Causes of Hair Loss in Bulldogsby Jennifer Gittins
Hair loss can be frustrating for any pet owner. Bulldogs may suffer from hair loss for a wide variety of reasons. If your bulldog is suffering from chronic skin conditions or even mild hair loss, you should have your veterinarian run tests to determine the underlying causes. While most hair loss is due to treatable conditions, some hair loss may occur because of more serious underlying diseases.
Allergies can cause mild to severe hair loss in some breeds, including the bulldog. This is because when a dog is suffering from allergies, they are excessively scratching at their skin or licking at their skin, thus causing hair loss. Common allergens include plants such as trees or grass, pollens, mold, fabrics, cleaning products, dust and fleas. Fortunately, you can treat the allergy by avoiding the allergen and provide itch relief through the use of anti-itch creams and shampoos.
There are two forms of mange that can affect bulldogs: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Both forms can affect a bulldog of any age or gender. Sarcoptic mange, also known as canine scabies, can cause hair loss and severe itching. Demodectic mange can cause the same symptoms. You can treat both forms of mange with insecticidal shampoos and medications. Dogs who are infected with any form of mange will usually require several weeks of treatment, and severe cases of mange can take up to eight weeks or more to treat.
Seasonal alopecia is a fairly rare condition in which a lack of sunlight to the pineal gland causes abnormal changes. Common symptoms of seasonal alopecia include hair loss and hyperpigmentation. Seasonal alopecia is treated by providing the dog with additional sunlight exposure, particularly during the seasons of late fall, winter and early spring. Most dogs will regrow hair during the first year of sun exposure, while others may take up to a year to regrow hair.
Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia
Black hair follicular dysplasia, also known as BHFD, is a rare inherited disorder. Dobermans, huskies, terriers, rottweilers and bulldogs all are at risk for the disease. BHFD causes hair loss that is permanent, and it can occur at any point during the dog’s life. However, this condition causes only the black areas of fur to fall out. Treatment is minimal, because the condition does not affect the dog’s overall health. Dogs who have BHFD should receive fatty acid supplements, and their skin needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent skin infections.
In some cases, hypothyroidism may be the culprit of hair loss in bulldogs. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland is no longer producing enough hormones. Hypothyroidism causes hair loss, weight gain and a large number of skin issues and disorders. Dogs who suffer from hypothyroidism can be treated with hormonal supplements, and most symptoms will clear up.