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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.


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.


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.  


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.

Losing Hair on Her Back Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

American bully
6 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I have a 6 month old American bully. She is losing some hair on the ridge of her back and on top of her skull. She doesn't scratch much but on occasion she will rub her back against the side of her aluminum cage. It can cause the skin to rupture and bleed. I've changed shampoos to no avail. Right now I am using a hypo allergenic baby shampoo on her.

My dog has mild allergies my vet recommended liquid omega 3 fish oil and it has helped more than anything else I’ve tried. There’s a specific one for dogs and amazon carries a variety. I have 2 pitties and they love it!

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5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair loss, “scab like” spots

My 5 year old Chiweenie is losing hair in little patches on her back and on her tail. It first started out as what appeared to be a fire ant bite on her tummy. Some other patches started to appear and she would constantly lick them. We applied ointment to the patches that we purchased from a local pet store. Since then, the whole thing has just exploded. On a few places it feels like there is a scab right under her hair about the size of a penny. We took her to the vet. He gave her a shot of antibiotics for dermatitis and told us she has allergies. We have changed her food as instructed but it’s not getting any better. In fact, it’s getting worse. What should we do?

Cytopoint injections... saved my blue nose pittie from allergy related dermatitis and omega 3 liquid fish oil... a little expensive but so worth it.

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Terrier Mutt
4 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss on back

My dog lost hair with 2 quarter size spots on her back that the hair grew back and is now white. Doesn’t seem itchy to her just lost the hair and now have the 2 white spots on her back. Should I be concerned??

Were you able to figure out what was wrong with your dog? I’m currently experiencing the same thing with mine. Any tips?

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Baby girl
11 Months
Mild condition
-1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss

I have a almost 1 year old dachshund mix and she has a very big bald spot on her back. There's no redness or irritation. She did have a few bumps but they cleared up. They started small and have continued to grow in size. At first I thought it was a reaction to a new shampoo we used but with it being continuing to fall out I am very concerned. I have other dogs in the home not showing any signs so I figured that filed mange out but I'm ot suse what else could be wrong. Other that mange and allergies, what could cause hair loss in a dog?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Demodex (a mange mite) may affect a dog if their immune system is compromised, all dogs have them but their immune system keeps the mites at bay with only immunosuppressed dogs and newborn puppies (infected from their mother) being affected; therefore other dogs may not show symptoms. Other causes may be due to allergies, chemical irritation (but no sign of irritation) or hormonal issues; you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to determine the cause so that treatment may be given. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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miniature dachshund
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Thinning hair down the center back

My miniature dachshund, who will be 7 years old this August for the first time is thinning down the center of her back. There is no redness or swelling or flaking or itching. The only thing I've noticed is the last 3 days she does not want to eat

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
There are various causes for a loss of hair down the back which may include hormonal conditions, infections, parasites, behavioural disorders among others; without examining Mia and possibly do a skin scraping or testing for hormonal causes I cannot say what the cause is. You should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to narrow in on an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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7 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

hair loss on back in patches

What could be causing patchy hair loss on my dogs back? It started about a week ago and his hair just comes out in tufts. He has like 3 spots on his back with no other symptoms like itching or scrathing.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
There are many causes for hair loss in dogs, including bacterial or fungal infections, parasites, thyroid or other endocrine diseases, or allergies. Since I cannot examine Prince, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, as this problem doesn't seem to be getting better for him.

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