HAIR LOSS (ALOPECIA)

Hair loss due to Ringworm fungusShedding is normal in dogs and cats and is not typically worrisome unless you are seeing bald areas develop. The baldness can be patchy or involve larger areas (the entire body).

When associated with baldness there are 3 general causes:

  • The pet is removing the hair (generally from chewing, licking, scratching).
  • Infection in the hair follicle is “pushing” the hair out (bacteria, ringworm [fungus] & demodex mites classic examples).
  • The hair follicle is not growing hair (endocrine diseases or diseases of the hair follicle such as alopecia areata are examples).

Hair loss due to HypothyroidismA variety of tests are often needed to determine which general cause may be most likely in your pet.  Typical tests performed are skin scrapings, skin cytology, culture (bacterial & fungal), blood work (to assess thyroid & other endocrine disorders) and skin biopsy.  Because many skin diseases look alike evaluation by a veterinary dermatologist or a veterinarian is recommended.

Possible Causes:

  • Allergic dermatitis (Environmental, Flea Allergy, Food allergy)
  • Bacterial infection (Pyoderma)
  • Ringworm (Dermatophyte)
  • Parasites
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Behavioral

For additional information please see the following articles: