Alopecia (hair loss in dogs): symptoms, causes, treatment

Alopecia (hair loss in dogs): symptoms, causes, treatment

What to do if a dog’s hair falls out Seasonal molting in animals is a sign of normal functioning of the body. Some breeds are characterized by year-round hair loss, while others – in the off-season. Created non-binding species that are important to cut and trim. But if the process leaves bald spots and causes itching, then this is a cause for concern: the dog is sick.


Possible causes of the disease

The second name for hair loss is alopecia, and this is normal if the animal does not itch, does not lose activity and appetite. The key to a high quality coat is proper pet care and balanced nutrition. But the cause of molting can also be a disease. Therefore, there are two types of prerequisites for the occurrence of unseasonal molting: hormonal and non-hormonal.
Hormonal failures

Hormonal failures are associated with thyroid and sebaceous gland dysfunction. They occur against the background of other serious diseases (due to reduced immunity, the villi become brittle). Or due to sterilization (when the release of the sex hormone is reduced, the animal rapidly gains weight; its skin softens, the condition of the hair follicles worsens; the abundance of undercoat growth decreases).

If the cause of alopecia lies in hormonal failures, then the first receding hairline appears on the neck and chest. Bald spots are symmetrical and gradually spread throughout the body.


Insufficiency of the thyroid gland. More often, this pathology affects elderly dogs or dogs with excess weight. Spaniels, Dachshunds, Airedale Terriers, Dobermans, and Setters are predisposed to the disease.

Hypothyroidism is manifested by symptoms:

  • Reduced temperature, activity, lack of interest in life;
  • Weakness, poor tolerance to physical activity training;
  • Rapid weight gain;
  • Swelling of the muzzle;
  • Pigmentation disorders of the body;
  • Hair becomes brittle, brittle, faded;
  • Alternate hair loss on the back, chest and neck in clumps.

Treatment is based on the introduction of hormones, special tablets for stimulating the glands such as Levothyroxine capsules.

Pituitary dwarfism

is Characterized by a lack of growth hormone. This disease is genetic, not acquired, observed in a small number of puppies. More often, German shepherds are prone to the disease. The only way to check a puppy’s aptitude is to use a DNA test. Symptoms appear 3-4 months after birth:

the Baby stops developing and growing.
He has problems with his teeth and skin (the cover becomes thin, which increases the risk of irritation and dermatitis).
In addition, the hairs die off and fall out before seasonal molting. This is due to the fact that the puppy’s coat does not change to an adult.


Estrogen is a female sex hormone. The disease suggests an overabundance of it, both in bitches and in males. Causes: testicular tumor for males and cyst (less often ovarian tumor) for females. The only possible treatment is surgical, followed by removal of the reproductive organs and complete (or partial) sterilization.

Pathology is manifested by symptoms:

  • Wool loses its presentable appearance, actively falls out (first on the sides and stomach symmetrically), skin inflammation is not observed;
  • In males, the nipples swell, the testicles drop, the foreskin increases and swells (the process of feminization);
  • Girls have swollen loops and halos;
  • Growths may appear on the surface of the flesh;
  • Increases the abundance of secretions from the genitals.

The disease is the reverse of hyperestrogenism – that is, a lack of estrogen (more often in females). It usually appears after suffering from serious diseases of the reproductive system (pyometra, endometritis, mastitis). It is more common in Mature and elderly bitches.

The pathology is manifested by thinning of the skin, receding hairline in the groin, General slowing of hair growth. Usually, the problem is not solved completely, the animal is forced to take artificial hormones for life.

Non-hormonal causes

These reasons directly depend on the care of the owner and the quality of care. If the animal receives proper veterinary care, eats expensive balanced food, regularly bathes and is treated for parasites, the problem of hair loss is unlikely to overtake it.

Some causes of baldness are stress, moving, and beriberi. There is a concept of pattern-alopecia in newborn puppies, usually the coat is restored without human intervention.


a Healthy digestive system is the key to a good condition of the skin, coat, claws and teeth. If there is not enough protein and saturated fat (fatty acids) in the diet, the cover loses its natural Shine, discolors, and the outer hair becomes brittle.

The food should contain a complex of vitamins, including copper, mineral salts and vitamins of group B. Balance is achieved with the help of artificial or natural complementary foods.


There are food allergies, irritation from ectoparasite bites, and reactions to environmental emissions (household chemicals, exhaust gases, pollen). Depending on the type of symptoms:

  1. Redness and itching that cause anxiety in the pet;
  2. Hair loss on inflamed areas of the skin;
  3. Coughing, sneezing;
  4. Edema of individual parts of the body (limbs, muzzle);
  5. Increased salivation, discharge of tears or other biological fluids;
  6. Redness of the mucous membranes;
  7. Weeping eczema.

Treatment depends on the irritant. Sometimes it is enough to isolate the dog from the allergen, in difficult situations, antihistamines are administered.

Infections and parasites

The most common problem that causes an animal to lose its hair is lichen. Fungal diseases or yeast infections occur in contact with an infected object. A similar cause is seborrhea, in which the entire body is covered with scales.

In the warm season, Pets are attacked by fleas and ticks. If ordinary ectoparasites can be removed using drops or shampoos, then the Demodex mite (which parasitizes the hair follicles) or scabies will have to be etched with a whole set of measures: immunomodulators, ointments, symptomatic medications.

Signs of hair loss with treatment recommendations

The cause is diagnosed by the symptoms that appear. Depending on the source of the problem, treatment is prescribed. The General course necessarily includes isolation of the dog from external stimuli (ectoparasites, allergens) or get rid of the root cause (hormone stimulation). The next step is to treat the wounds and inflammations that have appeared.
The dog’s hair falls out in clumps to bald spots

Such symptoms are inherent in a fungal infection (often lichen). It rarely brings discomfort to the pet, but the bald spots scattered all over the body do not look aesthetically pleasing, and the exposed skin is covered with a crust or blisters.

Such problems are treated under the supervision of a doctor. There are injections for internal treatment of the disease and ointments for external use. During the recovery period, the introduction of therapeutic feeds and immunomodulators is mandatory.

The dog’s hair falls out in clumps to bald spots

If the coat falls in winter to the cold, the animal changes its coat to a denser one, grows a thick undercoat, so baldness in winter is alarming to the owners. Depending on the characteristic symptoms, there are several possible causes:
Infectious disease;
A vitamin deficiency or an Allergy;
Stress, nervous breakdown.

Often in winter, the owners dress the animals in protective overalls. If the clothing is made of synthetic materials and irritates the skin (or rubs), it is possible that alopecia may appear. Too tight outfits are often the cause of baldness.

If hair falls out in the winter
The dog itches, and the hair falls out

A common symptom of flea infestation. You can diagnose it yourself: insects or their secretions (black sand and dandruff) are visible in the groin and on the stomach. Flea bites cause the pet to brush its skin, which causes hair loss. In this case, treatment of parasites with drops on the withers or other external means is mandatory.

If the dog has demodecosis or scabies, the cause is also in the infestation (but the parasites are too small to see them), the diagnosis can only be made by a veterinarian after conducting research: skin scraping, General blood analysis. In this case, the treatment is aimed at restoring the immune system.

Dandruff, skin flakes and hair falls out

Seborrhea is the process of secreting and accumulating a fatty enzyme that causes severe skin peeling in an animal. It can be caused by vitamin deficiencies, poor nutrition, or stress. As a result of this irritation, the skin weakens, cracks, which causes secondary infectious infections.

To cure peeling and itching, use special dog shampoos. Although to completely get rid of the symptoms, it is better to conduct an analysis and find out the root cause.

Dandruff, skin flakes and hair falls out
The dog’s hair falls out on its back

Usually, seasonal molting starts from the head along the back and ends at the tail. Therefore, if the schedule is scheduled for regular alopecia, do not worry (even if it started a little earlier). In the opposite case, consultation with a veterinarian is mandatory, without diagnosis, the cause cannot be established.

If baldness began after the introduction of a new product in the feed, or the use of a bathing product, then, most likely, hair loss will stop when the pet’s contact with these substances is limited.

This problem often occurs with an allergic reaction to food products. Usually, animals react negatively to chicken, corn, wheat or low-quality ready-made food. But alopecia around the eyes is also affected by infection of the mucous membranes: conjunctivitis, blepharitis, meibomitis (internal barley).

Experienced breeders also know that the eyelids go bald when eating bulbs with demodecosis. Therefore, it is better to contact the clinic for an accurate diagnosis.
On the neck

If the hair falls out symmetrically on the neck and chest, the reason lies in a hormonal failure. Although Sharpe and Bulldogs have alopecia between the skin folds in the absence of water treatments and treatment of excess cover. Treatment of hormonal diseases consists in the administration of special medications, but only under the supervision of a doctor.

Experts say it is important to vaccinate your pet against demodecosis and shingles, despite the fact that these vaccinations are optional. Infection with a fungus or subcutaneous mite is almost impossible to completely cure, which condemns the dog to a lifetime of feeding pills.

It is important to be examined annually in the clinic to make sure that all organ systems and glands are functioning normally. Then you can safely exclude hormonal failures from the list of reasons.

But the most important thing for a dog is careful care. Some breeds need to swim every week, others – 1 time a year. This schedule depends on the structure of the coat and skin. The owner should be attentive to changes in the pet’s behavior, so that if the first symptoms appear, the situation can be quickly corrected.
Vitamins and preparations for restoring wool cover

A healthy dog has a beautiful thick, even coat with a bright color and Shine. To ensure that the appearance of the pet remains impeccable, its cover must be carefully monitored:

Bathe and comb according to recommendations for the breed;
Use only animal-friendly products;
Follow the diet, choosing high-quality products and feed without allergenic additives. Beater for dogs

During the molting period, the dog must be combed daily to get rid of dead hair. Without this procedure, the pores become clogged, which leads to itching and irritation. If any unhealthy signs appear: bald spots, redness-you need to go to the clinic.

Another factor that affects the health of wool is the adequacy of the vitamin complex. All puppies and adult dogs need to be fed with minerals. If dry food includes the necessary vitamins, then special additives are introduced for natural nutrition.

There are production tablets for hair growth and food additives:

  • Vit active S-sh (increasing the density of hair, improving the structure; preventing the destruction of hair follicles);
  • Beaver (complex vitamin for a healthy dermis and coat);
  • Excel 8 in 1 (a combination of garlic and brewer’s yeast);
  • Varieties of vitamins Canin;
  • Feed molasses and liver, linseed oil, brewer’s yeast, mutton, whey (vitamins B, H, F);

The quality of wool is the determining factor for assigning a class. In addition, the wool cover is the main criterion for evaluation at exhibitions (especially for show dogs). To maintain the quality of hair at the proper level, the owner needs to put a lot of effort.

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