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Alopecia (Hair loss) in Dogs

By: Dr. Mark Thompson

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Treatment

The only way to successfully treat alopecia is to identify and treat the underlying cause. There are no symptomatic treatments.

  • If the alopecia is associated with pruritus, symptomatic treatments such as antihistamines, antipruritic shampoos, fatty acid supplements or corticosteroids may be temporarily helpful.

  • If alopecia is associated with pyoderma, antibiotics may help temporarily. Remember that pyoderma is nearly always secondary to another problem, so the underlying cause must still be found for long-term success.

  • Brushing dead and matted hair out of the coat may help to relieve symptoms that lead to alopecia.

    Follow-up

    Since there are so many different causes of alopecia, follow-up by the owner and communication with the veterinarian is critical. Administer all medications as instructed. Keep your dog's coat clean and properly groomed. Observe closely for fleas. Flea infestation always makes alopecia worse.


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