Hair loss by the season

Hair loss by the season

Just when the weather turns cool and your pooch should be his plushiest, he starts losing fur over his flanks. What’s up with that?

If the hair loss is symmetrical — that is, equally apparent on both sides of your dog’s body — and doesn’t involve itch or inflammation, it could be seasonal alopecia [al-oh-PĒSH-ah]. If so, hair loss typically occurs between November and April when days are shortest. Light-associated changes in the hormones melatonin and prolactin are thought to be a cause.

Seasonal alopecia most often affects boxers, but you might see it in English bulldogs, Airedale terriers and schnauzers, too. It usually first shows up when dogs are 3 to 6 years old.

If your pooch regrows hair as the days lengthen but the same thing happens next year, keep seasonal alopecia in mind. Your veterinarian can provide additional advice.

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