The coat of the dog is a perfect indicator of its state of health. Consequently, as soon as it loses its shine, becomes duller, drier or on the contrary oily, brittle, rough or falls on the whole body or in areas, it announces a health problem. Most often, the hair of the dog is affected by two categories of problems which are parasitic disorders and hormonal disorders. Let’s find out the main hair problems that can affect the dog.
Several parasites have an impact on the hair of the dog and can cause a change in its condition and/or its fall.
Ringworm is caused by a small microscopic fungus that grows in the dog’s coat – in the coat of the hair – and feeds on it, in particular keratin. It causes significant hair loss, especially on the head, back, thighs and hindquarters.
This disease can cause some itching, but it is above all very contagious. It can be transmitted to humans and other animal species. It is also often asymptomatic in healthy dogs. They can therefore transmit it without knowing it.
This disease is due to a small mite which settles in the hair of the dog and lodges mainly at the level of the ears, the flanks and the thighs. The affected dog suffers from severe itching.
Flea Bite Dermatitis (DAPP)
This pathology results from an allergy to flea bites, in particular to their saliva. The affected pooch scratches intensely and repeatedly and loses hair due to scratching, excessive biting – sometimes bleeding – and frequent licking.
Due to the presence of a parasitic mite of the hair follicle, demodicosis is a condition that mainly affects older dogs, fragile doggies and puppies. The animal loses hair on the face, especially the muzzle, mouth and eyes. The areas thus depilated can quickly become infected, but they are rarely prey to itching.
Normal hair growth is controlled by multiple hormones. As a result, the slightest imbalance can cause coat loss, among other symptoms.
In this case, the dog generally loses his hair chronically, bilaterally and symmetrically, mainly on the back and flanks, but sometimes on almost the entire body. Most often, his skin thickens or thins, it dries out and dandruff forms. Itching is not systematic, but red or irritated patches may appear and lead to secondary infections.
Several hormonal diseases can cause hair problems in dogs.
Diabetes mellitus often causes hair loss and the coat is generally duller and brittle. The animal also drinks more frequently and urinates more.
Cushing’s syndrome (hypercorticism)
In this case, the dog with this hormonal pathology drinks and eats in larger quantities. He has a more swollen belly and his hair is dull and falls out.
This condition of the thyroid gland greatly tires the affected dog. His skin thickens and is covered with darker spots that can cause hair loss.
This disease, which causes an ovarian cyst in the female and a tumor of the testicles in the male, frequently leads to a loss of coat and disorders of his condition.
Other hair problems in dogs
Other events are likely to lead to hair problems in the dog.
The seasonal moult
Moulting is not really a problem, it is a natural phenomenon that occurs in spring and autumn. Dog hair naturally sheds throughout the year, just like human hair. This shedding is a normal process in the context of their development cycle and which allows the permanent renewal of the coat and thus ensures its protective role for the epidermis and maintenance of the dog’s body temperature.
In spring and autumn, the hair falls more abundantly. This is called seasonal molting. The hair adapts to climatic conditions and falls to become denser or, on the contrary, more sparse.
As with humans, stress can cause several disorders in the body. Dogs suffering from regular anxiety and stress tend to lose hair or see their coat dull frequently.
The lack of hygiene
The lack of hygiene directly impacts the hair of the dog. The coat is dirtier and parasites develop there more easily. Excess bathing can also weaken and irritate the skin of the doggie, thus impacting the hair.
During gestation and after giving birth, females may shed more heavily due to natural hormonal variations.