Alopecia—or baldness—in dogs is a common condition that can be caused by a variety of factors including allergies, hormones, stress, and infections. In most cases, hair loss is temporary and can be treated with proper care.
However, some cases of alopecia may require medical attention to ensure that the underlying cause is properly identified and addressed. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about alopecia in dogs.
Types of Alopecia in Dogs
The three main types of alopecia in dogs are non-inflammatory alopecia, inflammatory alopecia, and hormonal alopecia.
Non-inflammatory alopecia occurs when the dog has an inadequate supply of nutrients from their diet or if they are suffering from an infection or parasite infestation. This type of alopecia is usually temporary and can be easily treated with nutritional supplements or topical treatments.
Inflammatory alopecia is caused by allergic reactions or skin irritations such as dermatitis or flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). It often presents itself as patchy hair loss on the body but can also affect the face and paws.
Treatment for this type of alopecia typically involves antihistamines, corticosteroids, dietary changes, topical treatments or antibiotics depending on the cause.
Hormonal imbalances—such as low thyroid hormone levels—can also lead to hair loss in dogs. This type of alopecia presents itself differently than non-inflammatory and inflammatory types; it usually begins with symmetrical hair loss around the eyes and mouth and then progresses down the back toward the tail.
Treatment for hormonal imbalances involves hormone replacement therapy which should be done under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Alopecia in dogs is a common condition that can have various underlying causes ranging from dietary deficiencies to hormone imbalances or even allergies and skin irritations.
While most cases of canine alopecia are temporary and respond well to dietary changes or simple topical treatments, there are times when medical intervention may be necessary to ensure that your pet’s health remains optimal.
If your dog is experiencing any kind of hair loss it’s important to visit your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis so that you can get them on the best treatment plan possible. With proper care, your pup should make a full recovery quickly!