Hair loss in dogs no itching: Old age brings many changes for dog, which can often be a problem: here’s what to do if the old dog loses his fur.
When a dog starts to grow old, many can be noticed small and big changes in his health, appearance and behavior that must be properly managed to guarantee dog a peaceful old age: for example, older dogs can lose a lot of fur for a number of possible reasons.
Hair loss in an elderly specimen can be normal and physiological, or it can be abnormal because it is linked to a health problem: this is why it is essential to know what the possible causes that are hidden behind the problem may be, so that we can intervene in case of need to ensure the well-being of our four-legged friend.
In this article we will see what they are the possible causes for which the elderly dog loses its coat and how to help him in case of need.
Why does the old dog lose its fur?
As mentioned, the reasons behind the loss of hair in dogs a little later on in the years can be manifold. Some are basically harmless, others may depend on a disease or health problem that we can treat with the help of the vet. Let’s start listing and analyzing them one by one:
1. Seasonal wetsuit
One of the most common reasons why dogs lose their fur is the seasonal moult, which occurs in spring and autumn. This rule also applies to older dogs, and in this case not much can be done except investing time in cleaning the house for the weeks during which dog fills furniture, floors and fur rugs. In this regard, you may find useful tips in our study on the topic Eliminate and prevent pet hair at home.
2. Hormonal causes
If the old dog loses its fur, there may be a hormonal problem behind it: baldness is, for example, a symptom related to Cusching syndrome, to Addison’s disease or athypothyroidism, three diseases related to hormone production. Other symptoms related to hormonal causes are the apparently unmotivated weight gain or lethargy in the dog: if dog also shows these symptoms it is likely that behind his hair loss there is a problem of this nature.
Older dogs can suffer from certain diseases that result in an abnormal hair loss, such as, for example infections bacterial in nature or mange, but also ringworm and other fungal infections or allergies of various kinds. In this case, excessive itching often tends to lick and bite excessively to the loss of the hair.
4. Nutritional deficiencies
The nutritional needs of a dog change in the old age phase and this is why the elderly dog needs a diet adapted to his needs, to avoid incurring dangerous deficiencies that could cause various symptoms including hair loss. Be careful to follow the vet’s recommendations on diet and any supplements to be given to your four-legged friend.
If your older dog loses his patchy coat, he may have been hit by a pest infestation: mites, fleas or ticks cause severe itching which in turn causes the hair to fall in some areas of the body, also inflaming the skin due to the constant scratching, licking and biting. Sometimes parasites are visible to the naked eye (this is the case with fleas and ticks), other times they are impossible to see but their consequences are unmistakable.
Some older dogs develop problems alopecia or hypotrichosis as normal consequences of aging: the hair begins to thin and / or fall, without any specific reason at the base. This may depend on the fact that, as we age, the dog’s body automatically shifts priorities to other aspects, weakening the hair follicles.
How to understand why dog loses his hair in old age?
To identify the cause of hair loss in an elderly dog, you need to start from the close observation of the coat: if the fall is compensated by an equally rapid replacement, without causing alopecia or hypotrichosis problems, it is likely that everything is normal and the fall is substantially physiological.
If, on the other hand, the hair falls into strands, simply grabbing it between the fingers, it is highly likely that the hair loss is abnormal and dictated by a health problem. In these cases it is possible ask the groomer for an initial opinion, who is professionally experienced in identifying changes in the appearance of the dog’s fur and skin.
The second step is definitely the veterinary, which can help us identify a physical cause or disease to be treated with the most appropriate treatments for each individual case.
Hair loss treatments in senior dogs
Depending on the cause that the veterinarian will be able to identify behind the hair loss in our elderly dog we will have a series of possible solutions to the problem. Here are the most common:
- if the dog has an infection or hormonal pathology, ad hoc drugs will be prescribed which, by treating the cause, will also act on the hair loss;
- if there is a skin disease or an allergic reaction, the veterinarian may recommend a specific moisturizing shampoo;
- if the elderly dog loses his hair due to nutritional deficiencies, his diet must be suitably supplemented;
- if we are faced with the normal seasonal wetsuit, we can help the dog who loses a lot of hair with adequate grooming to help eliminate dead hair.