Pets Hair Lost
Hair loss in our pets is a normal process as long as it is not exaggerated. This annual shedding is a natural phenomenon that accompanies the change of seasons. It corresponds to the periodic life cycle of the hair that grows and then dies.
Our dogs shed twice a year, in the spring and fall, to put on the coat that is best suited to the season. But these moults differ in speed from one breed to another. For example, northern type dogs have a very slow growing coat. If they are shorn, they will take longer to get an adequate coat for winter.
On the other hand, curly dogs such as poodles have such discreet shedding and a long undercoat that it seems they never shed.
For our cats, it's the approach of winter and spring that their coat has the propensity to change. But despite the season, some breeds of cats or dogs tend to lose more hair than others, especially breeds with long or dense hair. Also, during times of stress, our pets may shed more hair, either diffusely or all at once.
Also, hair loss in patches, usually outside of shedding periods, is called alopecia.
Causes of severe alopecia
An animal that loses its hair in a localized manner, in a particular area, may be affected by various diseases, often inflammatory, of the skin that create itching and promote hair loss either by excessive scratching or because the hair follicle is affected. These diseases can be hormonal, parasitic, fungal, bacterial, allergic (food, mites, pollens, etc.), genetic or congenital.
In the presence of this type of hair loss, it is essential to consult our veterinarian who will do a complete examination of our pet's body and even blood tests. These are used to check if the organs are affected or not, but also to look for an endocrine disease or an internal parasitic infection. Depending on the disease found, a medication and/or antiparasitic treatment will be suggested.
Even if the cause of the hair loss is related to a disease, some dietary supplements such as omega 3 or vitamins can help improve the health of our pet.
Others causes of severe alopecia
Dietary deficiencies, such as vitamins B and E, could explain the loss of hair. Dietary supplements are available and can be sprinkled directly on your pet's food every day.
Anxiety and stress can be a cause of hair loss. If we have recently moved or something new has come into our family, it may be upsetting to our pets. We will try to distract them from their stress by taking them out and playing with them more regularly.
Washing too often, more than once a month, with too strong shampoos and very superficial rinses can be irritating and cause our pet to scratch a lot. Pets' hair is not made to be cleaned too often. Generally, one brush stroke is enough to remove all the small dirt accumulated during the day.
Some solutions for hair loss
A good diet
The cheap pet food found in most grocery stores is indeed inexpensive, as it does not contain many nutrients and digestible elements. Often, these will only add to hair loss.
On the other hand, quality feeds offer a good quantity of supplements and vitamins that are beneficial to the coat and skin of our animals. It is preferable to choose foods that contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Don't wait for the change of season to groom your pet. Nothing helps reduce hair loss like brushing your pet daily. Also, some brushes/combers are specifically designed to remove dead hair. Ask your grooming specialist for more information.
As far as parasitic diseases are concerned, we can quickly get rid of them thanks to the annual preventive treatment that our veterinarian will advise us and that is recommended as soon as the outside temperatures are above 4oC.
Hypoallergenic or anti-allergic food
If the hair loss is related to a food allergy, we will have to adapt our pet's diet by offering him a therapeutic hypoallergenic or anallergic food available from our veterinarian. If this is the diagnosis of our veterinarian, he will indicate the most appropriate food to counter or reduce our pet's food allergies.
Seasonal hair loss in our pets is a normal transition as long as it is not exaggerated. However, if the hair loss is significant, it may be due to an illness and our veterinarian will help us find solutions to this problem. In any case, there is nothing to stop us from giving our pet food supplements so that it has a more beautiful coat and better health.
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