Alopecia is the term given to the unusual loss of hair. The most frequent causes of hair loss in prairie dogs include injury due to rubbing or prickling of fur on wire cages; poor nutrition; and skin parasites such as fleas, lice, ticks, and parasitic fungi that affect the skin, hair, or nails.
There are a variety of causes for alopecia in prairie dogs, including:
Your veterinarian may easily diagnose alopecia by observing the prairie dog's clinical signs. Identifying the underlying cause of the alopecia, however, may involve blood tests and microscopic skin scraping examinations to rule out nutritional disorders and ectoparasitic infestations, respectively. Examining a sample of your pet's hair under a Wood's lamp can also be useful in detecting fungal infections.
Any type of arachnid excluding ticks
Small, wingless insects that live as parasites on humans and some animals