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What is Losing Hair on Her Back?

Hair loss in dogs is a common complaint, especially on the back. Some breeds of dog are more susceptible than others such as Greyhounds, Terriers, Whippets, Chihuahuas, and Boxers. Females are also more often affected by hair loss. Some of the most common causes of hair loss on the back are:

  • Skin disorder
  • Psychological problem
  • Infections
  • Parasites or mites
  • Allergy
  • Trauma
  • Medical disorder
  • Certain drugs

Hair loss does not always indicate a problem. In fact, almost all dogs shed, especially during the summer months. However, if your dog has unexplained hair loss with other symptoms such as redness, itching, lesions, fever, or pain, it is a good idea to see your veterinary care provider.

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Why Losing Hair on Her Back Occurs in Dogs

Skin Disorder

There are many skin disorders that can cause your dog to lose hair on her back. Some of the most common include dry skin and dermatitis.

Psychological Issues

If your dog is suffering from depression or anxiety, she may be excessively grooming or licking, which creates hair loss. Stress can also cause hair loss.

Infections

Certain infections that may cause your dog to lose hair on her back include bacterial, fungal, and yeast. If the hair loss is accompanied by hot spots or pus, she probably has an infection.

Parasites or Mites

There are many types of parasites and mites that can cause hair loss on the back. Examples are mange (from mites), fleas, ringworm, chiggers, and mosquitos.

Allergy

Another cause of hair loss is an allergic reaction to food, medication, shampoo, or just about anything. This usually includes itching and possibly redness as well.  

Trauma

Some forms of trauma such as a laceration or abrasion from an accident can create a patch of hair loss on the back. Also, when dogs are injured they sometimes lick the area, which can cause hair loss.

Certain Drugs

Some of the most common drugs that cause hair loss on the back of dogs include chemotherapy, certain vaccinations, and prednisone.  

Medical Disorder

There are some medical disorders that can cause hair loss on your dog’s back such as:

  • Alopecia is a skin disorder which can be caused by many things such as stress, genetics, hair clipping, and sometimes it can be an autoimmune problem
  • Diabetes can cause baldness in some dogs; if your dog has also been urinating and drinking more than usual, you should get her checked for diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism can cause hair loss (affects mostly Terriers, Boxers, Retrievers, Spaniels, Setters, Doberman Pinschers, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, and Schnauzers)
  • Hormone imbalances can cause hair loss in some dogs
  • Skin cancer is a rare cause of baldness, but you should get her checked out if she is also losing weight or has nodules or changes in skin color

What to do if your Dog is Losing Hair on Her Back

If your dog is losing hair on her back but has no other symptoms, it is probably nothing to worry about if it is mild. However, if she is losing a lot of hair or has other symptoms like itching, licking, biting, redness, lesions, nodules, or changes in skin color, you should call your veterinary care provider. Most of the time, you will need to bring your dog to the office for a physical examination to determine the exact cause of the hair loss. Dermatitis or dry skin can be treated with medication, ointment, or shampoo. Psychological issues can be handled with therapy or medication. Infections, parasites, or mites can be cured with medication. If your veterinarian determines your dog has alopecia, there are some medications that can be given, depending on the cause. Other medical disorders will need to be treated with medication or other types of therapy.

Prevention of Losing Hair on Her Back

By brushing your dog regularly and taking her to see the veterinarian at least once per year, you should be able to prevent any serious hair loss. However, sometimes there is a sudden loss of hair caused by an illness or injury that you cannot prevent. If it is a psychological issue, that is often overlooked until the hair loss becomes more pronounced. To prevent parasites and mites, the veterinarian can provide you with medication such as flea and tick topical liquids, shampoo, or pills.

Cost of Losing Hair on Her Back

The cost of treating your dog for hair loss on her back ranges from about $350 for most skin disorders, infections, parasites, and mites. This includes an office visit, laboratory and diagnostic tests, and treatment. Allergies can cost up to $1,500 due to the difficulty in determining the cause of the allergy. Medical disorders range from $350 for alopecia to over $10,000 for cancer.