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Why is My Dog Losing Hair?

There are various reasons why dogs may experience hair loss, ranging from seasonal shedding and allergies to more severe issues such as alopecia. Today, our Lebanon veterinarians will discuss the causes of hair loss in dogs.

What Causes Dog Hair Loss?

Dogs may experience hair loss in some areas of their body due to various reasons. These reasons may include regular shedding during seasonal changes, mange, fleas or other types of mites, and hormonal changes. It's important also to be aware of a condition called alopecia.

Seasonal Shedding

Brushing your dog twice a week can help eliminate and reduce unwanted hair. Dogs shed their fur as their hair grows old or damaged or when the temperature warms up. Huskies and Labradors, for example, have thick winter undercoats that they shed in the spring. If you reside in a temperate area, seasonal shedding is frequently decreased.

Bacterial Infections

Dogs, like humans, can develop bacterial or fungal diseases on their skin. Pyoderma is a term used to describe a bacterial skin infection, especially when the skin is red and pus-filled. Candida infections, often known as yeast infections, arise when the yeast that is constantly present on a dog's skin becomes overgrown. Ringworm, also known as tinea, is a fungal condition that causes dry skin and damaged hairs in round spots.


Mange is a condition characterized by itchy skin ailments caused by mites. Mites are tiny organisms that live on the skin or in hair follicles. Some mites, such as the scabies mite, can easily spread to humans and other dogs. If you notice mites or fleas on your dog, it's best to consult a veterinarian for an antiparasitic treatment.


Dogs, similar to humans, can suffer from allergies, with itchy skin and hair loss being the most common symptoms. The most frequent dog allergies are environmental allergies to irritants such as pollen, mold, dust mites, fleas, and food allergies. However, it would be best to keep in mind that identifying dietary allergies can take at least eight weeks of food trials.

Other Medical Conditions

Stress, poor diet, pregnancy, nursing, or any underlying medical condition can all contribute to excessive shedding. A dog who is losing hair should see a veterinarian, although his illness is generally treatable with a simple change in diet or medicine. The dog hair loss therapy they recommend will be based on your pet's other health requirements.


Alopecia is a fairly common condition that can cause either hair thinning or bald patches. It should not be confused with shedding, which is a natural part of a dog's hair growth cycle and can vary depending on the breed.

Symptoms and Causes of Alopecia

Depending on the cause of alopecia, symptoms can include:

  • Mild to severe scratching
  • Skin that is red, inflamed, thickened, oozing, bleeding, malodorous, or pigmented
  • Skin with papules

Likewise, there are numerous causes of alopecia, which include:

  • Ectoparasites and bug bites
  • Skin infections and allergies
  • Genetic predispositions
  • Autoimmune disorders Endocrine diseases
  • Environmental causes
  • Nutritional causes

Breeds Susceptible to Alopecia

Dog breeds predisposed to alopecia include Mexican Hairless, Chinese Crested, Bulldogs, Dobermans, Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, Greyhounds, Siberian Huskies, Pomeranians, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, and West Highland White Terriers.

Further, any breed with poor husbandry, especially puppies, is at risk for mange.

How to Stop Dog Hair Loss

To prevent hair loss in your dog, you can take several steps. First, check for fleas in your house and rule out mange. Second, provide a calm atmosphere for your furry friend. Third, examine the type of dog food your dog is consuming. If the symptoms are minimal, consider hypoallergenic dog food options. However, if you don't see any improvement, it's best to consult your animal allergy and dermatology veterinarian to rule out any more serious conditions.

If you're concerned about your dog's hair loss, contact our veterinary dermatologist at Cumberland Animal Hospital for a consultation.

New Patients Welcome

Cumberland Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Lebanon companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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