How Dog Bald Spots Develop

Dog bald spots are different than shedding. A variety of diseases and conditions lead to dog hair loss. While some are quite normal, others are indicative of a more serious problem.

Common Conditions Associated With Hair Loss

Allergic reactions account for the majority of hair loss cases in dogs. However, there are a multitude of other issues that cause dog bald spots. Take a look at some of the familiar reasons for dog hair loss:

  • Atopy: when pollen and other airborne irritants trigger dog allergies, leads to hair loss and can develop open wounds called "hot spots" on the skin.
  • Callus: thick, raised areas over pressure points such as the elbows that have no hair. It's common in large dogs due to chronic pressure on joints. Softer bedding and padding can help.
  • Cushings Disease: when a dog has this disease he looses hair and bruises easily.
  • Folliculitis: dog bald spots can arise from an infection of their hair follicles. A vet will prescribe antibiotics. Sometimes it occurs from a hormone imbalance or allergy.
  • Food Allergies: hair loss occurs from something in your dog's diet. It's tricky to pin-point, usually through eliminating certain foods one by one.
  • Pregnancy: a dog will sometimes lose her hair during pregnancy and nursing commonly called "blowing her coat." Bald patches and excess shedding can also occur in other stressful situations like surgery.
  • Old Age: don't dismiss the fact that your dog is simply aging: old-age indeed causes bald patches in dogs, too.

Less Common Conditions Causing Baldness

  • Sebaceous Adenitis: when your dog's sebaceous glands are defective, he could get circular areas of bald patches. A skin biopsy is required to determine if your dog has this disease.
  • Post-clipping Alopecia: dog bald spots appear after grooming and clipping usually from surgery. It is common in breeds such as Huskies and
  • Chows. The hair does grow back, but can take up to two years.
  • Kerion: occurs from a ringworm infection. It looks like a hard lump on the skin. Hair loss persists.
  • Lice: in some cases dogs have significant hair loss due to lice and lice eggs. They also experience itching, crusts and have a rough coat.
  • Vitamin A Responsive Dermatosis: a dog's hair will fall out easily from this condition.
  • Flea Allergies: significant dog bald spots develop from an allergic reaction to the flea saliva. You will also see redness and scales on your dog's skin and sometimes hot spots.

Mange Leads to Severe Balding

Sarcoptic mange is a rather bad condition that causes severe dog bald spots and even complete balding. Mange is caused by a mite that invades your dog's skin. Highly contagious to both humans and animals, it results in a condition known as scabies.

Sarcoptic mange causes inflamed skin and massive itching. It begins at a dog's head and feet and then spreads over the whole body. If not treated, it completely strips a dog of all his hair. Veterinarians rely on a host of treatments, including oral Ivermectin, to remedy this problem.