Your Why do dogs get seasonal alopecia? Expert Advice

What are the signs of seasonal alopecia?

Seasonal flank alopecia in dogs can occur from the ages of 1 to 10, however, most cases begin to develop between the ages of 3 and 6.

Some of the most common clinical signs include:

  • Bilateral symmetrical hair loss
  • Bald patches
  • Itchy skin
  • Excessive shedding
  • Scaly skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Brittle and dry coat
  • Dandruff
  • Inflammation and irritated skin near hair loss areas
  • At the end of the day, nobody knows your dog as well as you do. If you suspect that your furry friend has canine flank alopecia or is exhibiting symptoms, it’s best to contact your local vet and get a professional opinion. The sooner you pick up on any problems, the faster your dog’s seasonal alopecia can be treated.

    Before seasonal alopecia in dogs is diagnosed, your veterinarian may want to rule out other possible causes behind the hair loss. This involves some routine blood work to eliminate the possibility of a hormonal disease, or skin scrapes to rule out possible cases of ringworm or fungal cultures.

    If your vet wants to confirm that your dog has seasonal alopecia, they will conduct a skin biopsy. In most cases, seasonal flank alopecia is easily diagnosed based on clinical symptoms and whether your dog is a predisposed breed.

    Symptoms of Flank Alopecia in Dogs

  • Bilateral symmetrical hair loss, particularly in flanks and the back of the dog
  • Dark pigmentation in the areas of the hair loss
  • Hair loss on the base of the tail, nose, and ears of the dog in some cases
  • Skin infection present in the bald spots of the dog
  • Previous bilateral symmetrical hair loss in past fall and winter months
  • Types

    There are two different types of seasonal flank alopecia. Both types are non-inflammatory, which produce no itching or scratching.

  • Hereditary influence may be the cause with some cases of seasonal flank alopecia, although it has not been proven
  • Sunlight amounts may contribute to the onset of seasonal flank alopecia, with indoor or house-bound dogs more likely to become affected by the condition, due to their lack of daily sunshine exposure
  • Diagnosis of Flank Alopecia in Dogs

    Most dogs show signs between November and March each year. If your dog is showing symptoms, he will need to be examined by a veterinarian. Clinical signs and symptoms will be noted, and pigmented bald spots will be identified. Your dog’s breed will be considered, as well as the time of year. Skin biopsies may be necessary, which may detect follicular atrophy (white bumps), comedones (canine acne), epidermal thickness, and hyperpigmentation of the skin. Other diseases and disorders such as Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, parasites, mites, and bacteria will be ruled out by appropriate testing. The average age of the diagnosis of seasonal flank alopecia is 4 years old.

    Seasonal Flank Alopecia : Seasonal Hair Loss in Dogs