The Hairy Details: Why Is My Dog Losing His Fur?

Posted on: 7 August 2015

Almost all dogs shed their old and damaged fur. However, if your dog has bald spots, an extremely dry coat, or fur that falls out in large chunks, there may be a problem. Here are some of the reasons your canine friend may be losing his fur.

Cushing's Disease

Cushing's disease, otherwise known as hyperadrenocorticism, occurs when the adrenal glands produce too much of the hormone cortisol. Typically, the pituitary gland regulates how much cortisol is released into the bloodstream. However, small benign tumors in the gland can cause too much cortisol to be released and, as a result, the bloodstream is poisoned. Hair loss, along with bruising and a swollen belly, are some of the main symptoms of Cushing's Disease.

  • Remedy: Oral medication can suppress cortisol production but sometimes the tumors will need to be surgically removed.

Flea Allergy

Allergies are on the rise. In fact, about 10 percent of dogs have allergies. Since dogs don't always get the tell-tale signs of allergies that humans do, such as watery eyes and runny noses, you might not notice your pooch is even suffering. The key is to pay close attention to your canine's skin and fur. The most common cause of skin allergies is fleas. Along with allergies, fleas can transmit tapeworms and also cause anemia, so you'll want to take care of the flea problem as soon as possible.

  • Remedy: The most natural way to get rid of fleas is with a flea comb. You'll want to comb your dog on a light-colored, washable blanket or towel. Make sure to dispose of the fleas and residue in a container with soapy water. Then, flush the container's contents down the toilet. Along with using a flea comb, a simple natural remedy for parasites is fresh garlic. You'll need to ask a veterinarian about the correct dose for your dog's weight.  

Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroxine, the hormone that controls metabolism. Dogs between the ages of 4 and 10 are more likely to develop this condition. In addition, one of the first signs of this hormone imbalance is hair loss. Typically, the hair loss is on the dog's hind legs and its trunk. You may also notice your canine has flaky skin. Hypothyroidism can also led to a slower heart rate, muscle loss, and even seizures. If your pooch has multiples seizures in a 24-hour period, or if your canine is experiencing a seizure for the first time, you'll need to take your dog to see an emergency vet.

  • Remedy: Levothyroxine, an oral hormone drug, can help balance your dog's thyroid problems.

These tips can help keep your furry friend happy, and, well, furry!