Losing fur is a reality in the life of a dog. Usually dog shedding is a natural reaction to the changing of seasons, but sometimes it can be a side effect of a more serious problem. Here are some of the top reasons behind dog shedding, and some tips on what you can do to address the issue.
8. Hormonal Changes
A dog with a hormonal change or imbalance can experience alopecia or dermatosis, which causes shedding. Other symptoms include brittle fur, itching, inflammation, and incontinence. If this occurs, consult with a veterinarian. The vet may suggest you get your dog spayed or neutered, and may also prescribe special shampoo or topical medications to clear up the problem.
7. Seasonal Coat
When the seasons change, especially from winter to summer, dogs shed their winter coats. This is a perfectly normal response to warmer weather. Make sure to keep your dog brushed and well-groomed.
Dogs, like humans, can have an allergic reaction or an irritation from a substance, which can cause excessive shedding. The best thing to do is to remove the substance from the dog and give it a bath. If needed, get a topical ointment to treat the irritated skin.
A number of diseases, from kidney or liver diseases to hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, can cause fur loss. In the case of the thyroid, the hair loss might be simply due to an imbalance, which requires medication. While you can treat the symptoms using ointments and medications, it’s always best to ensure that the disease is being treated. Contact your veterinarian for options.
Hair loss can be a side effect of certain medications that treat diseases or other conditions. Discontinuing taking that medication may stop the hair loss. However, talk with your veterinarian first.
Parasites, either external, as with fleas, ticks, mange, and mites, or internal, such as worms, can cause excessive shedding. Treatment depends on the type of parasite, but options range from medicated shampoo to prescription drugs.
The stress of a new home or a big change can leave your dog shedding like crazy. This is usually a temporary condition that improves as the dog gets accustomed to his new circumstances. Reduce stress by spending time with your pet and making sure your pup is exercising regularly.
1. Lack of Nutrients
A shedding dog may also be losing fur due to a lack of nutrients in his diet. Usually this occurs with a change of food. You can either change back to the original brand, supplement the dog’s diet, or consult with a veterinarian.
Keep an eye on your four-legged friend, especially during times of change, to make sure that your pup is getting the love and care s/he needs. If you notice excessive shedding, irritated skin, open sores, or brittle fur, contact a veterinarian to determine the best treatment option for your dog. Act swiftly — both you and your pet will appreciate it in the long run.
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