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Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 26, 2017
Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Dogs, like humans, can suffer hair loss; this condition is known as canine alopecia. As you'll see, certain dog breeds have a greater genetic predisposition to suffer from this disease, although there are various causes. And, depending on the cause, the disease will evolve in one way or another.

In this AnimalWised article you'll find information on the risk factors that increase the chances of it, the causes and the treatment methods. Read on to find out all about canine alopecia.

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What are the risk factors for canine alopecia?

While genetic predisposition cannot be considered a direct cause of this problem, particular dog breeds have a greater tendency to develop symptoms of canine alopecia.

This condition is especially common in Nordic breeds, such as Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Pomeranians, Siberian Huskies and Poodles. Additionally, all cross breeds which descend from the above have a higher risk of suffering canine alopecia.

Non-neutered male dogs are also at risk of developing this disease; however, it's only a factor and not a cause, since canine alopecia is also found in sterilized dogs.

Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - What are the risk factors for canine alopecia?

Causes of canine alopecia

You'll now see the causes of canine alopecia; of course, always keep in mind that the most qualified person to determine the exact cause of this condition in your dog is your vet:

  • Deficiency in growth hormone (GH)
  • Imbalances in sex hormones
  • Changes in hair growth cycle
  • Environmental causes related to allergies
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Vaccinations (they cause localized alopecia at the site of injection)
  • Parasites
  • Seasonal changes
  • Repetitive licking (in this case, alopecia takes place laterally)
  • Changes in hair follicles
Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - Causes of canine alopecia

What to do if your dog has canine alopecia

You should first know that alopecia most commonly appears in dogs up to the age of 3 years old, although at times it can also develop in dogs as old as 5. It's not normal for alopecia to occur in dogs older than this age.

The main symptom of canine alopecia is hair loss, with or without pigmentation. This means that hairless areas of skin may experience changes in color, which will look like darker spots.

Canine alopecia is generally symmetrical; it begins at the neck, tail and perineum area and subsequently ends up affecting the trunk. If the alopecia is from licking, it will appear laterally and in a more localized way.

If you suspect your dog is starting to suffer from canine alopecia, the best thing for you to do is go to your trusted vet, who will perform analytical tests as well as exploratory examinations which will make it possible to establish a cause and a treatment program to follow.

Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - What to do if your dog has canine alopecia

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Canine Alopecia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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