Shedding of hair is normal in dogs and often occurs at different rates depending on the dog’s breed and certain seasons of the year. This form of shedding is healthy for their skin and coat. However, any other form of hair loss, perhaps coming out in small clumps, usually indicates something wrong with the dog’s health. The dog must be taken to a vet for proper diagnosis and check-up in such instances.
One of the reasons your dog’s hair comes out in small clumps is that it has a parasitic infection caused by lice, mites, or fleas. Other reasons why your dog’s hair comes out in small clumps are allergies, genetics, Cushing’s disease, hives and rashes, pressure sores, and nutritional deficiencies.
One of the major concerns of dog owners is the loss of hair, especially if their dog is a hairy breed. This is because a dog’s hair is part of its beauty, and no one likes to lose what makes them stand out and extraordinary.
Dog Hair Coming Out In Small Clumps With Scabs
As a dog owner, you need to know the difference between when your dog normally sheds from when its hair begins to come out in small clumps. Hair coming out in small clumps accompanied by scabs could occur on some particular spots of a dog’s body or be uneven, unlike shedding, which appears on all parts of a dog’s body.
Hair loss could indicate the dog is suffering from an allergy attack, infection, or other health conditions. Regardless of the cause, ensure you speak to a vet about it once you notice this. Below, we will explain more about some likely causes of this condition.
Allergy is a common cause often responsible for hair loss in dogs. Dog’s allergies could be gotten from food ingredients like dairy products or the environment when they contact things like grass mites, pollen, and dust mites. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies like Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, and Yorkshire Terriers.
So, when you notice your dog suddenly begins to suffer hair loss, accompanied by other symptoms like excessive scratching, itchiness, and redness of its skin, it could indicate allergies. What you need to do next is to identify the trigger and ensure your dog no longer comes in contact. Then speak to a vet about medications and other ways of stopping the allergic reaction.
Parasites such as mites, ticks, lice, worms, and fleas could be responsible for your dog’s hair to come out in small clumps. When either of these parasites attacks a dog, its body becomes very itchy, and the dog feels uncomfortable. In an attempt for the dog to get rid of the parasite, it could begin to scratch or bite its body, which often leads to the falling out of a dog’s hair and scabs.
So, whenever your dog suddenly starts scratching its body, accompanied by some hair loss, ensure you examine its body for parasites or inform a vet to have it checked. Depending on the type of parasite, deworming, anti-flea shampoos, or antibiotics could be recommended for treatment.
Parasitic infections are not the only cause of hair loss in dogs; fungal infections are also a common cause. Ringworm and yeast infections are two common infections that could make a dog suffer from hair loss. Ringworm in dogs is caused by dermatophyte fungus, while candida fungus causes yeast infections.
Symptoms of these infections are hair loss in circular forms, inflammation, dryness, licking, and scratching of the skin. If you suspect your dog is suffering from an infection, ensure it gets treated timely. This is important to help prevent reinfection of the dog or spreading to other dogs, as some infections are very contagious.
While this might sound surprising, some dogs are naturally bald, or as we often refer to them, hairless dogs. These dogs are unique and are great for people with allergic reactions to dogs. Although it has been discovered that dog coats are not the only allergens people react to, these dogs are still an excellent choice. Let us look at some bald dogs.
American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier weighs about 5.5 to 26 pounds and stands at about 12 to 16 inches. This dog breed can be identified by its hairless skin, pricked ears, small and sturdy size, and coat colors, including white and black, apricot and white, or pink and gray.
This dog breed is native to Louisiana; they are smart, spunky, active, and playful; they are great family pets. Although most American Hairless Terrier puppies are usually born hairless, some are born with a short, fine coat. However, this breed is susceptible to sunburn in hot weather conditions and hypothermia in cold weather due to the lack of hair.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
This is another popular bald dog breed; the Peruvian Inca Orchid is available in three sizes, small, medium, and large. Small Peruvian Inca Orchids weigh about 9 to 18 pounds and have a height of 10 to 16 inches. Medium Peruvian Inca Orchids stand at a height of 16 to 20 inches and weigh 18 to 27 pounds.
Large Peruvian Inca Orchid weigh about 27 to 55 pounds and are about 20 to 26 inches tall. You can identify the Peruvian Inca Orchid by its deep brown eyes, pointy ears, slim and elegant body frame, short hair on the top of the head, the tip of the tail, or its feet.
Illnesses That Cause Hair Loss
We already mentioned some factors that could be responsible for a dog’s hair loss. However, aside from those stated, certain illnesses could also cause hair loss in dogs. We will be explaining some of them below.
Cushing’s disease is when a dog’s adrenal glands begin to produce too much hormonal cortisol. This disease is prone to occur more in older dogs above six. When this disease attacks a dog, it could display symptoms like loss of hair, panting, increased appetite, and frequent urination. So, ensure you speak to your vet whenever you notice any of these symptoms.
Hypothyroidism is when a dog’s thyroid gland cannot produce the required amount of thyroxine to regulate metabolism. The common symptoms of this condition include hair loss, loss of weight, and dull and flaky skin. This condition could affect any dog breed; however, breeds like Doberman, Boxers, Irish Setters and Golden Retrievers are more prone to suffering from hypothyroidism.
Alopecia In Dogs
There is a general assumption that alopecia occurs in only humans, this is untrue, and few animals also experience alopecia. While you might be surprised, dogs also experience alopecia. Alopecia is the complete or partial lack of hairs in normally present areas. Let us look at the causes of alopecia in dogs.
The causes of alopecia are categorized into two, acquired and congenital causes. If a dog is born with a normal coat and hair follicles but is bald due to issues with the hair shaft, damage to the hair follicles, or a slowdown in the normal hair growth cycle, the causes are acquired.
And if a dog is born with hair follicles that do not develop normally due to genetics, the causes are congenital. There are different types of alopecia, including follicular dysplasia, alopecia areata, post-clipping alopecia, post-injection alopecia, pineal alopecia, traction alopecia, and pattern baldness.
It is normal for you as a dog owner to be worried when you notice that your dog is experiencing hair loss. You need to know that this is usually natural, but when the hair loss becomes irregular, you need to take the dog to a veterinarian for a medical check-up, diagnosis, and possible treatment.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.