A healthy coat of hair is a sign of overall health in a dog. Hair loss in dogs, on the body or around the face, is a sign of an underlying health issue. You should take note of hair loss and talk to your veterinarian so you can keep your dog healthy and happy.
Dogs have a hair growth cycle just like humans. A hair follicle is either growing hair, shedding hair or dormant. It is normal for your dog to shed. But if your dog is losing hair in definite patches, especially in a localized area, then there is probably something going on beyond simple shedding. Hair loss around the face in dogs can be caused by mites, a bacterial infection or a fungal infection.
Mites are tiny insects that can live in a dog's hair follicles. If your dog is exhibiting hair loss around the face, neck and ears, then he might have mange. Different kinds of mites cause different forms of mange, some of which can be passed on to humans. Take your dog to your veterinarian's office. There, tests can be run on skin scrapings to determine which kind of mite is causing the hair loss and a course of treatment can be prescribed. This could include an insecticidal wash as well as injected or oral medication.
A bacterial infection can cause skin irritation and hair loss. These infections can happen anywhere on a dog's body, including the face. Folliculitis, pyoderma and impetigo in puppies are caused by bacteria. These infections begin in the upper layers of skin and, if left untreated, can go deeper and cause more health problems. Once your veterinarian has determined which bacterium is causing the infection, she can prescribe antibiotics.
If your dog is losing hair around his face, the problem could be caused by a fungal infection like dermatophytosis. If the loss occurs in small, round patches and you can see red, circular lesions on the revealed skin, your dog may have ringworm. This fungal infection is contagious and easily passed on to humans, so take him to the veterinarian right away. Antifungal medication can be given orally or applied topically to clear the infection.
Your dog's hair loss around her face could be caused by allergies. If she is experiencing itching because of allergies, she could scratch at the skin on her face hard and long enough to scratch the hair away, leaving behind a bald patch. Seborrhea, which can be triggered by a range of diseases including cancer, can cause either excessively dry or oily skin. Either condition can lead to hair loss around the face.