Pugs always shed, but if you find yours losing more hair than normal, something may be awry. Several conditions may cause hair loss in dogs.
If patches of hair are missing from your pug, look at the exposed skin for signs of a cause. Hot spots, which are red and can be quite large, can be caused by a number of factors that led your dog to scratch himself raw. Small bumps, slight redness, swelling, flaky skin or bruising may be less apparent but be related to the hair loss.
If your pug's hair feels dry and brittle and there is hair loss, then conditions such as hyperthyroidism may be to blame. Greasy hair may point to allergies or another underlying disease.
Licking and scratching, sometimes to the point of self-mutilation, often follows hair loss in pugs. In some cases, the licking and scratching may focus on the ears, paws or other area where hair loss is not occurring. When hair loss is accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite or other clinical symptoms, visit a veterinarian immediately.
When to See a Vet
Anytime your pug loses a large amount of hair, especially in patches, in a short period of time, you should visit your vet. In most cases, a shampoo will be prescribed to either cure or help avoid skin infections. Your veterinarian will also perform tests based on your dog's overall health to determine why she is losing hair.
Bathe your pug every two to three weeks (more if he visits dirty areas). Bathing too frequently can cause dry skin and hair loss, and so can not bathing enough. Also, be sure to use a flea shampoo or other medication if he plays in dirty areas. If your pug is wounding himself, you may need to cover the area with a shirt to prevent him from making the condition worse.
If you have visited your veterinarian and treated all underlying conditions but your pug is still losing hair or it is not growing back, he may be under stress. Perhaps your pug is left alone too long each day or a change in his usual routine is leading to stress. Sometimes, a few days of boarding may lead to hair loss and even mange. Try to normalize your dog's routine to see if it speeds hair regrowth.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Samuel Febres Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Chris Lester
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