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What to do if Fluffy isn’t so fluffy anymore
Some owners might start to notice that their once-fluffy pups are starting to lose patches of fur. Hair loss can be the side effect of a number of serious conditions in pets and owners who notice this should bring their pets to the veterinarian's office right away to figure out what's going on.
Causes behind sudden hair loss can include behavioral changes or irritability in your dog that could stem from either a recent move or a change in its schedule. Dogs are creatures of habits and when their days are suddenly thrown off, it can cause them to worry or wonder what's going on. This stress can then build up and might show itself through hair loss. Other causes may include more serious underlying medical conditions such as problems in its liver, kidneys, ovaries, testicles or in the thyroid. Aside from the loss of hair, pups with these conditions might also start to gain or lose weight, start consuming more water or begin to act lethargic and less playful.
When evaluating your dog's hair loss, try to see if there is a pattern. Did the hair fall out on its own or did the dog chew at it and then it came out? If the dog chewed the hair off, it might mean that the pup is suffering from a parasite infestation or it could be allergic to its pet food.
If you are concerned about your dog, you should bring it to the vet. He or she will most likely ask you for your dog's complete medical history and any changes to its behavior or habits. Medical tests including a skin scraping, a biopsy, blood test, urinalysis and X-rays may be necessary to see if the hair loss stems from a more serious health issue.
If the vet finds the hair loss issue stems from anxiety or recent changes in its day to day life, he or she might recommend starting the dog on anti-anxiety pet drugs such as Clomicalm or Reconcile. You could also try using a holistic calming aid such as Comfort Zone for Dogs. If the problem stems from a parasite infestation, the vet might suggest starting the dog on a tick and flea preventative such as Frontline Plus. If the issue is dry or irritated skin, he or she might recommended bathing the pooch in pet shampoo such as 1-800-PetMeds Oatmeal & Aloe Vera Shampoo.