Alopecia (baldness) in dogs

Alopecia - thinning, thinning or complete loss of hair on the body of a dog. Varieties of pathology and the causes that cause it, many. In addition to reducing the aesthetic perception of an animal with alopecia, pathology can lead to serious health problems or be a symptom of systemic diseases. When should immediately go to the veterinary clinic, and when hair loss is a natural process?


Classification of alopecia species

There are several types of alopecia classification in dogs:

  • by origin (inflammatory and non-inflammatory);
  • localization (multifocal, symmetrically bilateral, local);
  • by the time of manifestation (congenital and acquired).

Difficulty establishing the type of alopecia arises from the absence of a single system of classification, the multiplicity of causes and symptoms of the disease.

The causes of the appearance of pathology

All the variety of causes of alopecia can be reduced to two groups. Alopecia occurs on the basis of the following reasons:

  • hormonal;
  • nonhormonal.

These groups have their own characteristic signs - with hormonal dysfunction, the formation of symmetrically located foci is noted. With the non-hormonal nature of alopecia, the foci are located chaotically. An allergic reaction to the introduction of medications or at the site of infection is manifested as a single focus. For nonhormonal reasons for the appearance of baldness in dogs include:

  • allergic reactions (food, drug, pollinosis, contact, on the bites of bloodsucking parasites);
  • bacterial and fungal infections;
  • parasitic diseases;
  • inflammation of the glands of the skin;
  • depigmentation of the skin (vitiligo);
  • zinc deficiency.

Allergies are common in dogs. It can, will wreak at the change of food, the introduction of certain medicines. Often an allergic reaction is accompanied by a strong infection with fleas (flea dermatitis). There are seasonal factors in the development of allergic dermatitis and, as a consequence, alopecia. For example, hair loss can become a reaction to pollen. Alopecia (baldness) in dogs read the article

Fungal infections often occur in dogs with deep cutaneous folds. So, for shar pei, English bulldogs, the cause of hair loss under the armpits, in the folds of the skin, on the back of the ear is the yeast fungus, appearing in strongly hydrated places.

Parasitic infections such as scabies caused by various types of subcutaneous mites (sarcoptic and demodicosis) are also capable of causing pet alopecia. They are particularly susceptible representatives of the breed sharpei and bull terrier. Wool with parasitic infection falls out small foci, which with the progression of the disease grows, occupying significant areas of the skin. Pyoderma joins alopecia. The situation is complicated by severe itching, in which the dog licks and combs the skin, increasing hair loss.

Hair loss is noted and with black acanthosis - pigment-papillary dystrophy of the skin. Another type of keratosis is the squeezed callus, which also causes baldness in dogs. To hormonal reasons carry:

  • excess cortisol (Cushing's syndrome);
  • growth hormone imbalance;
  • excess or deficiency of estrogen;
  • insufficiency of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).

To natural causes of hair loss can be attributed:

  • seasonal molting, and in some breeds it passes so abundantly that "bald" on the whole body (Pomeranian Spitz) becomes noticeable;
  • imbalance of hormones during pregnancy and after childbirth or during estrus;
  • stress.

Depending on the causes that caused hair loss in the dog, the symptoms vary greatly, making it difficult to diagnose pathology. There is a so-called alopecia X - idiopathic pathology, in which the causes of baldness can not be identified. Isolated focal alopecia, accompanied by complete loss of hair on a clearly defined focus. The causes of focal alopecia have not been identified to date. But they suspect that the cell and humoral reaction to the follicular antigen leads to anomalies.

Symptoms of the appearance of pathology

There are no general symptoms for alopecia, each type of baldness is accompanied by its own set of manifestations. So, for example, itching and reddening of the skin in the place of hair loss are inherent in demodicosis, allergies. With folliculitis, erythema, flea dermatitis, or food allergies, the skin develops papules filled with serous fluid. Opening up, they form ulcers.

When the folliculitis in the area of ​​the hair sac is formed pustular, which can be transformed into purulent melting of the skin. These types of alopecia are accompanied by:

  • inflammation;
  • redness of the skin;
  • increased body temperature;
  • loss of hair;
  • violation of the structure and integrity of the skin;
  • itching.

The hormonal causes of alopecia, as a rule, do not cause symptoms. Sometimes there is hyperpigmentation of the skin. So, for example, alopecia during pregnancy or hypothyroidism begins suddenly and is manifested only by hair loss. The same pattern is observed in the presence of the pattern of alopecia in dogs - a hereditary anomaly in which the puppy is born with a normal scalp, and after a while begins to grow bald. Since there are many reasons, and there are no characteristic symptoms, it is possible to determine the diagnosis only when conducting differential diagnosis.

Diagnostic methods for alopecia

The main diagnostic methods for alopecia are:

  • biochemical analyzes of skin scraping;
  • microscopic examination of skin scraping and hair loss;
  • phototrichogram;
  • biopsy;
  • glow with a Wood lamp;
  • bacteriological and mycological cultures of scraping of the skin.

When suspected of the hormonal causes of alopecia, blood is taken for analysis to the level of hormones. Blood analysis is prescribed to establish the activity of T- and B-lymphocytes (in nested alopecia), the concentration of protein involved in the synthesis of iron (ferritin), the presence of antigens. Alopecia in dogs

To exclude an allergic reaction to endogenous parasites, a cal - coprogram, an analysis for the eggs of the helminths, is examined. Sometimes an instrumental examination may be required, for example, in the case of suspected hypothyroidism, ultrasound of the thyroid gland is performed.

Differential diagnosis is a costly study, as many expensive tests are performed, but without them it is difficult to establish the cause of baldness in a dog, and therefore it is impossible to develop an adequate treatment regimen.

Treatment of alopecia in dogs

The treatment strategy depends on the cause of baldness. If the cause is in the imbalance of hormones, then hormonal therapy is carried out:

  • Levothyroxine in hypothyroidism;
  • Mitotan, Trilostan with Cushing's disease.

In hypoestrogenism, castration or sterilization is recommended. For parasitic reasons, alopecia are prescribed Ivermectin injections, special shampoos against subcutaneous mites, microfillarians, fungi containing selenium sulfide, chlorhexidine or miconazole. Areas of hair loss are treated with a solution of Fosmet. Also, with extensive damage, Melarzomine dihydrochloride and prednisolone are administered to exclude allergies.

In order to restore the hair, after treatment the causes of pathology are prescribed by the following drugs:

  • Melatonin;
  • Mitotane;
  • Trilostane;
  • Methyltestosterone;
  • Lizodren.

When treating idiopathic alopecia in veterinary medicine, complex therapy with the use of drugs Prednisolone, Anipril, Ketoconazole, Leuprolide and Cimetidine is often used. They are combined according to the doctor's prescription.

If the treatment after a few months does not work, then the strategy is revised and a new therapy scheme is applied.

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