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Why is my dog’s hair falling out?
Hair loss in dogs is somewhat common, but it is never normal. It almost always indicates an underlying health issue, whether that is a skin infection, hormone imbalance or something else. It is important that pet owners know what could be causing hair loss in their canine so they can get the proper treatment.
If your dog has fleas, it may have an allergic reaction to the parasites' saliva that causes severe itching. All that itching and scratching can cause swollen, inflamed and dry skin that then causes hair to fall out. Infestations by mites, lice and ringworm can also cause this reaction. When you bring your dog to the vet, they will ask whether your cat is on parasite preventative pet drugs like Sentinel. This monthly medication prevents heartworm disease and worms and controls fleas, so if your pooch is on something like this, your vet may do further testing to determine the underlying cause of hair loss.
Other issues like a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection may be causing your dog's hair to fall out. These infections usually cause itching, which leads to inflammation and unhealthy skin. Your vet may recommend giving your pooch a bath with a pet shampoo formulated specially for the infection the animal has. For instance, KetoChlor can clean up fungal and bacterial diseases of the skin, and Malapet Medicated Shampoo is another great anti-fungal shampoo. These pet products are usually enough to clear up the infection.
Health issues on the inside
If your vet does not think parasites or a skin infection are to blame for the hair loss, it might be a more serious underlying condition. The vet will likely ask you if there are other symptoms that have accompanied the hair loss – like lethargy, weight gain or weight loss, increased water consumption or behavior changes. Hair loss can be a symptom of skin cancer like melanoma or basal cell carcinoma, or by another type of cancer. Hair loss is also a symptom of diabetes, Cushing's disease, hyper- and hypothyroidism, and lymphoma. There are a number of tests your vet can use to diagnose these issues, and pet drugs that can treat them.
If prescribed a pill to treat one of these conditions, you might want to get some Greenies Pill Pockets to conceal the treat for easy drug administration.