Does it appear that your dog is losing hair in patches or all over its body? There is need for you to understand what may be happening. A thick and glossy coat is evidence that your dog gets everything it needs in its diet, lifestyle and environment. Your distress in seeing it shed and lose hair is therefore understandable, especially when you are not sure of what is happening.
Alopecia, commonly known as hair loss in dogs, is common. This disorder brings about complete or partial hair loss. Your dog’s skin can be affected by it. Other parts of its body that can also be affected are its lymphatic system, immune system and endocrine system. Alopecia can happen to dogs of any age, breed or gender. It can happen gradually or acutely. You can read more here.
Alopecia is exceptionally obvious, and typified as diverse or regular hair loss. In other words, it may come with obvious circular shapes or some irregular but identifiable outline. A brittle feel, a dry feel, an unusual shedding of hair, localized inflammation and crusting,and manifestations of circular bald patches are enough signs of your dog’s Alopecia. With some dogs, scaling also happens to the skin. Alopecia can be confined to a particular region and it can also spread out all over your pet’s body.
Causes of Alopecia
Infestation is the greatest cause of alopecia. Infestation is usually caused by Demodex, which is a mite. Other parasitic sources of infestation are lice and fleas. Fleas are usually the suspect if the hair loss is happening at the tail or neck region. These parasites are so tiny and they multiply rapidly. They irritate the skin; a situation that leads the dog to extreme scratching and subsequent alopecia.
Your pet’s persistent licking of itself and scratching shows it is uncomfortable or experiencing discomfort from its skin. As it does this, it weakens specific areas of skin that eventually results in the coat pulling out.
When hair follicles have disrupted growth due to trauma, immune diseases, abnormalities in the endocrine system, infections like dandruff and eczema, alopecia can occur. Hair follicle inflammationcan also result in a case of several disappeared hair patches. However, if this is more widespread, it may be symptomatic of a specific disease.
Nutrients can also be a major factor.You can check here https://pethempcompany.com/blogs/issues/hemp-oil-for-dogs-with-hair-loss for more on this.
The absence of nutrients that bring about healthy skin and hair will definitely result in alopecia. Certain amino acids are needed for keratin –which is the hair’s main component– to be properly synthesized. A measured hair growth, brittleness and alopecia are likely end results in the absence of these amino acids. Another very important nutrient is biotin as it also supports healthy skin and hair.
Your dog’s alopecia can be the result of testicular or ovarian tumors, especially with seniors. The tumor is known to secrete hormones that interfere with the sexual cycle and growth of a healthy coat. Other causes of this problem that are common amongst dogs are Cushing’s disease and hypothyroidism. Both have to do with excess hormone production that leads to several challenges including alopecia.
Developing a good treatment plan depends on being able to make a good diagnosis that tells the severity and pattern of the ailment. Some things that will be checked out for during diagnosis are these:
- Occurrence in multiple areas –bacterial infections or ringworm are usually associated with this pattern of the ailment. With this spread into multiple areas is a scaling and reddening of the skin. Scleroderma, often due to recent vaccination or a scared tissue, can also bring about scaling and reddened skin.
- Symmetrical loss –this can result from adrenal glands producing high steroid levels. The samecan also result from high estrogen level, low secretion of female hormones, lowering thyroid level, and hair losses due to testosterone issues.
- Patchy or generalized –usually associated with skin redness and inflammation. It is most commonly caused by mange but can also be caused by ringworm and bacterial infections
Treatment and Prevention
If the cause of alopecia is from one of the complex causes like Cushing’s disease, you will need to call a veterinarian to both handle the treatment and also closely monitor progress. While you may do this, there are other ways to go about treating alopecia without the vet.
Rid your environment of fleas and flea eggs. If you notice that your dog scratches frequently, use specialist shampoos that are dermatologically approved. This will alleviate itching, which in turn will prevent scratching. Remember also that nutrients matter. Feed your pet with nutrient-rich foods that can support the growth and maintenance of a healthy coat.
Your dog deserves regular visits to the vet. Regular visits can help spot, on time, some ailments before they become full blown. If you however notice signs of alopecia before it is due for a visit to the veterinarian, nothing says you must wait till your visitation date. Take your dog to see the vet to afford it thorough checkup because early detection and treatment will do it a lot of good. Your vet is also a good source of information on how to provide quality skin care for your dog. Go ahead and ask!