Canine Companions and Hairless Patches

Amy Flowers, DVM, reviewed this information on May 06, 2023. It's not unusual for your four-legged friend to shed hair, but it can be concerning when it results in noticeable bald spots.

Have you ever wondered why dogs sometimes lose excess hair? Are certain breeds more susceptible to balding? Keep reading to learn more about the causes of bald spots in dogs and how to maintain your pet's fur in top condition.

Dogs may experience hair loss due to a number of reasons, including infections and irritation caused by a variety of parasites. Some common causes include:

  • Allergies

Dogs, like humans, can develop allergies that trigger hair loss. Allergic reactions may be caused by a variety of environmental factors, including foods, pollen, fleas, and mites. Although flea bites are the leading cause of dog allergies, fleas can also cause your pet to experience itchy skin and redness by biting and licking affected areas. For especially allergic dogs, even a single flea bite can trigger a prolonged allergic reaction.

While any dog can develop allergies, some canines are more susceptible than others. Treatment options may include topical or internal medication, allergy shots, changes to your dog's diet, and avoiding exposure to the allergen.

Cushing's Disease

Hair loss in dogs may also be caused by Cushing's disease, a condition characterized by excessive production of the hormone cortisol. Cushing's disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, can be treated using medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the case.

While this condition can affect dogs of all ages, it is more commonly seen in pups six years or older. Other signs of Cushing's disease include increased food and water intake, excessive urination, panting, and a bloated belly. If you observe any of these symptoms, take your dog to a veterinarian for a check-up.

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