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Ask the Vet About Hair Loss in Dogs and Cats

Hair Loss
Causes & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Dogs and Cats
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 41
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Showing 1 - 15 of 41
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Date: May 22, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Will dogs hair grow back?

Question:My family just adopted a couple rescued dogs, that came from a really bad flea infestated home. Both dogs are older, a Pomeranian male 8yrs, with hair missing on back near tail, and a few patches behind ears. The other I'd a 5yr Australian Shepard female, with a lot of hair missing around tail and parts of tail all her under neck and chest. And bits on her legs. Before adoption they were taken to a vet by shelter and treated for the fleas, and ear mites. I was wondering if that hair will grow back, if there is anything we can do to help, and or if the dogs mostly aussie will need extra protection from the sun or other elements and what and how to do so.

Answer:If you have gotten rid of the fleas and they stay gone and they are otherwise pretty healthy, the hair should definitely grow back on it's own. It should grow back quickly enough to where a sunburn shouldn't be an issue - just avoid direct sunlight for extended periods of time until they have a little hair growth. If they aren't regrowing their hair, have them checked by your veterinarian - there are a few (kind of rare, like hypothyroidism) conditions that keep them from regrowing their hair.

Date: May 17, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Hair loss

Question:My cat had ringworm and is currently on medication from the vet. The ringworm is clearing up nicely, but now I noticed she is losing hair around her neck and head. What could be causing this? It doesn't seem to be bothering her.

Answer:It may be from the resolving ringworm but she may have another problem like allergies, etc - have your veterinarian recheck her if it continues to worsen.

Date: May 14, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lab

Question: noticed a couple of days ago what looked like mud behind her ears, now it's bloody and looks like something is eating away at her ears. She's not shedding, her hair is falling out. Help...!

Answer:It sounds like she might have a hot spot behind her ear. They will get hot spots for a variety of reasons but when they are right behind their ears, often something is going on inside their ear canal that is itchy, like ear mites or an ear infection - both are usually pretty easy to treat. Have your veterinarian make a diagnosis before you squirt anything down in there - you want to make sure her ear drum is intact, make sure it's nothing like a foreign body or mass and there is nothing more painful than an ear infection so you don't want to squirt medication in her ear canals for ear mites if she doesn't have them.

Date: May 9, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: long hair cat

Question:why does my cat get thick hair balls in her fur. she has many, what can I do to keep her from getting them.and how do you get them out ? Thanks

Answer:Certain cats just genetically have haircoats that matt easier than others. Having a groomer shave them down once or twice a year helps. Once you have her shaved, regular brushing helps keep them out.

Date: May 2, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: inside kitty has developed matted fur.

Question:what could cause this, and what to do about it? will not allow brushing. cat, 6 yrs old, this is new.

Answer:This can be a sign that s/he just doesn't feel well enough to groom like she used to. That is a really broad/general clinical sign, so I would have your veterinarian check her out - (we see this sometimes in our diabetic patients). Once they get really matted, you need to have her shaved by a groomer or your veterinarian - it becomes almost impossible to brush the mats out and scissors are a really bad idea (I have sewn up many lacerations caused this way).

Date: May 1, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: hair fall of dog

Question:Two years old my dog which breed is PUG ,It's hair fall to much ,please advise me a treatment and medicine .

Answer:There are many reasons a dog's hair will fall out: allergies, mange, hypothyroidism, superficial skin infection (bacterial and fungal), ringworm, etc. They are all treated differently. Your veterinarian can determine which problem your dog has and what the best course of treatment is by examining your dog and running a couple easy tests.

Date: Apr 27, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Causes

Question:Tethered out regularly short duration, has non bio siblings ok no hair loss. Subject Jack Russell middle age. Treatment options. Thk U.

Answer:From what I can piece together about your question, you have a middle aged Jack Russell with hair loss - another dog in the house that isn't related, has a normal hair coat. The first question I always have is: is he itchy? Itchy hair loss points more towards allergies (and a couple other things). Non-itchy hair loss points more toward endocrine problems like hypothyroidism. They are treated entirely differently, so I would need a lot more information to make treatment recommendations for you.

Date: Apr 16, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair Loss on End of tail

Question:I have a seven year old rescue long haired dachshund, who was very thin haired when I got her. She will never grow long hair due to the massive stress she had been under before rescue. But I recently noticed after a grooming that she is getting the rat tail on the end of her tail and thinning even more going up, is there anything I can apply or wash her in to help growth. She is currently only gets all natural baths.

Answer:I just had this question the other day (about a Dachsund, because they are predisposed to endocrine problems) so I'm copy and pasting my answer: Just hair loss with no itching suggests an endocrine problem so topical medicine probably wont help. Have your veterinarian check her for things like hypothyroidism, Cushing's Disease, etc. These sound scary but are often quite treatable.

Date: Apr 13, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair loss from the tail

Question:My pet Dashound 12 years old is suffering from hail loss from his tail. There is no itching neither he chew his tail but hail fall is severe and his skin is visible. Please advice which medicine or ointment is to be applied. Thanks.

Answer:Just hair loss with no itching suggests an endocrine problem so topical medicine probably wont help. Have your veterinarian check him for things like hypothyroidism, Cushing's Disease, etc. These sound scary but are often quite treatable.

Date: Apr 1, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Pulling out hair.

Question:Our cat, Moky, started pulling out her hair on her tail & hip while we were away for Thanhsgiving last fall. She is 4 yrs old & has always been an indoor cat. We treat her monthly with Advantage 11. We have taken her to our Vet in Dec. & again in March of this year. Our Vet checked her skin for mites & flea and found none. The Vet also checked her stool sample for worms, etc. but found nothing. Our Vet thought maybe she had been bitten by a random flea which turned on Moky's immune system. The Vet put Moky on steroid pills to subdue her immune system but she started vomiting after only a few days on the pills & developed an intestinal blockage which took other medication to relieve it. We had to stop the steroid medication. Since then, Moky has continued to pull out hair on both sides of her body from her rear hips almost to her front hips. We have increased our interaction with her & even tried a 'calming collar' but nothing seems to help or stop her ' hair pulling habit'. We would like to know if you are familiar with similar cases & any suggestions you might have to help Moky stop. She does not seem to be hurting in any way, plays regularly, sleeps normally & has normal litter routines. The hair pulling is affecting my wife & me more than it is Moky. Any inputs you can give us will be greatly appreciated including any suggested test. Thank you in advance for your help. Harold Fletcher

Answer:If Micky cant tolorate steroids, then you could try oral chlorphenirimine as an antihistamine, which may help if the hair pulling is due to environmental, airborne, allergies which can cause this. You could also ask vet about prescription medicine called Amitryptylline, which not only has antihistamine like effect, but also can help if any anxiety component to this symptom. Finally, food allergies and/or food hypersensitivity may be involved here, so you could speak with vet about prescription novel protein diets or what are called Hydrolyzed protein diets.

Date: Mar 13, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Others
Topic: Hamster hair loss

Question:Hi my short haired Syrian hamster has some hair loss on her front part of her face and I was wondering what caused it please let me know soon as possible thank you in advance

Answer:I am pretty exclusively small animal (dogs and cats) so I don't know much about hamsters. I would recommend contacting whomever you purchased the hamster from - they would also know if other hamsters that had been around your hamster had the same problem to know if it might be contagious (like ringworm, etc). Another option is a veterinarian near you that specializes in "exotic" medicine - believe it or not, we call hamsters "exotic" lol. Most veterinary schools have an exotics department and you can call them as well to see if you can leave a message for someone.

Date: Feb 28, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair loss but no irritation

Question:I have 2 Airedale terriers and one of them ( the male, younger one) has one patch of hair missing and thinning on both sides. I think it might of been the weeds that grew in the yard that he ran up against, I recently cut them down, but I want to try to thicken his coat back up. The patch doesn't irritate him and he acts perfectly fine.

Answer:A lot of conditions can cause hair loss in dogs - most of the time there is underlying irritation but if there is none and especially if he is under a year of age, I would have him checked for Demodectic mange. They can check him for other things while you are there. If it was from the weeds, it should steadily regrow. Be sure he is eating a proven good quality, well-balanced diet. Proven is a key word here because foods can make all kinds of good-sounding claims without having good quality food. Omega 3 Fatty acids may help as well, like this product: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Super+Pure+Omega+3+Soft+Chews-prod11379.html

Date: Feb 23, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Others
Topic: Guinea pig

Question:My guinea pig has a rash above its left eye. Does not look like ring worm. Wondering what else it might be. We just got her yesterday

Answer:A rash can be just about anything - including ringworm because it isn't always just circular hair loss. If it doesn't steadily improve, you may want someone to take a look at it, even if it's the pet store where you got her. Call them to see if others are having problems that she was housed with. Don't put any human medications that you haven't ok'ed with a veterinarian because their stomachs can be sensitive to even Neosporin, like a rabbits.

Date: Feb 22, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair Shedding

Question:I love my little guy but I don't love the amount of hair that he sheds. I keep a lint brush at home, in my car, at work because I find hair everywhere. I use a FURminator which does help some. I end up with a huge ball of hair. I tried the Super Pure Omega 3 Soft Chews. At first he loved them but I noticed they started to make him vomit and he started just leaving them on the floor. Is their anything that I can try that won't upset his stomach? He is 8 years old, so he is a little old man set in his ways! Thanks!

Answer:Clients have been asking me this for 22 years and I always say that I actually like when I hear you say this, because it means he's healthy and on a good, quality diet, but I'm not going to be able to help you much. When the Furminator came along, that really does help. Another thing that helps with hair all over the house is to shave them down pretty close - this is what I do to my own dogs. Mine are spoiled rotten indoor dogs in Georgia - you would need to be careful if you are in a colder climate.

Date: Feb 22, 2017
Category: Hair Loss
Pet Type: Dog
Topic:  hair loss of my dog

Question:blueheeler cross english short haired pointer. blueheeler colours with a small blanket of black over her back. she has lost a lot of the white hair and virtually all the black hair off around 80% of her body. She is still fit and healthy and does not urinate excessively. She is 1.8 years old and has a beautiful nature but she is nearly completely bald

Answer:Many things can cause generalized, extensive hair loss like that. You definitely want your veterinarian to check her for the most common cause: hypothyroidism - it's an easy, quick blood test. They can screen her for some of the others with blood work (Cushings disease, etc). I'm assuming she isn't itchy - but if she is, that adds allergies to the top of the list. Once you and your veterinarian have ruled out all the diseases, there are rare baldness/alopecia disorders that certain dogs get that don't really affect their general health (kind of like male pattern baldness in people).


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