Alopecia is the complete or partial lack of hair in any area of the skin where hair would normally be found. It may be caused by self-trauma by scratching or chewing, hair follicle diseases that cause the hair to fall out, or the failure of hair to grow after normal loss. Hormonal abnormalities and other metabolic abnormalities may also cause hair loss.
Severe hair loss makes your dog more susceptible to the elements. In addition, some of the diseases that can cause alopecia may also have harmful effects on other organ systems of your dog.
Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:
- The underlying cause of alopecia is generally diagnosed by microscopic examination of the hair, skin scrapings, fungal cultures and possibly a biopsy of the skin. General blood work as well as thyroid and cortisol levels may be recommended to evaluate general health and for the differential diagnosis of hormonal or metabolic causes of hair loss.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. There is no specific treatment for alopecia. Instead, treatment is aimed at eliminating the underlying cause of the problem. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.
What to Watch for*:
- Hair loss
- Abnormal appearance of the skin
*Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!