Why Is My Dog Losing Hair on Her Sides?

During the spring time at our Carmel veterinary hospital, we always see a few pet parents bring in their dogs who are going bald on the sides of their body. The bald spots usually occur on both sides symmetrically. These dogs are not bothered by this hair loss with zero itching, scratching, or biting of the affected skin. They just look a little silly. The bald spot starts small and often becomes quite large. Many dogs will even develop dark pigment within the skin on the areas of hair loss. Due to the seasonal nature of this disease and the fact that it is more common in the northern states suggest exposure to sunlight plays a role in the cause of this disease.

What deficiency causes hair loss in dogs?

Zinc deficiency causes hair loss, skin ulcers, and areas of skin thickening and cracking, particularly over joints and on foot pads. The skin-related signs of mineral deficiency clear up quickly with appropriate levels in the diet.

What can I give my dog for hair loss?

1 Use A Humidifier. One of the most common problems with dog hair loss is dry skin & hair. ….2 Try Apple Cider Vinegar. ….3 Brush Your Dog. ….4 Give Lemon Juice A Try. ….5 Use Topical Olive Oil. ….6 Eliminate Allergens From The Diet. ….7 Try Omega Biotics!

How long does seasonal flank alopecia last?

It usually begins in late fall into early spring and lasts up to six months. Sometimes this condition recurs yearly, but not in all cases.

Why does my dog have bald spots on her back?

Some of the most common include dry skin and dermatitis. If your dog is suffering from depression or anxiety, she may be excessively grooming or licking, which creates hair loss. Stress can also cause hair loss. Certain infections that may cause your dog to lose hair on her back include bacterial, fungal, and yeast.

Canine flank alopecia is sometimes known as seasonal alopecia because it is a light responsive seasonal disorder. It causes partial or total hair loss on the dogs flank and back area. Lack of exposure to the sunlight in the months with shorter days seems to be connected to this disorder. It usually begins in late fall into early spring and lasts up to six months. Sometimes this condition recurs yearly, but not in all cases. About 20% of the time is will occur only once in the dogs life. This disorder is also called cyclic follicular dysplasia, and it is a non-inflammatory condition.

Canine flank alopecia is a syndrome usually occurring in the fall through spring months. It has no known cause and produces hair loss in the flank and back of the dog.

Compare plans Flank Alopecia Average Cost Bilateral symmetrical hair loss, particularly in flanks and the back of the dog Dark pigmentation in the areas of the hair loss Hair loss on the base of the tail, nose, and ears of the dog in some cases Skin infection present in the bald spots of the dog Previous bilateral symmetrical hair loss in past fall and winter months Hereditary influence may be the cause with some cases of seasonal flank alopecia, although it has not been proven Sunlight amounts may contribute to the onset of seasonal flank alopecia, with indoor or house-bound dogs more likely to become affected by the condition, due to their lack of daily sunshine exposure

Seasonal changes in melatonin and prolactin occur in dogs and other mammals. Lack of exposure to the sunlight to the pineal gland could be responsible. The pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin, which modulates sleep patterns in seasonal cycles.

A lack of sunlight may cause the hair to fall out of some dogs on a seasonal basis. Some breeds are more susceptible such as Boxers (50% of all cases), Bulldogs, Schnauzers, Labradors, Scottish terriers, Akitas, Airedales, and Doberman pinschers. Indoor dogs are most susceptible due to the lack of being outdoors during daylight hours.

Clinical signs and symptoms will be noted, and pigmented bald spots will be identified. The average age of the diagnosis of seasonal flank alopecia is 4 years old. Exposure to sunlight during the months of September through March dramatically lessened the incidence of flank alopecia.

Find a way to providing an opportunity for your dog to spend more time outdoors, especially in the fall and winter. This will greatly improve his chances of not developing seasonal flank alopecia. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the body of the dogs daily rhythm.

Melatonin oral supplements are effective approximately 50% of the time. Follow your veterinarians advice on the proper dosage and frequency. Generally, melatonin will be given daily for two or three months until complete hair growth occurs.

There is a good, but unpredictable prognosis with most dogs regarding the growing back of their hair. Seasonal flank alopecia is a cosmetic disorder and does not affect the health or quality of life of the dog. may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

I have a 1 year old Lagotto Romagnolo dog, over the past couple of days he’s developed a bald patch on his flank. I went to my vet yesterday but they have no idea what the cause is, they suggested I give him cod liver oil and a spray to help hair growth regeneration. Flank alopecia is typically a symmetrical problem, and having one side affected and not the other makes this diagnosis unlikely.

A skin scraping to rule out parasites is a relatively painless, quick procedure, and most dogs can be distracted with food or treats and not even notice that it is happening. The Lagotto Club of America FB page has info on what is going on. About 2 months ago, I noticed a small balding spot on her left hip, about the size of a pencil eraser.

Ive noticed since then, that her hair seems to be thinning on her belly, left side, and legs. I would keep an eye on her now after weaning and see if the hair returns in the coming weeks.

But for most breeds, going bare or bald signals a larger problem at work. When dogs experience hair loss, known as alopecia, it could be a symptom of a medical condition or it could be hereditary. As a pet parent, brush up on the basics of hair loss in dogs, including the different types, causes and treatment options.

Hair loss is just one symptom of a medical problem; it can also be accompanied by changes in behavior or irritability, and your dog may become restless or lethargic. Your dog may suffer from redness or swelling, flaking, crusting, changes in color or discharge, along with an unpleasant odor from an infection.

Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune disorder that causes patches of hair loss on the dogs body, neck and head without itching. For allergic reactions, treatment with antihistamines may work while bacterial and parasite infections may require other kinds of medication. In some cases, hair loss in dogs is not something to be worried about, unless its accompanied by other physical symptoms or signs of infection.

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Most of us dog owners have had to worry about hair loss at some point. Hair loss can be normal, or it can be from itching and scratching (self-inflicted hair loss, like from sarcoptic mange, fleas, and allergies), and sometimes the hair can fall out in small patches (like ringworm), or in large areas (for example, hypothyroidism).

Look at the photos and videos here, do more research on other websites, and if you need help, take your dog to your regular vet as soon as possible. Normal shedding (seasonal or year round) Poor condition (starvation) Parasites (like fleas, mange, ringworm, yeast, and others) Allergies (can be inhalant, food, or even contact allergies) Infection (hot spots, folliculitis, cellulitis, and some others) Hormonal problems (hypothyroidism, Cushings, estrogen excess or deficiency) Autoimmune diseases (secondary to ulcers in the skin) Other uncommon diseases (like acanthosis nigrans, sebaceous adenitis, zinc responsive dermatosis, blue Doberman syndrome, black hair follicle dysplasia, and others)

Ringworm, yeast, or bacterial infection : You may not even notice itching with these problems, but the skin will become thickened, scaly, and the hair will fall out in an uneven pattern. If you know what they look like, and want to take care of the infection at home, you can clip the hair, clean the skin with betadine from your first aid kit , then apply a topical antibiotic cream from your drugstore. Your vet might put your dog on oral antibiotics too, and might give him a shot of steroids to keep her from scratching the spot and making the infection even worse.

The dog can be treated at home with twice daily Pyoben shampoos, but your vet may need to put him on oral antibiotics. Treat it by soaking in Epsom salts (about 30 grams or cup to 1 liter of water, about 3 times a day) and keep the skin above the infection clean with betadine. All skin infections can be improved through the use of a good shampoo , so if your dog it itching and you cannot figure out what is wrong, I have found that this brand helps.

Hypothyroidism : Since the thyroid gland controls your dogs metabolic rate, the first thing that some people notice is a gradual weight gain. Since there can be many other symptoms, including aggression, the dog needs to see his vet and have a blood sample taken so this disease can be diagnosed and treated. Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings): This disease is caused by an excess of steroids in the body and there are many clinical symptoms, but the changes in the skin are sometimes the most obvious.

These problems can sometimes be treated successfully, so, like with hypothyroidism, the dog has to be seen and diagnosed by the vet for treatment to begin. If your dog has symptoms similar to the Tibetan Mastiff seen in this video, go ahead and take her in for an exam and blood test. There is no cure for this hormonal disease, but the medication to treat hypothyroidism is inexpensive and will make her look better and act like herself.

Zinc-responsive dermatosis can show up in some dogs fed cheap food but in sometimes breeds like Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Doberman Pinschers develop this even when eating enough zinc. The dogs have hair loss around the ears, eyes, and mouth, but also have crusty elbows and feet. Acanthosis nigrans is thick, black skin with hair loss that is found in young Dachshunds.

There is no cure, but your vet might be able to make your dog a little better by treating with a shampoo, vitamin E, antibiotics, and melatonin. Color diseases like Blue Doberman Syndrome and black hair follicular dysplasia. If the problem is seasonal, and you think it might be inhalant allergies, try some natural remedies like raw honey.

If the ears and GI tract are involved and you think it might be food-related, try a hypoallergenic diet (a new protein that the dog has never been exposed to before). If the problem is hair loss around the nose and lips, get rid of the plastic food bowl and replace it with a ceramic or stainless steel dish. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.

IF the itching improves, it is most likely caused by sarcoptic mange mites, which are very difficult to find during testing. Answer: Local honey contains some of the allergens that a dog with atopy (allergic inhalant dermatitis) can be affected by. Question: My dog has redness up and down legs, belly chest, itching, and is losing hair.

The symptoms you describe are usually due to inhalant allergies (outside pollens, inside molds and house dust mites). Question: My seven-year-old Alaskan malamute had a clump of fur with what I thought at the time was some dirt that had gotten matted in. She had some loose bits of fur today that came out with a layer of this stuff again, Im assuming it must be skin as you can see the hair coming through it but its brown and have now noticed she has a big bald patch on her leg (didnt notice before as was hidden by her fur).

Answer: Siberians and Malamutes will often develop a type of hot spot (a Staph infection) on the skin, and the pus will cause the hair to mat and fall out in a clump if it is messed with. Answer: The most common cause of hair loss and small scabs on the dorsal midline is flea allergy dermatitis. I am not a big fan of chemical methods of flea control (I prefer natural), but your dog is a good reason to use these products.

Question: My dog has been treated for mange, sebborhea, fleas, allergies and has been put on appaquell and is still losing hair. Question: My dog had a hot spot on her neck, and it is healed up, but now she is losing the hair on her back and legs in patches. You do not need to treat this as an emergency, but if it continues, be sure to take her to your regular vet for an exam.

When you take your Rott puppy in for her rabies vaccination, ask the vet to scrape the skin around the eye and look for Demodex mites. If you are really strapped and cannot afford to have this diagnosed, you can sometimes treat patchy Demodex infections in Rotties and Pitbulls with “benign neglect.” I am hesitant to suggest this method since I have not seen the puppy and am not even sure if this is what the problem is, so if you are worried about this you should find out what is going on before making this choice.

If it is not itching, and thyroid hormones are normal, I would try a bath to clean the pores (flush out those blackheads). Question: We have a four-year-old male Chesapeake Bay Retriever that has a dark brown curly coat; his sides and the area in front of his tail have suffered hair loss, and sometimes he has sores. If he is itching, the most common cause of the hair loss you describe is flea allergy dermatitis.

You do not always see the fleas, and some dogs are so sensitive that it only takes a single bite to cause the hair loss. If he is an inside dog, it can occur year round, since he can be allergic to house dust mites. During this time he is to eat only one protein source, and cannot get commercial dog treats or any table scraps or leftovers.

If nothing else comes up, I would suggest that you consult with a dermatologist at a local referral hospital or veterinary college. You need to take him to your regular vet for an exam, and so that you can answer questions and find out what is wrong. The hair becomes thinner, the skin becomes darker in some breeds, and it is very common to grow small “warts” on the back.

If any of them are growing fast or have irregular edges, they should be examined by your regular vet and possibly removed. Answer: Hypothyroidism usually causes hair loss along the bottom of the neck, along the belly, and in a few other areas. Question: My six year old Pom has coarse hair and comes back differently in areas?

Answer: You should take a stool sample to your local vet and have your dog checked for worms. Hello, I have a miniature schnauzer whos 5 years old and his back is really itchy and as result of his itching he has two patches where he has no hair, I checked for fleas and it isnt that but one of the bald spots is becoming scaly, what can it be? Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 03, 2020:

the hair loss around her bottom and back legs hae been going on for a while we take her to the vet get meds but when the meds finish the rash comes back with the itchy bum she is happy and loves walking and eating there is no fleas regards Rose Ann I have a 8 year old red nose pit she is a house dog and is losing her hair on her tail what can this be My dog (a Doberman Pit mix-almost 2 y/o), is having hair thinning around his ears, elbows, eyes, head, and belly.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 09, 2020: Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 07, 2020: Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 02, 2020:

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 30, 2019: I have an American bully a year and seven months he has redness behind at you and is losing hair and two ball spots on his neck and it constantly shaking his head and scratching what is the cause of that ? Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 05, 2019:

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 04, 2019: It may be something that your Pom needs to be on for a long time, or in the case of a hormonal problem (like hypothyroidism) for the rest of his life. Yes I have a dog shes a poodle mix and shes 1 year old shes loosing her hair at the top of her tail on her back what could be the problem

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 26, 2019: If the skin is kind of greasy and dry, the vet has probably prescribed a benzoyl peroxide shampoo. Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 17, 2019:

I recently had him worked up with full series of bloodwork since his appetite became rather intense but only at meal time. Every time she scratches herself I find large chunks of her fur that have fallen out but I don’t see any bald spots on her. Our British Bulldog has started to develop small bald spots on her flanks which are getting more & more numerous

The only change in her diet has been to add Pro Fibre as she has had problems with her anal glands in the past My female jack skier has a thick coat in her head and body her bum end is bald. Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 13, 2019:

I have a blue nose chihuahua about 6 years old he has lost hair from top of head all the way down to his tail but not the tail.i have tried lucky jack and couple of different shampoos he is licking between toes and scratching especially the arm pits .i have 4 chihuahuas and he is the only one with this problem. Becci, losing hair above the tail like that is usually fleas, but since your dog is bleeding and has an odor she probably has an infection. It sounds like they have done a good job looking into the problem so hopefully it will resolve with the treatment they are recommending.

Extremely healthy except for recent increase in ALT levels which we have pretty much assumed due to a change in dry food brand. Theyve done a skin scrape (small bit of bacteria) and a cellophane test which showed the presence of neutrophils and red blood cells. At present, they are contributing it to hotspots and giving me supplements for her diet as well as Remend wound spray.

If the hair loss is not growing, not causing the dog any discomfort, then you need to decide whether or not to even mess with it. Food is the same as it has been most of his life, so no changes in diet, he gets bathed and groomed when needed by a good dog groomer. Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 25, 2018:

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 09, 2018: We’ve seen many different vets and specialists for our great pyrenees who is losing hair slowly but surely. Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 02, 2018:

After a visit to the vet, my 5 month old Australian Shepard got a shot and a topical spray for two hotspots. The spot on her hip has made progress and has pretty much returned to normal, but the one on her leg still hasnt regrown any hair although she has not been licking or biting at it. Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 30, 2018:

You can try to bathe her more frequently with a shampoo like pyoben but there might be problems from removing too many of the oils from the coat, so that is not a perfect solution. My dog has been itching and biting like crazy down the middle of her back and now has lost hair in a pattern that coincides exactly with where my husband applied flea drops (he for whatever reason didnt get it behind her head , and only applied them from her mid back to her tail). Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 15, 2018:

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 13, 2018: Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 26, 2018: You need to take him to see you vet to have his skin examined and have a blood test for thyroid hormones.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 26, 2018: My 11-year-old black lab has been having INTENSE itching on his back and tail (and a bit on hind legs). I have a Siberian Husky that has black scaly skin with loss hair on his tail and hind legs.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 20, 2018: If you do not find any flea dirt have your dog examined by the vet and checked for sarcoptic mange. Erin, it is possible that the thinning hair is due to hookworms, but it would be from a generalized run-down condition, and all over the body.

Brenda, if your Yorkie is having those problems with the meds prescribed for her allergies you should look into some natural therapies. I have been to the vet and they put her on allergy meds which made her sck throwing up and assume diarrhea. The Flematic is just a moisturizing spray and I am not sure if he dispensed ivermectin for internal parasites or was thinking about mange.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 04, 2018: Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on February 04, 2018: Jack has patches of hair loose on his back and is constantly rolling and scratching no fleas and have bathed him he is 12 can you help he is only feed on dried food

Causes of Hair Loss in Dogs

Hair loss can often be diagnosed according to different patterns. Most causes come with their own pattern, making it easier to determine the best form of treatment. A common example would be flea infestation in a particular area that’s easy for a dog to chew at, such as the base of the tail or along the inside of the legs. The most common patterns of hair loss in dogs include:Hair loss is just one symptom of a medical problem; it can also be accompanied by changes in behavior or irritability, and your dog may become restless or lethargic. Common with hair loss is change in the skin. Your dog may suffer from redness or swelling, flaking, crusting, changes in color or discharge, along with an unpleasant odor from an infection.

Uncommon Diseases That Cause Hair Loss

If your dog is not itching but is not just shedding normally, the cause of hair loss can be:If your dog has symptoms similar to the Tibetan Mastiff seen in this video, go ahead and take her in for an exam and blood test. There is no cure for this hormonal disease, but the medication to treat hypothyroidism is inexpensive and will make her look better and act like herself.

More About Your Dog’s Skin

If you cannot take your dog to the vet for some reason, the first thing to do is check for fleas. If he does not have a flea problem, and his symptoms fit some of the other diseases that I describe above, there are some other things you can try.

Questions & Answers

Has your dog been treated with steroids? If she gets better after an injection, that will lead you to consider an allergic cause.This only works if it is locally harvested organic honey. If it is from the grocery store and has been processed it is worthless.If the patch of hair loss is due to ringworm, you should be aware that it is transmissible to humans. Get him checked out as soon as possible.After bathing, put him up and groom him thoroughly. You will still get a lot of hair loss after a bath but at least you can gather it up in a brush.Part the fur on the back and look for little bits of black dirt. Take the dirt and put it on a wet paper towel. If it turns red when it gets wet, that is blood.I am not a big fan of chemical methods of flea control (I prefer natural), but your dog is a good reason to use these products. Talk to your vet and buy the most potent flea control product he or she has. Give it a month or two to see if the scabs go away; the hair loss will take a little longer.The odor sounds like a secondary infection. If the bathing is not adequate, you need to ask your vet for antibiotics for a skin infection.If things are still not going well for your dog, you can ask your vet for a referral to the state veterinary college or a veterinary dermatologist.There are many alternative treatments for demodicosis, including some topical medications that may or may not help. Do not subject your puppy to the toxic dips that are sold for mange. If you want to treat her most effectively, she can be given ivermectin orally.If you are really strapped and cannot afford to have this diagnosed, you can sometimes treat patchy Demodex infections in Rotties and Pitbulls with “benign neglect.” No treatment is used at all, and most of the puppies will just grow out of the problem as their immune systems become more competent. I am hesitant to suggest this method since I have not seen the puppy and am not even sure if this is what the problem is, so if you are worried about this you should find out what is going on before making this choice.If this were my Pom, I would also try to moisturize the skin after the bath with coconut oil. I can provide no scientific proof for this, but have seen great results when using the product on my family´s Poms.If the problem is not seasonal, then there is a possibility that he is allergic to some protein component of his food. To find this out for sure he has to be on a STRICT exclusion diet for at least two months. During this time he is to eat only one protein source, and cannot get commercial dog treats or any table scraps or leftovers. Many people will allow their dog to get into something unknown during the test and then declare that the test did not work.If your dog is not itching at all, then the hypothyroid test should be repeated. Make sure that the TSH is measured too.If nothing else comes up, I would suggest that you consult with a dermatologist at a local referral hospital or veterinary college.If any of them are growing fast or have irregular edges, they should be examined by your regular vet and possibly removed. Old dogs can develop cancer of the skin.If she is older, and this is the first time this has happened, you have to decide whether she is itching or not. If not, a hormonal cause is most likely (hypothyoroidism). If she is itching, there may be a parasite problem.This cannot be diagnoses without an exam. If this problem continues make an appointment with your regular vet and have her examined.If he is not, and he really is hypothyroid, all you can do is continue the thyroid hormone treatment prescribed by your vet. Your dog may have another hormonal problem going on at the same time though so he may need to be tested for other problems, like Cushing disease.If you are not happy with the diagnosis and treatment from your regular vet, you can ask for a referral to a dermatologist in your city or in your states vet college. It may cost more for the proper diagnosis and treatment.