dogsOther than people who buy Chinese crested, Xoloitzcuintli and a couple other breeds, most dog owners prefer furry friends that require occasional grooming. Sometimes, though, dogs can experience hair loss. Pet lovers who want to make sure their dogs stay furry should learn about these six reasons dogs may lose their hair.

  1. Allergic Reactions

Allergies can make a dog’s skin itch. Not surprisingly, this often encourages them to scratch itchy areas obsessively. The scratching can wear hair thin or even create bald spots.

Many allergies are caused by eating certain foods. Common triggers include:

Beef

Pork

Rabbit

Soy

Wheat

Dairy

Since dogs can have allergies to several items, owners often have a difficult time identifying the cause of itchy skin. Changing the dog’s diet is the best way to prevent hair loss caused by allergies. Owners may need to try several food brands before they find options that don’t cause allergic reactions.

  1. Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease, also called hyperadrenocorticism, can result in hair loss as well as several other symptoms. The disease is usually caused by a benign pituitary tumor that forces the gland to produce excessive amounts of hormones. A vet can diagnose the disease by examining urine and blood samples.

Veterinarians use medication to treat the negative effects of Cushing’s disease. Fur might not grow back for several weeks or months.

  1. Bug Infestations

All kinds of insect’s love living on dogs. The list includes fleas, scabies, ticks and mange. These bugs not only take up residence on dogs, but feed on their blood. As the infested area becomes increasingly irritated, the dog starts to scratch for relief. Eventually, the dog will scratch off its hair.

Dog owners can protect their pets from infestations by using topical repellents. Once a dog has an infestation, though, solving the problem may require stronger medications prescribed by a vet. Medications come in shampoo, injection and dip forms. Only an experienced vet can decide which option will work best for an infested dog.

  1. Skin Infections

Like infestations, skin infections can cause irritation and itchiness that drives dogs crazy. When dogs get skin infections, they will scratch frantically. Not surprisingly, this causes bald spots in the affected areas.

Most skin infections respond to topical treatments that owners can apply at home. Some cases require oral antibiotics.

Breeds with skin folds have a higher risk of developing infections. English Bulldogs and Chinese Shar-Peis, for instance, tend to get infections in their skin folds. Owners can help prevent infections by bathing their dogs regularly and using topical creams when necessary.

  1. Pressure Sores

Pressure sores occur when bony body parts, such as elbows, come into frequent contact with hard surfaces. Dogs can also get pressure sores on their hips, sides and hind legs. Since pressure sores are caused by the skin rubbing against hard surfaces, hair can wear thin. Dogs often make the problem worse by licking the painful area. Owners can help dogs prevent pressure sores by giving them comfortable beds and blankets to lie on.

  1. Genetics

Like humans, some dogs are genetically predisposed to hair loss. Some breeds never grow much fur. Others lose fur as they age. Since no one has developed a baldness treatment for dogs, there isn’t much that owners can do other than keep their dogs clean and make sure they aren’t suffering from health problems that cause alopecia.

Some dogs look adorable without hair. Hair loss, however, may indicate a health problem. Owners should always have their pets diagnosed by a vet instead of making assumptions about the cause of hair loss.

At Transitions Hair Loss Centers, we don’t treat pets for hair loss but we understand the love most of our clients have for their furry friends. If you are suffering from hair loss it’s time to find out what is causing it and which solutions are right for you. To set up a free consultation at a hair loss studio near you click here.

 

Photo Credit: kwanlamkwanlam Via Pixabay

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