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dog hair loss
Dog Hair Loss - information, causes, symptoms and treatment

When the Genes Have it: Hereditary Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs.

When hair loss occurs in dogs, it can be a time of worry and apprehension for the pet owner. The reasons for hair loss can be unclear, creating further concern for the owner. Associated symptoms can also be painful and distressing for the dog. If owners are concerned about irregular amounts of hair loss or notice unusual patterns of loss, it is important diagnosis be conducted as soon as possible.

One cause of hair loss in dogs is due to hereditary reasons. Hereditary conditions are those genetic situations that are passed down from parent to offspring. If you notice hair loss in your dog and any of the following symptoms, an inherited condition might be responsible:

  • Your puppy begins to lose black/dark hair between the ages of three to six weeks. This is a hereditary condition in dogs with multi-colored coats. The condition is associated with such breeds as Bearded Collies, Basset Hounds, Beagles and Dachshunds. This condition is known as Black hair follicular dysplasia/alopecia/dystrophy.
  • Your dog loses blue and fawn colored hair. This happens at approximately six months of age and is linked to such breeds as Great Danes, Greyhounds, Whippets, Doberman and Dachshunds. The cause of this is known as Color dilution/mutant alopecia.
  • Your puppy experiences delays in development and does not lose its puppy coat as it matures. Eventually, a large part of the dog’s surface area will lose its hair. This condition can be a result of an ineffective pituitary gland and a lack of certain hormones. This condition is known as Pituitary Dwarfism.

Another condition in which some hair loss may be experienced, and can be an inherited condition, also produces scaling, an odor and scratching results. It occurs where the hair follicles, sebaceous glands, and external skin layer are hyperproductive. It is seen in such breeds as: the American cocker spaniel; West Highland white terrier; English springer spaniel; and, Basset hound.

Dogs with this condition can display such signs as oiliness, scales and a nasty odour. There could be scratching, and hair loss may occur. These signs can indicate a condition known as Seborrhea. Hair loss in dogs can be due to hereditary conditions. The causes of hair loss can be passed down in a dog’s genes, similar to humans inheriting diseases and illnesses. In such cases, the disease is not a consequence of the owner’s actions. However, getting to the source of the problem and locating treatments is certainly the pet owner’s responsibility.


Upon identifying unusual hair loss in your dog, professional help should be sought. It could very well end up to be a harmless condition that might require an easy solution. On the other hand, it might indicate a more serious illness, one that if noticed and attended to early, could save the dog pain and suffering.

 

Dog Hair Loss - Canine Hair Loss - Dog Skin Problems