Hair Loss in Labrador Dogs

By Theresa Bruno

According to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Labradors are generally intelligent, friendly and social. However, Labradors’ often suffer from medical problems, such as hair loss, otherwise known as Alopecia.

Features

Alopecia in labs is usally genetic.

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There are many types of Alopecia found in Labradors. Alopecia is commonly caused by parasites, allergies, hormones or genetic factors. While the patchy hair loss may alarm some pet owners, Alopecia in Labradors is generally cosmetic.

Most Common Type Found in Labradors

Labs can get Alopecia from allergies or parasites.

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While Labradors can get Alopecia from parasites or allergies, the most common form of Alopecia in Labradors is Follicular Dysplasia. This form is believed to be genetic and permanent.

Diagnosis

A skin graft may be necesssary.

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Labradors that have Alopecia must get a skin biopsy to determine the cause of the hair loss and the type of Alopecia.

Treatment

Medicated shampoos are often used in treatment.

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Treatment is usually non-invasive; it involves antibiotics and antibacterial shampoos and conditioners to clear up infections. Melatonin and synthetic vitamin A may be used to treat the skin.

Significance

Labs with genetic alopecia should not be bred.

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According to the Canine Inherited Disorders Database, Labrador Dogs with a genetic or autoimmune form of Alopecia should not be breed.