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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
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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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Cavapoo

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Three Years

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Hairloss

My dog recently had 2 bald spot on her back side. Both spots are near the tail right where her hind legs are. There is no redness or anything of that sort. Just habe toonbald spots

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I most commonly see spots like that with flea allergies in dogs. If she is not on a good quality flea product, that would be where I would start. If she is on a prescription product and that is still happening, then having her seen by your veterinarian would be a good idea, as they can examine her and see what might be going on. I hope that all goes well!

Oct. 4, 2020

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Austrian shepherd

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Two Years

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Bald Spots On Back By Tail

Why is my dog have bald patches on back?

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Some causes for what you are describing might be parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, or allergies. Since I cannot see her, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 15, 2020

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Chihuahua

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One Year

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Bald Spots, Little Red Dots

She has suddenly started lossing small patches of hair on her back she is starting to itch it but not alt and has some small red bumps they are small and her skin does look dry only on her her by her spine.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Signs like this might be caused by bacterial or fungal infections. You can try washing that area twice weekly with an antibacterial wash like Hibiclens. If that is not helping, then It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 20, 2020

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Great Pyrenees

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Six Months

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Bald Spot With Yellow Stuff Coming Out Of It

Why is he getting bald spots with yellow stuff coming out?

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. It sounds like he may have had an infection, and If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 25, 2020

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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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Buddy

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Shi-Poodle

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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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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Fair severity

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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.

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