Dog’s Hair Loss Is No Laughing Matter

When a dog loses hair on its tail, it can be a sign can be a sign of a more serious problem.

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Q. My dog is losing hair on his tail. Is this normal? Do I need to take him to vet right away?

A. Hair loss on the tail can be a tell-tale sign of Cushing’s disease, a hormonal disease caused by overproduction of cortisol (a steroid) by the adrenal gland. Other signs of Cushing’s disease include drinking more water, increase in appetite, and a pot-bellied appearance.

Left untreated, other more serious signs will develop, including vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and loss of appetite. Cushing’s disease is diagnosed by a blood test that is quite accurate. Several treatment options involve different medications.

Hair loss anywhere on your dog’s body could also be from parasites (mites, lice, fleas), an infection (pyoderma), allergies (atopy), or an overactive immune system (lupus). Get it checked out by a vet as soon as you can so it does not develop into anything more serious.


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Erin   Old bridge, New Jersey

9/17/2013 3:41:34 PM

My dog has Cushings Disease and is losing hair on her tail along with all the other symptoms described above.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

4/11/2013 3:54:27 AM

Very interesting!

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Deniece (BELLE 168109)   Thoreau, NM

12/10/2010 2:34:34 PM

I have a toy poodle who got her vaccine shots this summer. Well the area where she got her shots (the neck area) had swelled. When the swelling went down her hair fell out. Its been a few months & no hair has grown back. It is also about the size of a quarter. I keep it moistures & make sure she wears a bandana outside to keep the sun from burning
it.
We had taken her back to the vet & they said her hair may or may not grow back or if it does grow back it will be a different color and that was that.

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Susan   Studio City, CA

3/13/2010 5:29:59 PM

I am a pet sitter and I have a poodle client that has an area of hair loss on his neck the size of a quarter. His owner took him to the Vet and they could find nothing wrong. Should the dog be taken to another Vet or can hair loss occur with out bad effects?

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