I’ve been seeing a number of bald dogs in the consulting room recently, and it made me wonder how common a problem it is – and how many conditions there are that can lead to a dog losing his hair!
Baldness (or alopecia, to give it its technical name) isn’t generally a disease in its own right – it is almost invariably a symptom of an underlying disease condition. So, when I’m faced with a poor, balding dog in the consult room, my first task is to try and define what the underlying cause is. With a symptom with so many possible causes, what we do to narrow down the possibilities is to work out a differential list – a list of all the possible conditions that can cause baldness – and then eliminate them until we come to the actual cause in this specific case.
So, in no particular order, here are the more common causes of hair loss in dogs, along with their other major signs or symptoms…..