Excessive Dog Hair Loss: How To Identify And Prevent It

Posted on: 17 March 2015

Hair loss in dogs is normal to a certain extent, as old or damaged hair is regularly discarded by the body to give space for a new, healthy coat to grow. However, excessive shedding could indicate an underlying condition called "alopecia," which basically refers to a deficiency in the dog's hair coat that causes excessive hair loss accompanied by symptoms such as scratching, skin inflammation and baldness.

If you notice that your dog is shedding too much hair with the loss accompanied by bald patches, itching, crusting and inflammation, then it is time to take him to a vet.

What causes excessive shedding?

Alopecia is usually indicative of an underlying health problem, such as a fungal or bacterial infection, infestation by fleas or parasites, adrenal, kidney or thyroid disease, or an allergic reaction to a certain foods or medication.

If you notice excessive hair loss in your dog accompanied by serious symptoms such as scabs, redness of the skin, constant scratching, open sores and dry hair that pulls off too easily, you should take your dog to a pet clinic for diagnosis and treatment.

Ways to prevent and treat Alopecia

As a pet owner, you certainly want your dog to remain healthy so as to save yourself a trip to the vet unless it is absolutely necessary. You can keep excessive shedding at bay by knowing the causes and taking measures to keep your pet shielded from them.

Because external parasites are a major cause of hair loss, you can protect your dog by using tick and flea repellants in areas where the dog sleeps so as to eliminate parasitic infestation. You should also talk to your vet about detergents that you can use to safely clean your dog's kennel so as to reduce the risk of hair loss associated with mites, ticks and other parasites.

Hair loss is also commonly caused by an underlying medical condition. Taking your dog for annual urine and blood tests at your local pet clinic can help identify a possible underlying endocrine or hormonal medical condition that could be contributing to alopecia.

Should any condition be identified, your vet will usually prescribe the appropriate treatment to address hormone levels and prevent further shedding. In cases where the hair loss has no underlying medical cause, topical shampoos and antibiotic therapy will usually do the trick.

Hair loss can also be prevented by feeding your dog healthy foods recommended by your veterinarian and keeping their environment clean and stress-free. For more information, contact Canal Road Animal Hospital or a similar location.