There are many reasons why dogs lose hair behind or around their ears. Common causes of dog hair loss on the ears include parasites, allergies, medical conditions, and a dog's breed. If you notice your dog losing hair or excessively itching, take him to your veterinarian. Untreated issues can lead to serious harm for your dog.
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Parasites cause dog hair loss on ears
It's common for a dog to get a parasite at some time during her life, and parasites are a common cause of dog hair loss on ears. Fleas, ticks, lice, and mites are common external parasites that affect dogs. Ticks can cause diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Ehrlichiosis. Examine your dog daily for ticks and remove them immediately if you find any.
Ringworm is a fungus (not actually a worm) that causes lesions on a dog's ears, head, forelimbs, and paws. These lesions cause circular bald spots on the dog's skin. Some parasites and ringworm are very contagious and easily spread from one pet to another. If you suspect your dog has a parasitic infection or ringworm, separate her from the other pets in your home until you can see your veterinarian. Because some parasites and ringworm are so contagious, your vet may recommend treating all the pets in your home for an infestation if one pet is affected.
Allergies can cause hair loss
Canines, like people, can have allergies. Your pet can be allergic to any number of things: insects, different foods, shampoo, plants, chemicals in and around your home, or medication.
Allergies are quite common in dogs. Symptoms of allergies can include hair loss, itching in one spot or all over the body, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and runny discharge from the nose or eyes. If your dog has a food allergy he may experience digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting. If you suspect your dog has allergies, take him to the vet. Your vet can help you determine what your dog is allergic to.
Hair loss may indicate a medical problem
Numerous conditions can lead to hair loss in dogs. These include, but are not limited to hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, fungal, parasitic, or bacterial infections, inflammatory skin diseases, and sarcoptic mange. Skin cancer rarely causes hair loss in dogs.
If you notice your dog losing hair, take her to the vet. Itching is often accompanied by hair loss, and your vet will want to determine the underlying cause of both symptoms. Many times, a dog's excessive scratching can cause hair loss. Excessive scratching can also result in secondary infections that need to be treated.
Your vet will perform a physical examination of your dog to help diagnose the underlying cause. Your vet may also comb your dog for fleas, mites, and lice and take skin scrapings These scrapings may be sent to a lab to help confirm a diagnosis.
Some breeds are predisposed to going bald
Some breeds of dogs, such as Boston terriers, dachshunds, and chihuahuas are prone to pattern baldness where there is symmetrical thinning of the hair. This condition is not apparent at birth but becomes apparent at around six to nine months of age. Pattern baldness is a benign condition. This condition is not uncomfortable or painful for your dog and needs no treatment.