Causes of canine alopecia

Alopecia doesn’t refer only to hair loss; it also includes coat defects, and failure of hair growth

Hair loss in pets is typically associated with an underlying medical disorder. Some can be a result of genetics, while others — Cushing’s Disease, Addison’s Disease, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, etc. — are caused due to external parasites, fungal and bacterial skin infections, certain drugs, hormonal/endocrine imbalances. Allergies, stress, poor nutrition, lack of grooming and cancer can also cause hair loss .

Hormones that control hair growth are influenced by sunlight and temperature. Thus, many pets have major growing and shedding cycles each spring and fall. With more pets kept indoors in a controlled climate, marked growing and shedding cycles are less frequent, and they tend to shed evenly through the year.

A good blood supply brings nutrients and a normal concentration of hormones so that the area experiences healthy hair growth. Areas with a poor blood supply do not have healthy hair growth.


External parasites are notorious for causing alopecia in dogs. Fleas, ticks, lice and mites can all cause intense itching and scratching, which leads to hair loss. Mange (a skin disease) may also cause localised to generalised hair loss.

Fungal infections
Fungal infections of the skin (called ‘Dermatophytosis’) can cause partial to complete alopecia with scaling and redness. Some fungal infections are zoonotic, which means that they have the potential to cause skin lesions in people as well.

Bacterial infections
Bacterial skin infections can cause alopecia with redness, skin crusting, and circular patterns of hair loss. Bacterial folliculitis is the most common cause of multifocal alopecia.

Allergic pets have itchy skin, and in response they scratch or chew out their hair. Pets can be allergic to:
  • Foods – Grains (wheat, corn, soy), meat, fish, pork, milk, yeast.
  • Inhaled allergens – Pollen, cigarette smoke, perfumes
  • Contact allergies – Walking through grass, chemically-treated floors or carpets

Poor nutrition
Hair requires a constant supply of nutrients to remain anchored in the skin. Nutrients that support healthy hair are: vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.

Blood flow

Hair is a living element anchored in the follicle and is nourished by blood for most of its cycle. If blood circulation is poor, hair will not grow well. Pets with weak hearts, low blood pressure, and chronic anaemia may have a dull coat and skin.

-By Dr Preeti Mor and Dr Rohit Kumar;

Breeds most susceptible
  • Dachshunds have a breed predilection for thinning over the ears, abdomen, and neck
  • Hair loss due to hypothyroid disease affects Afghan Hound, Airedale, Boxer, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Dachshund, Doberman Pinscher, English Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Irish Setter, Irish Wolfhound, Miniature and Giant Schnauzer, Newfoundland, Poodle, Scottish Deerhound and Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Hair loss due to hyper-adrenocorticism (Cushing’s Disease) affects Beagle, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Dachshund, and Poodle
  • Some breeds grow hair very slowly after being clipped – Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows and mixed breed dogs with Northern genetics
  • Doberman Pinschers are prone to developing colour dilution alopecia
  • Alopecia X (also called adrenal reproductive hormone imbalance or ‘Black Skin Disease’) occurs more commonly in plush-coated breeds such as Pomeranian, Chow Chow, Keeshond and Miniature Poodle.

Are you a proud pet parent? Have a cute cat story to share? Maybe your guinea pig is giving you trouble? Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to [email protected]

End of the article

Md: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Video)

Ad Healthier Patriot

Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)

Ad Healthier Patriot

Md: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)

Ad Healthier Patriot

У вас (1) нове повідомлення! Відкрити зараз?

Ad Your-profit-method11

Make Your Own DIY Dog Friendly Carpet Deodorizer. Do you have some dog odors you want to get rid of? If you don’t have any special products on hand don’t worry – you can make your own simple dog friendly carpet deodorizer with items you’ve got around the house.

Why Doctors Will No Longer Prescribe Blood Pressure Meds

Ad Healthier Patriot

Chiropractors: This Simple Solution Ends Decades of Back Pain (Watch)

Ad Healthier Patriot

A perfect date night gift for your partner


Shave without a mess with using these 5 tips


5 reasons why you still don't have perfect abs


5 mistakes people make while ab training


Great styling tips for men with dark skin


Tips for dark men to look more stylish


Comments (0)