Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Hair Loss in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Alopecia in Dogs

 

Hair loss (alopecia) is a common disorder in dogs which causes the animal to have partial or complete hair loss. It can affect a dog's skin, its endocrine system, its lymphatic system, and its immune systems. Alopecia can affect dogs and cats of all ages, breed and gender, and is either gradual or acute.

 

If you would like to learn more how alopecia affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD healthy library.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

Alopecia is extremely noticeable, and is characterized as a varied or a symmetrical hair loss. It may also be seen as bald circles, accompanied by crusting and inflammation around the area. Some dogs suffering from alopecia have scaling of the skin.

 

Causes

 

One of the most common causes of alopecia is mange, which caused by the mite Demodex. Hair loss can also occurs when there is a disruption in the growth of hair follicles, often from infection, trauma, an immune disease, or endocrine system abnormalities. If there are multiple missing patches of hair, it could be associated with an inflammation of the hair follicle. A more widespread area of hair loss, meanwhile, may indicate a more specific disease pattern.

 

Diagnosis

 

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.

 

 

 

Related Articles

Diseases of the Skin on the Nose in Dogs
Many diseases affect the skin on the noses of dogs. This includes bacterial or fungal...
READ MORE
Degenerative Skin Disorder (Necrolytic ...
Superficial necrolytic dermatitis is characterized by the deterioration and death...
READ MORE
Abscesses in Dogs
Surface wounds are fairly common in dogs, but they can become problematic if they...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search dog Articles

 

Latest In Dog Nutrition

How Your Overweight Pet Could Benefit from ...
Pet obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Fortunately, there are some things...
READ MORE
How Obesity May Shorten Your Pet's Lifespan
Obesity is a nationwide epidemic for our pets. Unfortunately, being obese can shorten...
READ MORE
The Role of Exercise in Pet Weight Loss
Exercise is beneficial for our pets in many ways, including weight loss, and here's...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM