If you have noticed that your dog is losing hair, in clumps or usually on his body, it is important that you understand what the common causes may be before consulting a veterinarian.
A shiny and thick coat is a good indicator that your dog gets everything he needs from his diet, environment and lifestyle. It can be painful to see him lose his hair, and sometimes difficult to know exactly why.
Symptoms of hair loss in your dog
The symptoms of hair loss may include that your dog feel dry, removing more hair than usual, and the appearance of bald patches that may be circular or irregular in shape. Hair loss can also be concentrated on a specific or generalized area all over your dog’s body.
Common Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs
A very common cause of hair loss in dogs is a parasitic infection such as mites, lice or fleas. In particular, if your dog loses hair around the neck and tail, it is likely that it is because of the fleas.
These tiny parasites can quickly infect your dog and irritate his skin; This causes sometimes intense itching, which can in turn cause the loss of hair.
Any skin condition in your dog, including eczema or dandruff, can eventually lead to hair loss. If your dog is uncomfortable or has difficulty with his skin, he will try to relieve it by scratching, licking and itching. Over time, this can lead to hair loss because some areas of the skin are weakened and their coat is torn off.
Hair loss in dogs can also occur due to nutritional deficiencies, the presence of which would promote the development of healthy skin and hair. Keratin, the central component of hair, needs the correct synthesis of sulfur amino acids; otherwise, your dog may grow slowly, and they may look weak and end up suffering from hair loss.
Similarly, biotin is an essential nutrient for the health of skin and hair, and protection against diseases such as hair loss.
If your dog is experiencing hair loss, it can also be a symptom of a more complex problem. Ovarian or testicular tumors, especially in older dogs, can cause localized hair loss – the tumor secretes hormones that disrupt the natural sexual cycle and healthy hair growth.
Cushing’s disease, a common problem in the canine population, can also cause hair loss. This is where a tumor develops, resulting in excessive production of cortisol in your dog’s adrenal gland, resulting in obesity, hair loss, dark patches, and many other behavioral symptoms.
Another condition, hypothyroidism – when your dog’s hormone production is underactive – can result in hair loss among its symptoms.
Protect your dog against hair loss
Some of the more complex causes of hair loss, such as Cushing’s disease, need to be treated by a veterinarian and closely monitored. However, you can also help protect your pet against hair loss at home:
Be sure to follow the recommended guidelines for regular and effective treatment of fleas and their eggs.
Use a dermato-logically approved shampoo for your dog to relieve itching and, therefore, discourage scuffing.
Give your dog nutrient-enriched food to support the development of skin and hair, including biotin and high-quality, highly digestible protein.
It is important to take your dog to your veterinarian once you have noticed a loss of hair so that he or she can conduct a thorough examination and receive the appropriate treatment.
You can also ask your veterinarian for advice on taking care of your dog’s skin and coat at all times.