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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.

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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Losing Hair on Her Back Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Dachshund & chihuahua

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One Year

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Losing Hair And Breaking Out On Her Back.

I adopted my dog about 2 months ago. And since I’ve had her she’s had very little hair with patches of longer hair on her neck and butt. The hair on her back is very think to where you see mostly skin. And she also breaks out on her back. He skin doesn’t seem to itch but the hair doesn’t grow.

Sept. 12, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello Your pet's fur could be thinning from skin allergies, a skin infection or a hormonal imbalance. Or she could just need an omega 3 fatty acid supplement. I recommend that you take her to a veterinarian for an exam. They will want to check her skin for mites or infection. Good luck.

Sept. 14, 2020

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German short hair mix

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Eleven Years

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Loss Of Hair On Back

She licks her back A lot and has some hair loss right by the tail she also is itching some but she’s not an outside dog so I don’t think it’s fleas. Ideas

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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Hello- Thanks for your question. Indoor and outdoor pets both get fleas quite commonly. All it takes is a flea jumping on them while outside and once it starts reproducing an infestation occurs. They are usually quite itchy by the tail and hind limbs. If your pet is not on an effective flea preventative (Bravecto, Nexgard, revolution, credelio, or simparica trio as examples) I would recommend discussing with your vet so they can get her on a preventative. Other possibilities besides fleas include allergies, food intolerance or skin infection. A visit to your vet to have the skin examined would be your best next step. Take care.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Labradoodle

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Eight Years

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1 found helpful

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Sudden Bald Patch In Her Back, With Large Flakes That Came Off With A Bath

Is this something that I should be deeply concerned with? She eats, and is normal in every other way, just suddenly developed an isolated patch of baldness mid back, accompanied by some large scaly flakes.

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. That is not totally normal as dog's age, and I might be concerned about that. She may have a parasite, a fungal or bacterial infection, or something else going on that is causing this hair loss. If it is not getting better, it would probably be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can look at her and see what might be going on with her skin. They will be able to discuss any treatment options with you. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Australian Shepherd

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One year

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Hair Loss

Baby started losing a lot of her fur about two weeks ago, it would come out in small little chunks, she is none stop shedding I constantly have to vacuum, her back has now lost so much fur it is so much thinner and looks like she has little bald spots, and now has been getting bad dandruff. Why this is happening and how to stop it?

July 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Young dogs can have parasites like fleas or mites, and some of them cannot be seen by the eye. A bacterial or fungal infection can also cause that kind of hair loss. Since it does not seem to be getting better, it would probably be best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian, as they can do a few simple skin test and see what might be going on. They will be able to get treatment before it gets worse. I hope it all goes well with your dog!

July 21, 2020

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Akita

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One Year

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Patches Of Hair Gone, Saliva, Yellow Crust Around Bald Spots, Ring Like Red Stuff On Tummy.

My puppy started losing hair on her front legs and back and my vet is closed so I don’t know what to do. She’s on allergy meds but I don’t remember the name and I am not at home. I am out of state. Husband said it started a month ago but not as bad. I never noticed it but today he found this:(( A month ago we switched brands of food. What might it possibly be? Please help:(

July 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It isn't possible for me to say what might be going on without seeing her, unfortunately. Allergies can cause those kinds of problems, but so Can parasites and bacterial or fungal infections. It would probably be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her skin, see what might be causing the problem, and get treatment for her. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 20, 2020

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Buddy

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Shi-Poodle

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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Hair Loss

I have a 8 year old Shi-Poodle and he has lost a lot of hair on his back starting at the base of his neck all the way down to the tip of his tail. He has very tiny tiny brown bump clusters and lots of flaking skin. It does not appear to bother him and he doesn't scratch like it itches either. We have not changed foods, he has always eaten grain free dog food. I would say the only thing different besides the hair loss is he acts like he never gets fed... Any thoughts?

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DD

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Terrier Mutt

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4 Years

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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??

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Penny

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Chiweenie

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5 Years

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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?

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Peepay

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American bully

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6 Months

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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.