Bald Spots on My Dog

bald spot dog
bald spot dog
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

Help! My dog is going bald!

Dogs losing hair is normal. Shedding is common for most dogs. Some dogs will even go through intense shedding periods where they are losing clumps of hair. But there is a difference between shedding and balding. There are lot of reasons why your dog may have alopecia (hair loss):

 

What do you call it when your dog won’t stop licking a spot? It is called worrying the spot. It is called this because it is often a sign of anxiety or has become a habit. However, worrying can also be a symptom of an underlying problem. The biggest problem with worrying is that it leads to bald spots and the creation of sores. Your dog will lick and nibble a spot so much that they create a sore. Since it is in their nature to want to clean and sooth the sore by licking it, they continue to worry the area which gives it no ability to heal.

 

Reasons for Hair Loss in Dogs

Allergies- Having an allergic reaction to food or the environment can trigger hair loss, or can cause itching that leads to your dog worrying the area.

Fleas- Fleas are the primary cause of hair loss in dogs. If your dog has a flea infestation this not only itches but because of the scratching can create sores. Your dog can literally scratch their hair off or worry it off through licking and nibbling on itchy areas. If your dog is allergic to fleas their reaction to a bite might be stronger and sometimes it only takes one bite to trigger an allergic reaction that can lead to a bald spot. The best way to treat fleas is to use Frontline Flea and Tick treatment. This is also the best way to prevent fleas.

Cushings Disease- Cushings Diseases is caused by the overproduction of cortisol. It is not an overly common disease and is typically seen is dogs over the age of 6. Hair loss is a primary symptom. If the condition of your dogs hair suddenly gets really bad and starts falling out you should have the vet test for Cushings. 

Ringworm- Ringworm is a fungus that causes hair loss around the spot of infection. This is treated with a cream to kill the fungus. Once the fungus is cleared up the hair will grow back.

Mites- Mites like to bite on areas with thin skin such as around the ears and eyes. Their bites both irritate and itch and can lead to hair loss in those areas. Often times treating mites requites an oral or topical medication.

Pressure Sores- Pressure sores are more common on older or overweight dogs. They will get bald spots on their elbows or other more bony parts of the body that come into regular contact with the floor. Over time, the regular pressure on those spots cause the skin to thicken and that is when hair falls out. If the skin is really thick and dry you can apply moisturizer to the spots, but it is not likely the hair will grow back.

Anxiety- There are a lot of dogs that will worry a spot bald due to anxiety habits. This is more common in dogs that are left alone or in single dog households. If a dog had a regular sore in one spot they can also develop a worrying habit. If your dog is worrying from anxiety try giving them some rescue remedy to help quell their anxiety, a toy to play with, more regular exercise, or take a look at these great tips for helping your dog manage anxiety. If your dog won’t stop worrying a spot you may want to try a Elizabethan collar. This will prevent them from being able to lick.

 

If you have any sudden hair loss in your dog it is a good idea to contact your Albuquerque veterinarian. Unless you know this is from anxiety it is typically a symptom of something else going on and you will want to make sure to get your dog treated.

 

 

Too Hot for Fido

dogs hot in cars

Albuquerque is hitting the heat of the summer with heat warnings because temperatures are hitting 100 degrees. Every year people ask, is it ok to leave my dog in the car? What if the window is cracked? What if I park in the shade? What if I am only a few minutes? What if I leave water? What if I put up a sun visor?

The answer is simple. No. It is never ok to leave your pet in a parked car. No matter what you do your dog is not safe in a parked car. Did you know that it is illegal to leave your dog in a hot car in Albuquerque? It is! It is a 4th degree felony which means possible jail time. 

What Counts As A Hot Day?

The inside of a parked car can reach 100 degrees in 20 minutes on a day that is only 70 degrees outside. On a hot day, the temperature inside your car can reach over 140 degrees in less than an hour. 

There is no temperature that is “just right” for leaving your dog in the car. 

Can My Dog Die In The Car?

YES! Yes, your dog can die of heat stroke if left in the car. All dogs are affected, some breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs, are affected faster than others. Dogs with short skulls tend to be highly heat intolerant and overheat much faster than other breeds. 

What to Do If You See A Dog Locked In A Car

It is legal in Albuquerque to break the window of a car if you see a dog locked inside that appears distressed.  If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 911 to report it. The police, or animal control, are pretty quick at getting the animal out. If it is taking too long, you are free to try to break their window to let the dog out. You should immediately call the vet and bring them into the nearest Albuquerque veterinary clinic for an emergency evaluation. 

Indoor Pets Get Fleas

fleas

It is the middle of summer in Albuquerque and we are in the height of flea season! Our pets love to go outside and roll in the cool dirt and sand. They love to run through the bushes and tall grasses. If you go on hikes in the mountains, or walks on the mesa, or stroll through the bosque, there are lots of great areas for your dog to pounce through and get fleas. Fleas live in the dirt and sand. So that explains how your outdoor pets get fleas, but what about your indoor pets. Most people think that they don’t have to worry about indoor pets and fleas.

Indoor pets are at a lower risk of getting fleas, this is true, but they can still get them.

  1. If you have a dog that goes in and out but your cat stays indoors, the dog can pass fleas on to your cat.
  2. If you go hiking or walking in the mountains, mesa, or on the bosque, you can carry fleas back with you. They can get on your shoes and clothes.
  3. If your pet comes into contact with other animals, or if your stuff, like clothing or blankets come in contact with other animals, it can bring fleas into the house.

Once you have fleas in your house it can be hard to get rid of them. It is not just a matter of getting rid of the fleas off your pet you also have to get them out of your house or you will reinfect.

Cleaning to get rid of fleas.

If you see fleas in your house or on your pet you want to make sure they get treated with Frontline Flea and Tick treatment immediately. You may want to keep them in the bathroom or laundry room while the fleas are getting killed off.

  • Keep them off the couch. Do not let them on anything with upholstery.
  • Keep them off the carpet.
  • Keep them off the beds.
  • Wash their dog bed, blankets and towels.
  • Wash all your sheets.
  • If your dog has been on your couch, consider having the upholstery cleaned.
  • Steam clean your carpets.
  • Wash your floors with bleach.
  • Wash your clothes.
  • Have your yard sprayed for fleas.

Once you get a flea infestation in your house it can be really hard to get rid of. This is why we suggest treating your pet with prevention. If you use Frontline Flea and Tick treatment monthly it will ensure your pet does not get fleas.