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Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

Sunday, October 29, 2017
posted by Jim Murphy

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common disorder in dogs or cats which causes the animal to have partial or complete hair loss. Alopecia can affect the dogs  or cats endocrine system, skin , lymphatic system and immune system. These disease can affect dogs and cats of all breeds and can be gradual or acute.

Alopcia is extremely noticeable and the hair loss can be varied or symmetrical. It can be accompanied by inflammation and crusting around the area. Some dogs that have alopecia may have scaling of the skin.

So what causes hair loss? The main culprit is mange which caused by the mite Demodex.  Hair loss can also occur if there is a disruption of the hair follicles caused by infection, trauma, an immune disease or problems with the endocrine system. If there are multiple patches of missing hair, it could be inflammation of the hair follicle. A more widespread area of hair loss, meanwhile, may indicate a more specific disease pattern.

The diagnosis is provided my PetMD.

The pattern and severity of alopecia is essential for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

  • Multiple areas of hair loss — This is often accompanied by the reddening of the skin and mild scaling. A fungus such as ringworm or bacterial infections are generally associated with this type of hair loss. Another common cause includes scleroderma, a skin condition that develops from scar tissue or as a result of a recent vaccination.
  • Symmetrical hair loss — There are several known causes for this, including excessive levels of steroids in the dog’s body produced by the adrenal glands, low thyroid levels, increased levels of estrogen, low levels of female hormone secretion, and testosterone-related hair loss (occurring when the levels are lowered suddenly in the dog).
  • Patchy to generalized hair loss — Mange is one of the most familiar causes of this type of hair loss. Other causes include bacterial infections and ringworm. It is is accompanied with redness of the skin and inflammation.

Thanks to Pet MD for provided this valuable information!

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