Is your dog losing a lot of hair, but it’s not shedding season yet? Learn possible metabolic and health disorders that may be causing your dog to lose hair.
If you own a dog and recently noticed an abnormal amount of hair left behind and shedding season is far away, chances are there may be some medical problems causing this. It does not hurt to bring this to your veterinarian’s attention just to be on the safe side. Alopecia is the medical term used to depict hair loss, and there can be various causes at the root of this. Following are some possible causes of excessive hair loss in your dog.
Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, this condition takes place when the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. This often results in hair loss typically occurring in a symmetrical pattern and the skin becoming thinner. Affected dogs may also develop other symptoms such as increased drinking, increased urination, and increased appetite. Learn more about Cushing’s Diseases.
When the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones, the end result is a condition known as hypothyroidism. When this occurs, dogs may develop patchy hair loss seen mostly over the back and the tail, explains veterinarian Mark Thompson in an article for Pet Place.
Allergies to airborne particles such as pollen, molds, or substances used in the yard or allergies to foods may manifest with itchy skin and subsequent areas of hair loss mostly seen around the face, ears, feet, and other areas. Some dogs also develop hot spots with hair loss and a typical oozy wound. Read more about allergies in dogs.
Pesky parasites may cause itchy skin with subsequent hair loss. Some dogs are allergic to the saliva of fleas and scratch excessively leaving bare areas over the rump, hind legs, tail, and belly. Sarcoptes mange mites, known for causing an itchy condition known as scabies, cause hair loss on ears, elbows, and hocks. Fungi are known for causing ringworm where hair loss causes round quarter sized hairless areas. Cheyletiella or lice are also responsible for causing itching and alopecia.
Skin infections known as pyoderma or simply poor coat care may be other causes for hair loss. A poor diet may also affect the quality of your dog’s coat. Generally, dogs fed a higher quality diet develop a glossier coat and may shed considerably less. Something worth considering. Some dogs also benefit greatly from the addition of omega fatty acids. Ask your veterinarian if supplementing with omega fatty acids may be a good option for your dog.