Alopecia in dogs, is a serious problem that requires maximum attention from the owner and, accordingly, the veterinarian. There are many reasons for hair loss, however, in no case should one engage in diagnostics on his own. After all, after self-diagnosis, the pet is also treated. But if the reason for the deviation is determined incorrectly, there is a risk of endangering the life and health of the dog.
In suspicion of some kind of illness, you always need to call the veterinarian, like people call an ambulance when they feel bad.
Alopetia in dogs
Alopecia in dogs is the scientific name for hair loss and hair loss.
There are a lot of reasons for baldness, we will take a closer look at them in the article, but now let’s take a quick look at the main list that will help to understand the scale of alopecia and the number of reasons:
- Various parasites that have settled in the pet’s fur.
- Endocrine system disease: thyroid gland, hormones, adrenal glands, and so on.
- Bacteria on the skin.
- Violation and weakness of the immune system.
- Taking medications (long-term or low-quality drugs).
- Defects related to genes and heredity.
- Lack of various groups of vitamins and nutrients.
Signs of alopetia in dogs and diagnostics of disease
The process of baldness itself comes in different ways. It can be sudden baldness, or it can be quite gradual. The location of baldness also varies, because hair can fall out both in its individual parts, and everywhere and at once. Moreover, in addition to hair loss, there are not always other symptoms, if it is a serious illness and the dog does not look sick. If baldness is the primary disease, then this is the only symptom.
The diagnosis is carried out by experienced veterinarians who have already treated and determined the cause of baldness. He may notice, for example, that bald spots are symmetrical, which means that the dog most likely has problems with hormones. Demodectic mange in a dog is when hair falls out from different parts of the body. If the loss occurs only in one specific place, then most likely this is the body’s response to injections or infections.
The diagnosis is confirmed only after express tests, which our veterinarian conducts on the road. An analysis of hormones, blood is done, as well as a trichogram of hair and skin scrapings. There is baldness, which is called alopecia X, which means that the cause has not been found out. It occurs at almost any age in most breeds, but typically ranges from 2 to 5 years of age. The foci of disease are on: tail, groin, neck, thighs, lower back, and so on. Usually, the hair remains only on the head and legs, which are mainly in the front.
When is alopecia in dogs not scary?
It is also worth considering that baldness and baldness in general are sometimes an absolute norm and alopecia in dogs has nothing to do with it. After all, there are breeds that are designed to be bald. Such dogs include the Mexican dog breed, which is characterized by a naked body, as well as the Chinese crested dog breed.
The coat can also fall out due to shedding. Molting in animals is common. It depends on several factors. First, shedding occurs due to seasonality and changes in wool and fur coats. This is a biological process at the genetic level, so nothing can be done with it, just like it cannot be cured. The owner only needs to comb and comb the pet in order to control the molting process and help the pet. After all, wool has its own felting, which makes it dirty. This is unhygienic and uncomfortable for the animal.
Secondly, the dog is capable of shedding unexpectedly due to stress. Most often, this happens in cats, they are more fearful. However, there are also plenty of shy dogs, so if the dog belongs to such, it is worth following some rules. Do not make unexpected loud noises, slam the door or drop something while the dog is sleeping and resting. Not all dogs also like guests in the apartment, especially those who enter noisily after the doorbell rings.
Treatment of alopecia disease in dogs
Treatment for alopecia depends on one of many causes. First of all, you just need to observe the pet and see how it will behave. Don’t jump to conclusions. However, if there are symptoms and signs such as itching, lack of appetite, fever and the like, then you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Only he with the help of drugs is able to cure the animal.
It makes no sense to list the funds, because the person himself cannot determine the diagnosis, and the doctor, after the examination, will write out everything necessary. Sometimes drugs are not prescribed as such, but more traditional, but proven methods. For example, adding apple cider vinegar to water, making tinctures on dandelion, and burdock root. If there is no observation for several months, then this means that it is time to reconsider the methods of treatment and choose another one. In this disease, you cannot rush so much, the main thing is to do everything in a measured and gradual manner.
What are the most common reasons of alopecia in dogs?
As already mentioned, alopecia is a baldness of dogs, as well as a general violation of the growth of the coat. Alopecia comes in different forms, baldness and hair loss sometimes even appear in the area of the eyes and scalp. This is not typical for many diseases, but the same is also common. Sparse hair and partial baldness are also common.
Molting as the cause of alopecia in dogs
One of the reasons has already been noted above, namely, molting in dogs, now we will consider this issue in more detail. Molting in dogs occurs between the ages of 3 and 10 months. If we are talking about adult dogs, then they shed about twice a year. During this period, a large amount of hair loss occurs and this often becomes a great concern, because at some times the dog becomes almost bald.
Regular and constant grooming during these periods is the key to health for the dog. The complex of hair care during the shedding period includes:
- Combing the coat, especially in long-haired dogs. For them, this is relevant and necessary, with the use of special combs. The combs have dull and sparse teeth, which helps to comb out the coat more efficiently, not to get tangled and not to cause discomfort to the dog.
- If the dog is wire-haired or just short-haired, then cleaning should be done with a special brush with bristles.
- If the dog has a soft and delicate coat, then the comb should be a slicker, combed out once a week.
- Some dogs have a regular haircut or trimming method.
The groomer should talk about caring for the coat of dogs during the molting period.
If we talk about the molt itself, then there is no need to treat it, because this is a natural process. After a short period of time, the wool will grow back and will further delight the dog and, of course, the owner with its appearance.
Poor nutrition and alopecia in dogs
It often happens that after molting, the dog’s coat does not grow back or grows very reluctantly. This happens due to the fact that the dog does not eat well and does not receive the necessary vitamins and minerals that are required not only for a good coat, but also for a good, high-quality standard of living. The dog should not be obese, it should also lead an active lifestyle, play outside at least twice a day. Also, the dog should have a balanced food. This includes dry and natural food, the alternation of which must be balanced. A veterinarian-nutritionist is able to help determine the right balance and choose the right food, the advice of which is very important if the coat does not recover properly after shedding.
There are also certain vitamins for hair growth, which are given to the dog with food. These include:
- Fish oil, which contains many vitamins that are beneficial to health.
- Fatty acid.
- It is worth giving the dog milk, eggs, fresh meat, it is better that these are kidneys and liver.
- Specialized preparations for high-quality wool are also sold.
Can hormone problems cause a problem like alopecia in dogs?
A fairly common problem of hair loss and partial hair loss in a dog are hormonal problems in which symmetrical hair loss and baldness are common.
The coat thins very much or even falls out completely. What exactly is this happening:
- Too much cortisol in the body.
- During puberty, males experience a disturbance in growth hormone. This is especially common among boxers, airedale terriers, chow-chows, poodles and some other breeds. Although, in general, any breed can undergo such a problem.
- An imbalance of estrogens, there can be many or few of them.
- Thyroid dysfunction – if we talk about the causes of hair loss in dogs, then this is one of the most common.
Treatment in this situation takes place under the full supervision of a veterinarian who will try to restore the balance of hormones. He will bring them to their normal state with the help of drugs, the dosage and course of which is prescribed individually for each dog.
Hereditary and genes for which alopecia is produced in dogs
If we talk about Dobermans, huskies, terriers, poodles, boxers, chihuahuas, pinschers, bulldogs and some other animals, baldness due to genetics and predisposition from birth is most often observed in them. Although there are exceptions to the rule.
This is the most humane reason for baldness of four-legged friends, because everything happens naturally. Moreover, the loss occurs symmetrically, without itching, irritation and other unpleasant symptoms. Treatment is not recommended, because the process is natural and it is better not to interfere with it, so as not to spoil the balance of hormones in the body and not develop another pathology or deviation. However, if treatment is prescribed, then they do it just by hormonal agents. No one can promise a 100% return of the wool, sometimes it happens that the wool grows back, and after a while falls out again. That is, such treatment is characterized by instability and individual characteristics of the dog’s body.
Allergies that cause alopecia in dogs
Allergic reactions are common in dogs of any breed, age or gender. Allergy is to many substances, including household chemicals, dust, smoke, some drugs and their components, as well as some feed and many other substances.
Symptoms are defined quite simply: baldness occurs around the eyes or mouth of the animal. Also accompanied by lacrimation, severe scabies and a runny nose. The ears of the animal become inflamed.
To get rid of the symptoms and return the dog to his usual way of life, it is worth protecting him from contact with the allergen that affects him. Also, the dog is given antihistamines so that the coat grows back.
There is also a flea bite allergy. In this case, it is necessary to treat the animal with special medicines for fleas.
A veterinarian is capable of detecting allergens. He will also advise you to need a remedy for the dog to return to its usual way of life.
Parasites can also cause alopecia in dogs
Parasitic diseases also cause hair loss in dogs. Diseases are caused by multicellular animals, for example, worms or mites that live inside the dog.
Such parasites cause scabies and itching in a dog, which is a noticeable and strong symptom, after which an urgent need to consult a veterinarian. Also, this must be done for the reason that such parasites are capable of infecting humans as well. Therefore, in no case should you take your pet to the clinic yourself. There is a risk of infecting surrounding animals or even people. It will be safer to call a veterinarian at home.
Infections Can Cause Disease – Dog Alopecia
Infections also lead to hair disease. Many diseases can be listed as examples, since the classification is large. These are mainly viruses (like hepatitis) and fungal (like lichen or dermatomycosis) infections.
Among the listed diseases and causes, this one should be given special attention. Pets are able to infect their owner, while the disease is dangerous and cunning, often asymptomatic and attacking only at the weakest and inappropriate moment for the body. Also, many infections can lead to death of a pet.
Alopezia in dogs – Conclusion
If, in addition to hair loss, symptoms are also noticeable that are new and unusual for the animal, you should immediately contact the veterinarian and tell him about these very signs. If the coat falls out without symptoms, do not rejoice and think that this is a shedding. Sometimes not the most pleasant and safe diseases are masked by molting, poisoning the animal’s body.
Important! This article is merely informative, at Petsfeed.co we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.