Why Your Dog’s Hair is Falling Out in Large Clumps
Isn’t it annoying to see hair from your dog all over your furniture and practically every inch of your house? There’s going to be a season where your dog is going to shed like crazy because he is changing his coat. Is it normal though if dog hair is falling out in clumps?
Understanding Hair Loss in Dogs
Did you know that dogs can also lose their hair as they age? It’s like male pattern baldness in humans. Although not very common, it’s possible for your dog to have bald spots when he reaches a certain age. But, how will you know that it’s just baldness (alopecia) or a secondary reaction to a disease?
It’s simple. When it is just a natural progression like canine alopecia, your dog will seem fine even when his dog hair is falling out in clumps. He should not feel any pain or show signs that he is. There shouldn’t be any redness or itchiness on the skin either.
When your dog is eating well, drinking enough water, and is still active, it’s likely that he is just going bald because of age.
The Normal Cycle of Shedding in Dogs
What season is it now? Interestingly enough, your dog’s coat will adapt to its environment. Typically, your dog’s winter coat will be shed during spring. Then, a shorter, thinner coat will replace it during the summertime. When fall rolls around, the thinner coat is shed off to make way for thicker layers to protect your dog from the winter chill.
This cycle is going to be very obvious on breeds with thick coats like Collies, Shelties, and Keeshonden because they are double-coated (meaning that they have a long overcoat and a softer undercoat). There are also breeds who are profuse shedders. One surprising example is the German Shepherd. Breeds with shorter hairs, on the other hand, may not seem like they are shedding at all since their short strands can go unnoticed.
Why is My Dog Shedding So Much All Of a Sudden?
As mentioned, dogs will shed all-year-round. But, there is a difference between normal shedding and hair loss. For one, if you do have a breed that sheds hair like crazy, then dog hair falling out in clumps is probably normal. It is quite the opposite when you already see noticeable bald spots. That should be the main difference between normal and abnormal shedding in dogs.
If you see bald spots already, there are a number of common causes that you should consider. Mange, for one, can leave dogs with bald spots, accompanied by skin that’s thick, oily, and smelly. Other parasitic infestations can also be the main cause of your dog’s hair falling out in clumps, especially when your pooch is scratching out certain parts of its body raw just to relieve the itchiness.
When your pet doesn’t get proper nutrition, it can also result in dog hair falling out in clumps. Allergies, just like in the case of the parasitic infestation, can also be one good reason for hair falling out in excess, especially when there’s a good amount of scratching involved.
Are There Any Special Shampoos For Excessive Hair Loss in Dogs?
Let’s be clear, there are not shampoos to stop your dog from shedding. Remember that it is a natural process, and will, therefore, happen whether you want to or not.
However, there are deshedding shampoos that prevent excessive shedding in dogs. Almost all kinds contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids which are known to be effective in improving your dog’s skin and coat.
When Should You Visit the Vet?
Of course, it’s possible for dog hair to be falling out in clumps because of a disease. In this case, the best way to know would be the observe your dog for other symptoms. Is he eating properly? Is his skin look fine or is it inflamed? Does he vomit and have a lesser appetite than usual?
If your answer is yes to all of the questions, plus you’ve noticed a lot of signs that are out of the ordinary, then it’s time to go to your vet. Your dog may be experiencing hormonal conditions (hypothyroidism, adrenal gland disorders), or his liver or kidney may be having problems.