Hair loss in dogs and the causes.

Dogs can lose their hair and coat from a variety of causes mainly  fleas, mites, allergies, hot spots, infections and Mange Dogs can lose their coat in big patches or small spots

Dog Hair loss seems to happen in the summer more than in the winter.  The dog will chew his feet or his rump until there are big patches of areas where there is no hair left .

Your dog is miserable and so are you, trying to figure out what is causing the problems.

I had a Cairn Terrier that would pull great patches of hair from her body.  I talked to my Vet and and we discussed the following:

These often present with affected areas on the skin, hair loss and skin irritation.  Your dog will not be a happy camper.  Look around the house and the yard.  check the coat for, beyond the obvious fleas, other pests like chiggers, mites, ticks.

Does your dog play in an area where there are burrs?  Does he like to play in the mud and dig up old bones? Check these areas for these pests and other irritants that can cause hair loss.

I often see my pet biting at his foot and then I know to look carefully at it, often with a magnifying glass to see if there is a splinter or thistle causing the symptoms.

Check your pets feet.  Trim away all the hair with a blunt nose scissors and gently look at his feet.  Canines hate having their feet touched so go slowly and keep telling him “he a good boy or girl”.  Be sure to give him a treat afterwards so that he associates “he’s messing with my feet” to getting a reward afterwards.

Usually the culprit is either fleas, mites, ticks, Mange or a fungal infection.  Check for pink areas, scabs and wash your dog in a good hypoallergenic shampoo with avocado oil or oatmeal.  Micotek has a very good shampoo, developed by NASA and it’s the best anti-itching shampoo I have ever bought.

What will happen at the vet’s office.

The veterinarian will most likely do a skin scraping to fungal infection, such as ringworm. Blood tests will be done to check every part of the dog’s body.  These tests will tell the Vet if anything is wrong with the blood or organs and if the blood has white blood cells or a low platelet count.  Platelet counts are very important.  Any thing under 100 to 150 is cause for more tests.

Be aware that skin scraping tests are not always a sure way to find the pests.  Just as stool samples don’t catch every worm in the dogs body.  Sometimes you need to go to a skin specialist.

There are many reasons that dogs will have a hair loss condition.  Click here for more on canine hair

allergies and your pet , more information on this informative site