Seeing your fur-baby lose his hair and acquire bald dog spots can be heartbreaking. As disconcerting as it is, we're here to discuss what causes baldness in dogs and what you can do to help your pup get their shiny locks back. If you notice your fur-baby slowly becoming a bald dog and losing his hair, it's important to know its causes. The following are the most common causes of baldness in dogs.
HOW YOUR FUR-BABY CAN BECOME A BALD DOG
Allergies. This is probably one of the most common causes of baldness in dogs. Allergies in dogs can be due to molds, dust, dust mites, pollens, parasite/tick/flea bites, and food. All these allergens can cause symptoms including itching and baldness (which is sometimes a result of excessive biting & scratching over affected areas).
Genetics. How your fur-baby becomes a bald dog can also be because of genetics. Some dog breeds are more prone to hair loss, shedding and baldness than others. These dog breeds include Dachshund, Whippet, Doberman Pinscher, to name a few. These dog breeds go through pattern or patchy baldness mostly commonly on the chest, back, thighs and outer ear.
Infections. Another common cause of dog baldness is an infection. When your dog has either bacterial or fungal infections (like ringworm), it can lead to baldness, inflammation of the skin and infected crusts on your fur-baby.
Infestation. Also considered to trigger your fur-baby to turn into a bald dog is an infestation of parasites like ticks, fleas, mites (mange, scabies), etc. The constant itching from your pup paired with the bites can result in baldness around the eyes, abdomen, chest and ear areas. It can also cause redness and inflammation of the skin.
Pressure Sores. Pressure sores, also referred to as bedsores, occur when your fur-baby's elbows or other pressure points (like the hocks and the hips) come in contact with hard surfaces regularly. The friction and the pressure created can cause the skin to lose hair, crack, and in rare cases, bleed. These pressure sores are common in dogs who stay in concrete kennels and on hard floors.
Skin conditions. Some skin conditions, like dandruff and eczema, can ultimately lead to baldness. These skin conditions cause itchiness and can leave your dog feeling uncomfortable, causing him to scratch, lick, and bite endlessly on certain areas.
Nutritional Deficiencies. A bald dog may deficiencies in healthy skin and coat promoting nutrients, like keratin (the core component of the hair), sulfur amino acids, and biotin.
Underlying health conditions. Your fur-baby's baldness can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition like the Cushing disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, a condition where your fur-baby's body overproduces the cortisol steroid hormone. Hair loss and baldness is a common symptom of this condition.
DIAGNOSING A BALD DOG
A bald dog's baldness pattern can be identified by various factors such as patterns and severity:
- Multiple areas of baldness. This can occur simultaneously in different areas of the body and may be accompanied by redness of the skin, inflammation, and scaling.
- Symmetrical loss of hair. This may be caused by excessive levels of steroids in a dog's body.
- Patchy to generalized hair loss. Mange is an example of this type of baldness. This is caused by infections, ringworm, etc.
Symptoms of baldness in dogs can vary depending on severity. Your fur-baby may have brittle, dry hair and might be shedding more than normal.
PROTECTING YOUR FUR-BABY AGAINST BALDNESS
There are things that you can do to help manage a bald dog.
Check with your vet. If you feel like your fur-baby is losing hair fast or shedding unusually, consult with your vet. Your vet can perform tests and exams, helping to make a proper diagnosis along with a customized treatment plan for your pup.
Keep your dog's environment safe. No matter what the cause of your fur-baby's baldness is, it is best that you keep his surroundings clean and free from fleas and their eggs.
Use only mild products. Your fur-baby's soap and shampoo should not contain any strong and harmful products that may worsen skin and coat conditions. Try to use products that contain ingredients that may help to alleviate your pup's itching, such as aloe vera.
Provide a high-quality diet. It is best that you give your dog food that is rich in nutrients such as protein that may help support skin and coat health.
Supplement. Providing your fur-baby with a supplement that promotes skin and hair development is recommended. Though there are many skin and coat supplements available on the market, only a few are of high quality and from a trusted brand. One of these trusted brands is Pet Parents® Skin & Coat Omega Supplement that may provide your fur-baby with healthy nutrients that can help promote an overall healthy skin & coat, such as omega 3 fatty acids for dogs, dog DHA, fish oil for dogs, & salmon oil for dogs.
A bald dog can be because of many reasons but know that you have us, Pet Parents®, to guide you to a healthier and shinier coat for your fur-baby.