Shedding hair is normal for dogs, and at times, they shed more than usual especially during hot summer months. But when your dog is losing a lot of hair and gets bald spots, you might have to get worried. This can mean something more serious than shedding, maybe allergies, hormonal imbalance, trauma, mites, or infection.
Although it’s completely normal for most dogs to shed at some point throughout the year, large clumps of dull hair or fair do not fall out easily. If your dog’s fur is thinning that you can see her skin, this is a sign of excessive hair loss.
Here are several causes of hair loss you might want to consider:
This is a skin disease caused by mites. Mites can take over your dog’s fur and cause patches in his hair. Mange also causes your dog’s skin to turn scaly and make him itch excessively. This itching can lead to hair loss in severe cases.
Hair loss can actually be caused by the dog chronically licking his own fur. This condition is called acral lick dermatitis, characterized by damage in the hair follicle that leads to hair loss. Another cause of trauma can also be an injury that prevents hair from growing back.
Your dog may be allergic to certain foods, fleas, and chemicals found in his shampoo and other skincare products. Hair loss caused by allergies is often shown by redness on the skin, itching, hot spots, and bumps.
Ringworms, folliculitis, and cancer can cause hair loss in dogs. Infection-related hair loss is often characterized by nodules with or without pus, scaling, redness, and hot spots.
Thyroid disorders, pituitary dwarfism, and adrenal gland deficiency can cause progressive hair loss in dogs.
How can you treat this? Treatment will, of course, depend on the cause of your dog’s hair loss, so the first thing you should do is check with your veterinarian before trying out anything.
Your vet may prescribe antibiotics and other medications for the illness. You might also have to change your dog’s diet. If your dog has a hormonal imbalance, he will have to undergo hormone treatment by taking supplements.
For excessive licking and itchy skin, bathe your dog with a dog-specific shampoo that contains hydrocortisone. This will calm irritated skin and can promote faster healing.