Why Is My Dog Losing Hair and What Should I Do About It?

Updated on April 30, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a small animal veterinarian. He works mostly with dogs and exotic animals.

Normal shedding may be excessive in some breeds, and those dogs lose their hair in clumps.
Normal shedding may be excessive in some breeds, and those dogs lose their hair in clumps. | Source

Most of us dog owners have had to worry about hair loss at some point. Hair loss can be normal, or it can be from itching and scratching (self-inflicted hair loss, like from sarcoptic mange, fleas, and allergies), and sometimes the hair can fall out in small patches (like ringworm), or in large areas (for example, hypothyroidism).

None of these problems are emergencies. Your dog might be uncomfortable, so you should take care of things as soon as possible, but you do not need to worry about finding a clinic in the middle of the night.

If your dog is losing hair, take a deep breath and try to figure out what is going on. Do not jump to conclusions—read through all of the conditions to see what might fit. Look at the photos and videos here, do more research on other web sites, and if you need help take your dog to your regular vet as soon as possible.

Hair loss can be mild or a sign of a much more serious disease.
Hair loss can be mild or a sign of a much more serious disease. | Source

Normal Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

 
• Normal shedding (seasonal or year round)
• Poor condition (starvation)
• Parasites (like fleas, mange, ringworm, yeast, and others)
• Allergies (Can be inhalant, food, or even contact allergies)
• Infection (Hot spots, folliculitis, cellulitis, and some others)
• Hormonal problems (hypothyroidism, Cushings, estrogen excess or deficiency)
• Autoimmune diseases (Secondary to ulcers in the skin)
• Other uncommon diseases (like acanthosis nigrans, sebaceous adenitis, zinc responsive dermatosis, blue Doberman syndrome, black hair follicle dysplasia, and others)
If mange is not treated, there can be secondary yeast and bacterial infections.
If mange is not treated, there can be secondary yeast and bacterial infections. | Source

What Causes Your Dog to Itch?

Sometimes a dog losing hair is just shedding. The dog will not have bald patches. If he is itching and scratching that will help you decide what condition is causing the hair loss.

If your dog is itching, it can be:

  1. Fleas: Even if you do not see any fleas, this is a problem if you see “flea dirt”, the black specks of dried blood that you sometimes find on a dog. Take a few of the specks and put them on a wet paper towel—if the paper towel turns blood red around the specks your dog has fleas. Most readers are aware of how to get rid of fleas, either with monthly spot-on products or natural methods. Unfortunately, fleas become resistant to spot-ons and natural methods do not always work. Some dogs still have hair loss and excessive itching from fleas, especially on the back just above the tail.
  2. Allergies: The first thing many people think about after fleas is allergies. They can be caused by something in the air, something in the food, or even the food dish or a favorite blanket. Allergic dogs may have inflamed skin, red ear canals, swollen lips and red eyes, and even a runny nose. If your dog has many of these signs, and is scratching a lot, allergies are a possibility.
  3. Mange: There are two kinds of mange; sarcoptic is easy to treat, demodectic is sometimes a mild infection but if it becomes generalized will require lots of meds and many visits to your vet. Both can itch, but the sarcoptic type will drive a dog almost crazy, and demodectic mange might itch a little but can become generalized and lead to other serious health problems; if you notice the hair loss and itching the best thing you can do is take him in for a veterinary exam and skin scraping.
  4. Ringworm, yeast or bacterial infection: You may not even notice itching with these problems, but the skin will become thickened, scaly, and the hair will fall out in an uneven pattern. Sometimes itching is the sign of a secondary infection.

A dog might start out with mange but will then have to be treated for an infection.
A dog might start out with mange but will then have to be treated for an infection. | Source

Additional Conditions That Cause Your Dog to Itch

  • Hot spots are a local infection that usually starts under a patch of thick hair. If you know what they look like, and want to take care of the infection at home, you can clip the hair, clean the skin with betadine from your first aid kit, then apply a topical antibiotic cream from your drugstore. Your vet might put your dog on oral antibiotics too, and might give him a shot of steroids to keep her from scratching the spot and making the infection even worse.
  • Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles. Some dogs (like Miniature Schnauzers) can have this infection by itself but many times it is secondary to other infections like mange. The dog can be treated at home with twice daily Pyoben shampoos, but your vet may need to put him on oral antibiotics.
  • Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and tissue just underneath. Like with folliculitis, there is not always hair loss, but since it is painful your dog might rub it and the hair will come off. Treat it by soaking in Epsom salts (about 30 grams or ¼ cup to 1 liter of water, about 3 times a day) and keep the skin above the infection clean with betadine. If this is not enough your vet may want to treat your dog with antibiotics.

All skin infections can be improved through the use of a good shampoo so if your dog it itching and you cannot figure out what is wrong I have found that this brand helps. To use it correctly, wet your dog down thoroughly, apply the shampoo, and leave it on at least 10 minutes. That is a long time, so be sure to check your clock so that he is not let out too soon. If your dog does not like to be in the bath that long you can massage him after applying the shampoo and the distraction will make many dogs forget the time.


What About When My Dog Is Losing Hair Without Itching?

If your dog is not itching but is not just shedding normally, the cause of hair loss can be:

  1. Hypothyroidism: Since the thyroid gland controls your dog´s metabolic rate, the first thing that some people notice is a gradual weight gain. The hair is dry, brittle, and falls out easily in an even pattern (it is the same on the left side as on the right). Since there can be many other symptoms, including aggression, the dog needs to see his vet and have a blood sample taken so this disease can be diagnosed and treated.
  2. Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings): This disease is caused by an excess of steroids in the body and there are many clinical symptoms, but the changes in the skin are sometimes the most obvious. The skin becomes dark, the dogs lose hair all over, dogs can have blackheads on the belly, and on top of that the belly is large and swollen. Some owners will notice that the dogs are really thirsty and so have to go outside more often. These problems can sometimes be treated successfully, so, like with hypothyroidism, the dog has to be seen and diagnosed by the vet for treatment to begin.
  3. Other hormonal diseases (Estrogen excess, estrogen deficiency, growth hormone-responsive alopecia, ) If your dog has a tumor that is causing extra estrogen, his or her skin and coat will start turning dark about the belly, and then the hair will become brittle and fall out. She will need testing to determine if this is the problem, but can be treated by being spayed or neutered. If there is not enough estrogen, the hair falls out on the belly. Hormonal diseases can only be diagnosed after blood tests, so you need to take her to your vet.
  4. Autoimmune diseases: The hair loss caused by these diseases is minor compared to the skin ulcers and secondary infections. If your dog has skin ulcers, hair loss is the least of his problems; the only way to diagnose this is to have a skin biopsy sent to a laboratory.

Source

If your dog has symptoms similar to the Tibetan Mastiff seen in this video, go ahead and take her in for an exam and blood test. There is no cure for this hormonal disease, but the medication to treat hypothyroidism is inexpensive and will make look better and act like herself.

Uncommon Diseases That Cause Hair Loss

  • Sebaceous adenitis is an inherited skin disease. In long haired dogs (like the Akita, Samoyed, and Standard Poodle) there is hair loss on the neck, tail, and top of the head. In short haired breeds (like the Viszla) there is hair loss on the ears, legs, and head. All the breeds have scaly, greasy skin, and it has to be diagnosed by a skin biopsy and then treated by a vet.
  • Zinc-responsive dermatosis can show up in some dogs fed cheap food but in sometimes breeds like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Doberman Pinschers develop this even when eating enough zinc. The dogs have hair loss around the ears, eyes, and mouth, but also have crusty elbows and feet. They need zinc supplements to get better, and if it is genetic the supplements have to be given for the rest of the dog´s life.
  • Acanthosis nigrans is thick, black skin with hair loss that is found in young Dachshunds. The armpits, ears, and folds are greasy and black. There is no cure, but your vet might be able to make your dog a little better by treating with a shampoo, vitamin E, antibiotics, and melatonin.
  • Color diseases like Blue Doberman Syndrome and black hair follicular dysplasia. The Blue disease is also seen in blue Newfies, Chows, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, and other blue dogs. The hair looks healthy, but then becomes infected. Dogs suffering from the black hair disease never develop hair in the black areas. There is no cure for either disease.
  • Although there are a few even more uncommon causes of hair loss, like Alopecia X and Pattern Alopecia, the one cause of hair loss that can be dealt with is Traction Alopecia. This problem affects small dogs with their hair tied up in rubber bands and barrettes, and when they are too tight and left on too long they make the dog go bald on top of the head. The only way to cure it is by removing the bald spot—the best way to prevent it is by giving your dog a haircut that does not require a rubber band!

What Can I Do At Home?

What can I do at home?

If you cannot take your dog to the vet for some reason, the first thing to do is check for fleas. If he does not have a flea problem, and his symptoms fit some of the other diseases that I describe above, there are some other things you can try.

· If the problem is seasonal, and you think it might be inhalant allergies, try some natural cures like raw honey.

· If the ears and GI tract are involved and you think it might be food related, try a hypoallergenic diet (a new protein that the dog has never been exposed to before). A raw diet with whole natural proteins is best.

· If the problem seems to be mainly with her feet and belly, a contact allergy might be the problem and you can try switching the bedding.

· If the problem is hair loss around the nose and lips, get rid of the plastic food bowl and replace it with a ceramic or stainless steel dish.

· No matter what the cause of itching, you can provide some relief by bathing your dog in oatmeal shampoo, and many holistic veterinarians think it is helpful to rinse the dog with apple cider vinegar after bathing.

Questions & Answers

  • Both my dogs suddenly started losing fur about 1 week ago. I took them to my vet and they studied their skin and fur and found no parasites, mites, mange etc. They are not particularly itchy and seem OK other wise. Both dogs are yellow labs, ages 1 year, and 11years. We spent $300 to find to solution and they are still losing hair at alarming rates. The younger dog more dramatically. Do you have any ideas?

    It certainly sounds contagious, and I would have checked for mites, fleas, etc. The only thing you can do at this point, assuming it is not seasonal shedding, is diagnostic treatment.

  • My one-year-old German Shepherd is losing all of the hair on her abdomen, legs and now her back. She also scratches constantly, and has a rash all over, but the vet says it's not fleas. She took ten days of antibiotics, and the sores from scratching were better, but not gone. We have tried every food, shampoo, etc. Do you have any ideas?

    If this were my dog, I would go ahead and give him an ivermectin injection as a diagnostic test. IF the itching improves, it is most likely caused by sarcoptic mange mites, which are very difficult to find during testing.

    Has your dog been treated with steroids? If she gets better after an injection, that will lead you to consider an allergic cause.

  • Why does my dog have a tiny patch of hair loss on his tail, which is not itchy? He is a Chihuahua, terrier and pug mix and is five-years-old.

    It is possible that your dog has ringworm, a fungal infection. There are several ways to check if that is the case, but the tests do need to be done at your regular vet clinic.

    If the patch of hair loss is due to ringworm, you should be aware that it is transmissible to humans. Get him checked out as soon as possible.

© 2014 Dr Mark

Your dog´s hair loss cannot be diagnosed over the internet, but if you have any questions I will be glad to help.

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    • profile image

      Tina 

      37 hours ago

      I have a husky she is lost her hair and i do not know what to do i have sprays her pin and put a flea chord on her and she still lost hair i try to give her a flea bath

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      ssen josexxx--I do not know where you live but you should contact a local veterinarian to see your dog. Most major metro areas now have mobile vet clinics too so if it is a problem to take your dog to the vet you can have someone come by.

    • profile image

      ssen josexxx 

      4 weeks ago

      can you come and see my dog at home

    • profile image

      Colin wynd 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a 6year old x husky malmute. For past 3 month my dog has a bald patch on his back were his tail sits. He don't scratch it but if u touch it it is sensitive and were hair is missing his skin is dark in color. Wat could b cause of this and wat can I do

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Tex thanks but I am semi-retired and spend most of my days with my dogs, horses, sheep, etc. Have you seen a dermatologist at your state vet college? That is usually your best option if the local vets have not been able to figure out your GPs skin disease.

      If you do make an appointment, make sure that you take everything that he has been on so that they will have a better idea where to start. I hope things work out for him.

    • profile image

      Tex Waller 

      6 weeks ago

      How do we reach you Dr. Mark? Would like to discuss in detail about my dog's hair loss. Happily willing to pay you for your time.

      We've seen many different vets and specialists for our great pyrenees who is losing hair slowly but surely. He's been on thyroid medication and supplements, homeopathic remedies, raw food diets, etc. He is still losing hair. Hoping to try something else, and would like your feedback.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Bivi, if this is not a problem for the dog I would just igore it. It may or may not go away. I have a dog with a spot of alopecia similar to this on her back secondary to a case of mange she had when I got her. The skin was damaged, the follices were destroyed. Over time it is less noticeable, may even contract like scar tissue.

    • profile image

      Bivi 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi,

      After a visit to the vet, my 5 month old Australian Shepard got a shot and a topical spray for two hotspots. The spot on her hip has made progress and has pretty much returned to normal, but the one on her leg still hasnt regrown any hair although she has not been licking or biting at it. Should i be concerned about this, or any recommendations for getting the hair to grow back?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hannah, I am not sure which of those spot on products you used, but sure your dog can be allergic to the product. Unfortuately they soak in and there is no way to get it out. You can try to bathe her more frequently with a shampoo like pyoben but there might be problems from removing too many of the oils from the coat, so that is not a perfect solution.

      The only thing you can do is wait for the product to disappear and then not use it again. Hopefully the hair will come back in after the product is out of her system.

    • profile image

      Hannah E 

      8 weeks ago

      My dog has been itching and biting like crazy down the middle of her back and now has lost hair in a pattern that coincides exactly with where my husband applied flea drops (he for whatever reason didn’t get it behind her head , and only applied them from her mid back to her tail). We’ve only had her for a couple of months and assume she’s about four months old, but this is the first time she’s ever had flea drops. Could they be what caused this itching and her hair to fall out?? The package only states “mild itching” and says the drops were for dogs and puppies 5-14 pounds (which if anything is a little on the light side for her, so I doubt the dose was too much/or for a larger dog).

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Caleb, if he is not itching at all my first choice would be to try and treat him for dry skin. You can use the dietary changes and other supplements listed here and see how he does.

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/remedy-for-dog-with-dr...

    • profile image

      Caleb Eastham 

      2 months ago

      My puppy is almost a year old. Mixed breed but we think he’s mix of fox hound/lab. He’s been losing excessive amounts of hair all over his body with no patterns or contentrated spots. At first I figured it was just seasonal shedding but now I’m beginning to see his skin through his coat. He is not itching or digging at his skin. I have noticed that when he gets a scratch from playing outside or with other dogs the skin around it looks flaky. His diet, energy levels, attitude, bowl movements, thirst has not changed. Any suggestions?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Courtney, do you think it is better to just let them be sick?

    • profile image

      courtney 

      2 months ago

      I think treateing animlas is wrong

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Charlotte, you may be correct in worrying about a yeast problem but there is something else going on here. I would be most concerned about a hormonal problem, like hypothyroidism. You need to take him to see you vet to have his skin examined and have a blood test for thyroid hormones.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Shadowcat, if the itching really is intense the first thing you should think of is sarcoptic mites. They can be treated pretty easily now but you do need to take him to your regular vet for an exam first.

      The scaling sounds like a secondary yeast infection but it would not cause intense itching. Get him checked out as soon as possible.

    • profile image

      Shadowcat72 

      2 months ago

      Hi,

      My 11-year-old black lab has been having INTENSE itching on his back and tail (and a bit on hind legs). He is biting his hair out. At the site, the skin has a dry scaly brown coating. It also scabs up like big clumps of dead skin. He's on flea medication, and I use a flea comb daily to watch for signs of them; there are none. The remainder of his body looks completely healthy with plush shiny coat. Please, any ideas?

    • profile image

      Charlotte Nguyen 

      3 months ago

      I have a Siberian Husky that has black scaly skin with loss hair on his tail and hind legs. He was shaven because he needed surgery but that was 3 years ago. It hasn't grown back and now I am seeing loose patches around his neck, under his belly and on his rear back. They look like black dots. I use to only bathe him once a month but I believe he may have a skin infection? I have just started to bathe him with antifungal shampoo to see if it's a Yeast infection 3 times a week. He doesn't scratch or bite himself at all. Any other suggestion for me would help. Thank you so much!!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jane, the most likely cause of the situation you are describing is flea allergy dermatitis. You might not even see the fleas, but some dogs, like your Pit, are so sensitive that they will bite and chew until the skin is bleeding.

      Carefully examine the skin under the hair around the tailhead. If you find a black speck of dirt, drop it onto a wet paper towel. If the towel turns red, that black speck of dirt is actually flea poo, and that red is blood from your dog.

      Your pup will need to be put on a very potent flea medication. The best products are only sold through your vet. Call up the vet you visit and ask if they sell them over the counter, but if not you may need to pay for an office call.

      If you do not find any flea dirt have your dog examined by the vet and checked for sarcoptic mange. That type of mange itches, a lot, and dogs are in pain.

    • profile image

      Jane taylor 

      3 months ago

      Our dog is a 3 yr old pit. He constantly bits his tail around his tail and his back right above the tail. He bites all his hair off and bites until he has his skin bleeding and tail swolen. Now i noticed swelling in his back legs and feet. Its gotten so swolen he had problems walking.what is wrong with him and what can i do please help and hurry.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      There are several possiblities with a 14 year old dog. Your vet should look at the dog since her hair loss might be in a pattern that would indicate hypothyroidism. This can be treated.

      It is also possible that your dog has thinning hair as a side effect of aging. This is not definite, and you really should have her looked at before deciding that this is the problem.

    • profile image

      Mary G. 

      3 months ago

      My rat tail/chihuahua is 14 years old. She's not scratching much but is losing clumps of hair on both sides of her body. I can see dry skin coming off with the clumps. I've bathed her with oatmeal shampoo and brush her regularly but so far no good. Can you help?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Erin, it is possible that the thinning hair is due to hookworms, but it would be from a generalized run-down condition, and all over the body. If she is losing hair only in one area, a pattern baldness, you should have her examined. (Consider hypothyroidism.) This is NOT an emergency.

      If I had to guess even without looking at her I would assume it was normal hair loss. Give it time to see whether the other hair lloss stops with the seasonal change. If you are in the US it should be mild by about late July or August.

    • profile image

      Erin S 

      3 months ago

      My dog (~1 year) has thinning hair on her stomach. She's also shedding a lot, but I'm 99% positive that's just due to seasonal changes. She doesn't seem to be itching more than normal, and she is being treated for hookworms. Could the thinning hair be a result of hookworms? Or could her stomach just be shedding faster? She's a lab mix if that helps at all, but from a shelter so we don't know what else is part of that mix.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mike, if your dog is not itching and scratching a hormonal cause is more likely. (Hypothyroid, etc.) It could also be a mild case of demodectic mange, but most of them become infected later and tend to itch.

      This problem cannot be diagnosed without an exam to determine the type of hair loss/skin changes. You need to make an appointment with your regular vet.

    • profile image

      Mike l. 

      3 months ago

      My puppy is almost a year old. She has started to lose fur over a month ago at first it wasn't noticable just two small spots on the top of her head by her ears then she started to lose more fur by her tail. I don't see any fleas and she itches sometimes but not often at all. I would say maybe she scratches two times out of the week. I have two other dogs and nothing is wrong with them no itching no scratching no fur loss. Do you know what could possibly be causing this?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Peggy, if your dog has been diagnoses as hypothyroid and is still losing hair then the dose may be incorrect. If it is very low the clinical symptoms will continue. No, there is no shampoo that will take care of your problem.

    • profile image

      Peggy Prater 

      5 months ago

      My dog has thyroid issues and is on meds, but is losing his hair, is there a shampoo that will help stop the hair loss?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Brenda, if your Yorkie is having those problems with the meds prescribed for her allergies you should look into some natural therapies. The first thing you shold start giving her is raw organic honey. It has to be locally produced so that the pollens are local, the ones she is having problems with. For a Yorkie try about a teaspoon twice a day. Check out this article if you need more info: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/natural-dog-health-all...

    • profile image

      brenda boggs 

      6 months ago

      I have a 6 year old yorkie. She looses hair down her back. I have been to the vet and they put her on allergy meds which made her sck throwing up and assume diarrhea. I decided to take her off of of all meds including flea meds and it all cleared up and all her hair came back. Now it has started again

      We are having terrible problem here in Florida with pollen. One of the worst in years and I'm convinced that is what it ism she does not itch. She seems fine except for biting at her feet. I just font what to do. I've changed her to a good food I use cider vinager on her skin and use medicated shampoo

      What am I doing wrong

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      6 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jidhu, have they done any diagnostics (testing) to find out Jimmy´s problem? The Flematic is just a moisturizing spray and I am not sure if he dispensed ivermectin for internal parasites or was thinking about mange. If it is mange, one dose will not be enough. How about flea allegies? Do you find any signs at all (like flea dirt)? What kind of dog is he?

    • profile image

      Jidhu 

      6 months ago

      Hi dr . My pet Jimmy 5 years old. He is itching and pulling out his hair and some hairs are falling themselves.he has hair loss near his tail and sometimes he licks his anal area. Here doctors have prescribed Flematic ws spray and ivermectin 10mg tablets. I have given him but still its has not reduced.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      jo, how do you know she does not have mange mites? Has she been examined/had her skin scraped? If that was negative, the next most likely causes are folliculitis or hypothyroidism.

    • profile image

      jo 

      7 months ago

      my staffy is 5 years old and has just started to loose her fur on her back only she does not have fleas or mites and does not itch however her back is always hot and sweaty

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Hi Smitty are they inhalant allergies?If so, there is not a whole lot you can do. Some vets will try allergy shots instead of long term steroid use. The shots are supposed to make the dog´s immune system react differently. Allergy shots might help or might be useless.

      There are also holistic alternatives. You need to find a holistic vet in your area who treats allergies. The vet would take her off steroids and might try something like native raw honey.

      The only other alternative is to move to a region where the dog does not come into contact with all of the allergens. If they are things in the house, though, like dust mites, this is not a good option.

      I hope you find help for her and get her off those steroids.

    • profile image

      Smitty 

      7 months ago

      Good day. We have a female boxer of 4 years. She is losing hair and has itching. She has confirmed 18 different allergies. Currently she is on a steroid for the itching. The problem is this has been going on for a year or so and I would like to find an answer for my little girl. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Linda, it is impossible to diagnose Jack´s skin problem over the internet. Since he is itching, and you are sure it is not fleas, you need to rule out allergies, mange, and several other conditions. Can you take him to your local vet for an exam?

    • profile image

      linda 

      8 months ago

      Jack has patches of hair loose on his back and is constantly rolling and scratching no fleas and have bathed him he is 12 can you help he is only feed on dried food

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Michelle, I have an article at

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Can-I-Control-Fleas-wi...

      or just search on google and you will find lots of others.

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      michele 

      8 months ago

      can i please have some recommendations for natural remedies to get rid of fleas

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Surbhi, does the Pom itch and scratch? Is there a pattern to the hair loss? Does the skin look like it did before or has it changed too? there are no easy answers, and you really need to have her skin checked by your regular vet, and he may need to do a scraping, a thyroid check, etc.

    • profile image

      Surbhi 

      9 months ago

      Hi..i have a female pomeranian dog and she is 2 years old. She is falling hairs from all over her body all the time since last 4-6 months....can you please suggest me what may be the problem

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Sue, pred does not usually cause unilateral hair loss, but it may be the cause because of its immunosuppresive effects (your dog may have a small mange-demodectic-infection) but things will probably clear up when you wean him off the pred.

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      Sue 

      9 months ago

      My dog has been on Prednisone for the last three weeks for ear canal problems. We are now weaning him off the drug but have just noticed that he is losing hair around only one side of his mouth/ nose

      he is ginger in Colour and this area looks blackened. Could it be the Prednisone?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Lorene, hair loss where, how is it falling out, etc. Not enough info to help. If you can take her in and have her examined when you are going in for vaccinations. It might be mange, etc.

    • profile image

      Lorene warren 

      10 months ago

      Add Your Comment.. family member bought a Minpin puppies were having problems with hair loss she been in her new home for a few weeks could she be stressing out or is it a health problem? Thank you for your reply

    • profile image

      Pat 

      10 months ago

      I have a bulldog that has had allergies since she was 1.5 years old. She is now 10. She is on revolution. she was on allergy med shots but I have stopped as it has had no impact after 5 years of using it. What do I do for the seasonal itching, fur falling out and itchy patches all over her body. There has to be something that works. She has been tested for everything under the sun over the past 7 years and I don't want her to undergo any more scrape tests, allergy tests etc. Do I trim the fur short during these bad times and apply something to the itchy spots? I need to do something different and after spending a lot on vets and specialists I am no longer going that route as it has done nothing for her. She is 10 and I want her senior years to be more fun and less itchy.

    • profile image

      Laura Lynne 

      11 months ago

      The vet prescribed a mousse called Chlorohexidine for allergy related skin/hair problem.

    • profile image

      Terra 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for the information. After reading it, I still feel I am not sure what is going on with my dog. My 1 1/2 yr old choc lab has a patch of hair missing about the size of a closed hand on her belly. Though she is not itching it, the skin there is a little red/pink. Already neutered, not seeing signs of flees, her diet is grainfree and chicken free. Any suggestions?

    • profile image

      Rita woodard 

      12 months ago

      My dog has lost all his hair after putting mange medicine on him it been a while now and still hasnt got his hair back he just want to lay around are there something else wrong with him

    • profile image

      Nicole 

      12 months ago

      Hello, I have a 6 yr old yellow lab. About 2 months ago she has started getting bald patches all over her body. Vet took skin sample, no mites. Gave antibiotics incase it was infection, no results and getting worse. Food and treats have not changed.

      Any Ideas?

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Debra felton 

      12 months ago

      I can't afford to take my dog to the vets and I am realy worried about him as he has like a pinky red rash on his belly and generals and he has red patches and hair lose on his back and he's loosing a lot of hair all the time and I don't know what to do as I feel guilty that I can't take him to the vet

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      13 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Michele, what kind of powder are you usin?

    • profile image

      Michele 

      13 months ago

      Are there any side effects from using canker powder

    • profile image

      Sherry 

      16 months ago

      My dog is aa husky boxer pug mix. I see dry flakes all ober his cage. And in the collar/neck area its red and his jair is gone. It doesnt seem to ne itching and i dont see fleas. What could it be?

    • profile image

      Omar Shawki 

      16 months ago

      Hello Dr. Mark

      I have been concerned on my 3 months Siberian husky, he has two patches near his nose with no hair, if you could just help with some questions, is it a regular thing?, and when do you think his hair will grow again

    • profile image

      Dave Lieder 

      16 months ago

      I've been told by a specialist that my husky has alopecia x. Also told there is no cure. Is there truly nothing that can be done?

    • profile image

      Souther Shaw 

      17 months ago

      Friend has an older collie mix that is an outside boy. He has just recently started loosing small patched of fur on his back( places he cannot reach). They put him in jackets when its cold out since hes an older boy (around 12) but think this could be caused by not being able to take them off quick enough after it rains. He is in NO pain, just very itchy. planning on giving him the oatmeal bath as soon as we get the shampoo to do so.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      18 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Elda, is she rubbing the top of her head against things (she is itching if she does.) If she is itching, it might be allergies or even mange.

      If she is not itching, she needs a full workup. She might have low thyroid hormones, an autoimmune disease, or any of the other diseases I describe above. Please get her checked by your regular vet if the hair loss continues.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      18 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Melissa Roach, there is no such thing as "just a hotspot". They are painful and need to be taken care of.

      Large and giant dogs that sleep on hard surfaces are prone to develop elbow hygromas, a condition where there is hair loss and red skin over the pressure points of the elbows.

      You can learn more about what to do here:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/swollen-elbow-dog

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      18 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Missy, older dogs do have a thinner coat, just like older humans have thinner hair.

    • profile image

      Elda 

      18 months ago

      My six year old itanian gray hound stared losing her hair on the top of her head . She has no fleas . What can cause this she has only been having it about 3 weeks

    • profile image

      Melissa Roach 

      18 months ago

      I have a 10 year old great peryeness dog. Both of her elbows are red and missing hair. It's like the scab up to heel and then they get red again. They don't stink or anything she sleeps outside in the yard or porch. She has a bed but won't use it she likes to sleep under my window on the ground. What can I put on her and what do you think it is? Eating and pleasing are normal. Is it just a hotspot?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      18 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Tiffany, I am not a fan of homeopathics except for their placebo effects, and in this case they would not help at all. The safest thing you can do is just wash the eye out with physiologic saline, as often as possible to keep the pus out of the eyes. If you are not able to get to a pharmacy and do not have a physiologic saline at home, the second best thing would be to apply a warm clean wash cloth to the eye to keep his eye from swelling from local infection. If it is just a yeast infection it is no problem to wait until Monday, but get your Lhasa in there at that time and let them look at the skin around his eye. Hope it all works out for them.

    • profile image

      Tiffany 

      18 months ago

      Hi please help! I have two Lhasa also males. Both suddenly developed problems with yeast. They have been on raw since we got them. One worse then the other.(Boomer). Yesterday I noticed skin around his eye looked dark pink. Today much of the hair is missing and when I put a warm compress on it there was a type of eye booger or pus in the fur. He seemed upset with me and normally I can do anything to him. He's currently on 50mg Ketoconazole once daily. His doctor doesn't open until Monday and I'm worried about this getting worse. The white of his eye is very red also. The other eye is fine. Any homeopathic suggestions would be very appreciated! I hate pharmaceuticals but I have to help him. Also given its his eye many of the suggestions are not applicable. Thank you!!

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      OMG we are very far. I'm at Puerto Rico but I will go to a health food store to see. Coconut is so good

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      It depends on where you are. Here in Brazil all the stores sell palm oil (it is called dende, and if you cannot find it at a local market find a store that sells Brazilian or African food.) As far as the nuts, most are okay. For such a small dog you can give one Brazil nut, walnut, or pecan every third day or so. The coconut oil in the shampoo is a good idea. My dogs get many of their addittional vitamins through fresh coconut since they do not like the veggies like your Chihuahua.

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      Hi. Where I find palm oil and what kind of nuts I can give him. Also I put in his food omega 3 Mercury free. He also like sweet potatoe, potatoe and cauliflower, peas and broccoli. Are those vegetables good also? I'm also putting vitamin e in his skin because very dry. Shampuus and things that have been given to him by the vet have not work. So once in a month I'm putting coconut oil in his mild shampuu. Is that ok? Have a nice day

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Liz, I am kind of hesitant to use products like Dermacton that do not even bother labelling what they are made of. Usually they are just fillers, with very few active ingredients, and they are overpriced. I think your dog is a lot better off with natural ingredients like the carrots and spinach you are already giving.

      I feel the same way about the vitamin E. You can add a few drops of palm oil to his food each day, or offer him mango or some types of nuts. If you decide to go with the capsules, I would give about half of one of the smaller (200) capsules.

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      Hi. It comes in capsules. The lowest dose in vitamin e is 200 iu and 400 iu. Vitamin A is too high 10,000 iu so I decided to give him more carrots and spinach because he loves it plus the pumpkin and salmon. The Dermacton is peeling his skin so don't know if to stop it. Love it because it's natural. Excellent costumer service in giving support but maybe for my dog it's hard. Have you heard about Dermacton? Thanks for all your support.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Liz, what form of Vitamin E are you giving? If it is a capsule, give about 1/3.

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      Which is the correct dose of vitamin e and a for a 4 pounds chihuahua?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Rhonda, the bad smell may be due to a fungal or bacterial infection, which may only be secondary to a hormonal problem, so before I would diagnose her with sebaceous adenitis I would test her thyroid levels, see if these skin problems are only a symptom, not the main disease.

      Being a Chihuahua, several things to think about, like follicular dysplasia. Clear up the infection first, see if the hair loss is still going on.

      Not going to be easy, so stick with it.

    • profile image

      Rhonda 

      19 months ago

      Long haired tea cup chihuahua 11months- EXSESIVE itching, neck and chest now completely bald. Thinning everywhere. Top of head skin is scaly. Skin appears to be dark pink/ red, But not bright red. Some scanning/scratches due to her scratching herself. When she rolls on her back on the carpet and gets up its covered with hair and hair clumps. She has pretty bad anxiety & separation issues. Overall her skin doesn't appear to be dry. (Just head scaling) She has a horrible odor though, ears seem to be the worst. I've had her since she was a baby. I have very bad diabetes and when my sugar levels are off she gets in my face literally, and licks at my cheeks or rubs my face with her paw until I get my levels to comeback down. The only thing I've read that has all of her symptoms to include the scaling of the skin is Sebaceous Adenitis Am I missing something else?

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      Thanks. Really no changes. He drinks water as normal and eats ok. Also have done skin scrap and biosy and all comes ok. Every one, also the vet assistants are like???? They don't want to give him nothing because his weight he is near 4 pounds. Now I'm using a natural product Dermacton but his skin begin to softly peel. His skin is very dry before beginning the product and I use very mild shampuus and soap free. So thanks for all your help but one thing I know for sure is that I love him with or without hair. He is adorable and I have his mother and his sister and I LOVE DOGS ❤️

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Liz, I would consider hypothyroidism too, and am curious about the testing. The vet should test for TSH T4, and T3. If they are all normal, have you noticed other changes, like excessive water consumption. You should look into hyperadrenocorticism.

      Last, consider atrophic follicular dsyplasia. The hair follicles will probably have to be biopsied for a definitive diagnosis.

      Hope things work out for him.

    • profile image

      Liz Gonzal 

      19 months ago

      My long hair chihuahua is loosing hair in his neck the same pattern in both sides, his back legs, all his tail, his tummy and back of front legs. The vet thought is was hypothyroidism but the blood test came ok. It was only his legs and tummy, now the neck and backside of front legs. I give him good food. Fresh salmon, pumpkin and carrots, coliflour, spinach. He eats in stainless steel bowl. Wash his bed with hypoallergenic detergent. Use mild shampoos soap free and don't know what else to do. The areas where he is loosing hair are turning black. Any advice?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Caryn, I would be more worried about demodex mange, not from the cat. Be sure to get her in to your regular vet and have her skin scraped and examined under the microscope. This problem used to be very difficult to treat but with the medicines available now she will be better in a few months. (If you let it go though it gets very ugly and harder to treat.)

    • profile image

      Caryn 

      20 months ago

      Hi, I recently adopted a puppie some kind of dachshund mix Maybe Chihuahua? Who knows someone found her on the streets couldn't find the owner. Either way I've been feeding her grain-free puppy food. It's what I feed my other dogs except for the puppy brand. All the sudden she's losing hair around her eyes and the area between them. I keep flea protection on all my pets. I don't see any fleas. I did adopt a kitten about 3 months before her that had mange. But, it was long gone before she got here. I wondering if it could be the food? Or perhaps the Maistro flea collar. She's been eating the same thing and wearing the collar for about 3 months. Any ideas could she have gotten the mange from the cat even though he no longer has it? Im puzzled any ideas?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Carol, this is not enough information. Breed, age, is this the first time, how often do you groom her, what are you brushing her with, etc?

    • profile image

      Carol 

      20 months ago

      large amounts of hair fall out when my dog get up large amount of hair lay on the floor what could be causing this?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Let me know the results, Trina, hopefully all will work out for him.

    • profile image

      Trina 

      20 months ago

      Thank you for your feed back, that is really useful. Everything that I have researched is pointing me to getting a thyroid test, as he could be hypothyroidism . He's just so happy, it's a shame he now has this to contend with. I certainly know my huskies, I've had them for over twenty years. This hair lost is definitely more than moulting, as both his coats have fallen out and leaving a massive bald patch. The rest of his body and coat is fine, and I certainly know the difference between him blowing his coat and not. Thank you for your advice, really appreciated.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Trina, thanks so much for leaving that excellent description. It really helps. I think this is something that is coming along now, nothing to do with your feeding. Since the skin has not changed at all I think you should count out zinc-responsive dermatoisis and have a thyroid test (with TSH, T4, and T3) to find out if he is hypothyroid. (That may be an answer to his energy level too.)

      If your regular vet does not do the full thyroid testing, look around and find someone who can test this for you. It is not an emergency and you can definitely wait until he stops moulting so that your vet can get a better look at this skin/hair condition. (It sounds like you are familiar with huskies, but I have seen several dogs brought in because of heavy hair loss that were perfectly normal, just shedding in big clumps that the breed is known for.)

    • profile image

      Trina 

      20 months ago

      I have a 7 year old husky who is on raw food. Six months ago, I got another husky to go with the pack that I have already. Unfortunately one of my dogs got bitten on the ear. After several bouts of antibiotics and steroid cream it's all cleared up. Over the last 26 days we have noticed that he is losing fur around his neck, it's literally from the left side to the right side. It doesn't itch, nor is it red in colour. It's as if the fur is dying and it's fallen out. He is moulting which isn't helping, but I don't know What to do. He is thriving on raw food, but was on convential dog food for over 6 years and within the last six months, so much as changed. With the amount that he eats, as we weigh the food, I thought he would have lost weight. Hasn't lost any. He weighs about 29kg. He's never been an energetic dog, but he's energy has risen, like a puppy again, which is great. So it appears he is happy and not stressed, I just don't know why the sudden change in his fur around his neck. He has a lovely coat other than that. Can you throw any light on the problem. I've checked and he has no pests nor ringworm. May it be an allergy? But why now considering his feed is raw and no chemicals or additives. He has natural treats, no shops treats and vegetables. HELP please. Thank you.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Elize, does your Min Pin have any other symptoms, like itching? How old is he? What are you feeding him now? Any of the good quality commercial diets are going to keep him in good shape, but if he is too thin you need to know that weight loss can be more serious than hair loss; I recommend you have him checked out by your regular vet, and run a blood panel to check his internal organ function. During his exam, the vet will also check his teeth, since the most common cause of weight loss in Min Pins is due to oral infections.

    • profile image

      Elize. 

      20 months ago

      My miniature pincher is very thin and losing hair.What can I feed him to gain weight

    • profile image

      Daisy 

      20 months ago

      Hello I just got a puppy and shes missing a little patch of fur on her leg but that's the only place it dosent seem to bother her she's 8 weeks she is a small Chihuahua

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Chelsie, did you have a thyroid test done on your Pug? Was she actually itching? If the hair loss is still going on, I would check her hormone levels.

    • profile image

      Chelsie 

      20 months ago

      My pug is losing hair on the inner part of her legs and a little on the front of her neck. Vet put it her on some medicine to stop the iching, but is still losing hair and not sure what's causing it. Not sure what's up with her.

    • profile image

      Stefanie Melim 

      20 months ago

      My new dog is missing fur on her elbows and toes. The vet didn't find anything wrong with her. Any thoughts?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Heather, not really sure if you are saying that she is biting the area, or just losing hair around the base of the tail. Treatment is very different, so your vet needs to know this at the time she is examined. As far as the aggression, it may be because she was not properly socialized as a young dog. The only thing you can do to help now is give her a lot more exercise. Seperation anxiety is a whole seperate issue, but it can also be helped with more exercise, feeding at the time you are leaving your house, etc. Read my article on this, try some of the suggestions, and let me know. there is going to be a lot of work to do if she is only 2.

    • profile image

      Heather 

      20 months ago

      I have a 2 yr old American pitbull and she has issues with hair loss toward her tail..and sometimes her skin gets red and irritated...also,shes my special girl,shes not all there I guess u could say...she's very aggressive to most people especially if they get near me...she's very possessive over me and has terrible separation anxiety...what can I do?

    • profile image

      Cyndiebaum 

      21 months ago

      Thank you so much, I will call my vet tomorrow.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      21 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Cyndie--hair loss around the eye with no itching may be a sign of demodectic mange. You should have the skin around your puppies eyes scraped and examined under a microscope to confirm this diagnosis.

    • profile image

      cyndiebaum 

      21 months ago

      My 8 month old puppy has started losing hair around one eye and now below the other. No itching. Do you know what might cause this? Thanks!

    • profile image

      DC 

      23 months ago

      Hi, I just noticed a bald spot on my chihuahua mix's back thigh. It isn't red or irritated, just looks like the hair fell out or was shaved. It's about an inch long by half an inch wide. I checked her and no pests, can't afford a vet at the moment. So far, it's just the one spot. Trying to keep calm and looking for answers, any ideas? Thank you

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Tammy, the hair loss is only on the tip of the tail? Is your dog scratching at all, or does it seem like hair loss only? If it is hair loss without itching, the most common causes on the tail are from batting across hard objects (like a Great Dane that wags his tail a lot, and eventually builds up a sore on the tip of the tail that bleeds when he wags) or low thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism is one of the most common hormone problems in dogs, and hair loss on the tail can be an important sign. Ask your vet to check your dogs T3, T4, and TSH to find out if he has this problem. If he does, he will need to be on pills all the time but they are not expensive and he will never develop other hypothyroid problems.

      Hope it all works out for you. Drop another comment and let me know how he does.

    • profile image

      Tammy 

      2 years ago

      I have a wookie and when we first got him as a puppy the vet visits have been normal. I give him the frontline flee prevention pill every month. Now for no medical reason he has lost all hair on end of his tail. I don't know as well as his vet has no suggestions. Please help what can I do to help my baby boy.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Roselyn, are the little black specks on her hair shafts or on the skin? Where is the bare patch that you mentioned? Sometimes dogs will have generalized hair loss after whelping, but it is not in a spot. Is she losing hair in a pattern on her body? Where?

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