hypo-allergic. Proteins existing in the skin itself and in the saliva of the dog are the primary reasons for hair fall in dogs and not by the hair itself. If you have not experienced heavy seasonal shredding before, the vision of dog hair abruptly appearing all across the house can seem alarming, but is natural.
It can also be genetic in healthy and fur covered dogs. This condition is popularly known as follicular dysplasia. This is the primary cause of hair loss in human beings. Hair follicles start to wither and hair either grows thinner or disappears. This is also known as the creation of bald spots. This kind of dog hair loss looks strange but if the dog seems to be normal, then there is no need to hit the panic button.
Mange in Dogs
If the doggy licks or scratches at particular spots, it can be due to an contagion or infestation. Mite infestations are the 2d most common reasons for hair loss in dogs. There are two types of mange in dogs – demodetic and sarcoptic. Demodetic is the most common. It might look horrifying at first glance, but there are several dogs who live with an endemic accumulation of mites on their bodies. These mites are kept under check by the dog’s immune system under normal circumstances.
Mange is an affliction that happens when a dog’s immune system is compromised or weakened, thus making the mite population to explode. Due to excessive mites, dogs itch, lick, and scratch. Dog hair loss with mange is not as a result of mites itself, but due to wounds that dogs create by scratching and biting. These wounds lead to bacterial and fungal infections subsequently causing hair loss.
Skin Infections in Dogs
Ringworm causes the maximum amount of skin infections in dogs. It is a fungus that lives on the blood found on the dog’s skin and hair. Fungi needs wetness and high temperature to develop and outspread, so this infection is caused in the humid part of the year. If the hair loss happens on the head, tail, forelegs, or top of the paws, then ringworm fungus can be the cause. This infection is self-limiting. Hence, it stops in few months time. But dog owners need to be vigilant as ringworm is a zoonotic disorder which can be passed to humans. There are certain topical antifungal treatments that can heal and recover hair, thus limiting strain on you and your furry pal.
Stress & Allergies in Dogs
Even stress in dogs can cause hair loss. Separation anxiety is one of the biggest reasons which can cause a dog to lick, bite himself or scratch when he is left alone. If this episode is repeated number of times it can cause hair loss. Some of the other reasons for stress in dogs include: air or car travel, unknown social situations, prolonged periods of illness and pregnancy.
Then there are times when dogs suffer from allergies, which can cause hair loss. Some of the symptoms of allergies in dogs include: sudden dietary changes, influence of household cleaning products and treatments. One of the most common reasons for allergies in dogs is a bite from flea or tick. Flea and Tick Infestations can occur at any given point of time in the year, but mostly occur in warmer months of summer.
So, do you now know why your doggy is losing hair?