Why is My Dog Losing Hair: Main Causes
Everyone knows that dogs shed, but what happens if you think that your dog is shedding more than they should? What if your dog had bald spots, what then? It can be really hard to know what to do if you think that your pet is losing more hair than they should be losing, but you don’t want to wait until you notice bald spots, either.
Excessive shedding in dogs can be due to many things. There are lots of reasons that dogs might lose more hair than expected. Since the reasons are numerous, it can be helpful to get your vet involved to see if you can isolate a cause and then create a treatment plan for this issue. Excessive shedding might not seem like a big deal, but it can end up being a sign of a variety of conditions that require veterinary care.
Listed below are the main causes:
Seasonal shedding can look different for dogs of different breeds and different coat types. Long-coated dogs will have very different shedding experiences when the seasons change than dogs with shorter coats. The changes in temperature that accompany the seasonal shifts can also make an impact on your dog’s shedding behavior. If you live in a very hot place, your pet might not shed abruptly the way that a dog might shed in a location that suddenly gets warmer weather every year.
Seasonal shedding is nothing to be concerned about, and all that is needed is just some extra brushing in most cases. Your pet should stop shedding significant amounts of hair within a couple of weeks, and that should be when seasonal shedding is the reason for their hair loss. If your dog is shedding far more than this, you might need to be worried.
Mange or Parasites
Mange and parasites can lead to itchy skin and to problems with deeper layers of skin tissue. This can block hair growth as well as lead to your pet picking at or scratching at their hair coat obsessively. Certain parasites also cause secondary skin infections or yeast infections, which can cause hair loss as well. You will want to be sure to take your pet to the vet if they are losing hair and showing signs of skin inflammation or broken and angry skin.
Mange and parasite require veterinary care to treat, and your pet will not be able to get over these conditions without veterinary support. The longer that these conditions carry on, the harder it is to treat them as well.
Fleas are a really common reason for pets to lose hair. Between scratching at their itchy skin and damage to skin tissues related to fleas burrowing into it and laying eggs, baldness can be widespread. Some dogs are more allergic to flea bites than others as well, meaning that flea-related shedding can be different for each dog.
Many dogs scratch at their ears and cause hematomas and swollen ears, as well as excessive shedding. Beyond shedding out all of their coat quite rapidly, your dog might have issues with skin infections, damage to the ears, and hotspots, all because of fleas.
Bacterial or Fungal Infections
Your dog can have a bacterial or fungal infection of the skin without fleas or other health conditions being behind the infection. Sometimes contact with specific substances or other infected animals can lead to your pet getting this kind of infection. When your dog’s skin is irritated, they can shed a lot. You might notice skin redness and inflammation when your pet has this kind of infection, or it might not be obvious that anything is wrong with your dog’s skin.
Your vet will need to take skin scrapings to diagnose the specific things that is causing your pet’s shedding and skin irritation. This will make the treatment process much easier and will help your pet to get relief right away.
Allergies can be related to food, outdoor allergies, or even products that are being used in your home. Allergies can take some time to diagnose, but it’s worth sticking with the process of ruling things out to find the reason that your pet is suffering and shedding so much. Your vet can give your pet some allergy medicine and might suggest a change in food to start the process of getting the allergies under control. You will still have much better luck getting your pet’s coat healthy if you figure out what is causing their allergies.
Allergies can be among the easier things to treat on this list, but it can take months to figure out the root cause of the issue. Pets with allergies are much more common than you might realize, and many pets suffer from allergies for a while before their owners realize that they might be suffering in this way.
There Are Many Reasons Why Your Dog is Losing Hair
Excessive shedding in dogs can be related to lots of different things. You might notice that your pet is ripping out lots of hair and going bald, or your pet might just seem to be shedding more than you think they should be beyond their seasonal shedding season. Excessive shedding can be a sign that your dog is not feeling very comfortable and that something is wrong with their skin or their overall well-being. It is worth figuring out why your pet is experiencing this problem and get to the root of the problem.
No matter how mild or severe your dog’s shedding is you should not ignore this symptom. Your pet might just have itchy skin from allergies, but you should make sure that the reason for your pet’s shedding is not related to a more severe health issue. Your veterinarian can also give your pet some medication to help get their skin feeling better right away, which can be key for your dog getting back to feeling their best.
For more information, or if you are concerned about your pet’s health, contact Emergency Veterinary Care Centers. We have several locations that are all staffed with compassionate and expert teams ready to help!
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