10 Things That Can Make A Dog’s Tail Hair Fall Out
If your dog’s tail is losing hair, you might worry. Even though hair loss in the area might seem like just a cosmetic problem, it can be a sign of several health problems that need to be examined. Tail hair loss in dogs can happen for many different reasons.
You must bring your dog to the veterinarian for a suitable diagnosis and treatment to find out what’s happening. When a more serious underlying health condition causes hair loss, it can lead to other problems, such as secondary bacterial infections, chronic itching and discomfort, and other problems.
So, immediately addressing this problem is essential to avoid more problems and ensure your dog’s health and well-being. In this article, a licensed veterinarian who graduated with an Ability in Veterinary Medicine at the University Sv. Kliment Ohridski in Bitola, Republic of Macedonia, will talk about the following:
- There are two kinds of dog tail hair loss.
- The purpose of allergies
- Internal and external parasites
- Anal gland troubles
- The purpose of pain
- Emotional distress
- Hormonal imbalances
- Choices for treating hair loss on dog tails
- Three things you can do at home to help your dog regrow tail hair
What causes a dog’s tail to start losing hair?
Losing hair here on the tail is not a sign of a disease. Many things can cause tail hair loss; some are worse than others. How bad the underlying problem is depends upon two primary things:
- Whether the loss of hair is accompanied by itching in the tail area.
- Whether the dog is exhibiting other symptoms and the nature of those symptoms.
Based on these factors, hair loss on a dog’s tail can be caused by anything from blocked anal glands to problems with the dog’s hormones.
My dog’s tail itches and is shedding hair.
When tail hair loss is caused by itching or too much grooming, the coat will look bad (broken, saliva-stained hair) and cause skin irritation (redness or, in severe cases, even open sores). You also can expect changes in behavior since being itchy is annoying.
Allergies to foods and the environment
Many dogs have allergies these days. Dogs with food or environmental allergies can get itchy and have irritated skin. In these situations, hair loss can be caused by long-term irritation. Taking care of an allergic dog can be challenging. Dogs with food allergies need special diets, and dogs with environmental allergies usually need long-term treatment with antihistamines or desensitization therapy.
Not just on the tail but all over the body, many external parasites could indeed cause hair loss and itching. Fleas, demodectic mange, and sarcoptic mange are to blame most of the time. Fleas are risky and annoying, but depending on where you live, they might only bother you at certain times of the year.
Demodectic mange is more likely to happen in dogs that are young, old, or have weak immune systems. All dogs, no matter how old they are, can get sarcoptic mange. The treatment is easy and uses topical and oral drugs that kill parasites. Fleas are also easy to avoid using collars, spot-on liquids, and chewable tablets that kill fleas.
Flea allergy skin rash
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is a condition that fleas cause. Certain dogs are allergic to flea saliva (which becomes injected into the skin when fleas feed on the dog). So, the dog gets an allergic reaction in that area. Fleas feed in the anal area of dogs with infected anal glands.
In this case, FAD will have the worst effects on the area around the tail, causing hair loss and irritation. A simple way to treat FAD is to eliminate any present fleas. The vet may suggest a local treatment to eliminate the irritation in rare and severe cases.
Even though it sounds gross, some intestinal parasites can crawl out of a dog’s anus and make the area around the anus and the tail itch. Because it hurts, the dog may constantly lick and scratch the area. In the long run, this will cause the tail to lose hair and the skin to become itchy. Intestinal parasites are prevalent among dogs. Almost every dog has problems like this at least once in their lives.
Anal Gland Issues
Dogs often have problems with their anal glands. A smelly substance is made by the anal glands and stored in the anal sacs. They are around the dog’s anus, and when the dog poops, a tiny amount of the smelly stuff emerges. But if the secretions don’t get out of the narrow anal sac canals correctly, they build up in the sacs.
Over time, this makes the anal glands get infected. If a dog’s anal glands are infected, the base of its tail will itch very badly. Hair loss is likely to happen as the itching worsens and the dog bites or licks the same base of its tail. If a dog’s anal glands are severely blocked, it can lose hair even in faraway places.
Excessive Tail Pain
Pain in the lower back or tail can cause dogs to lose hair on their tails. When these areas hurt, dogs will lick their tails too much. Pain can be caused by many things, like a broken tail or arthritis.
Removing Foreign Bodies
The itching can sometimes be caused by something stuck in the tail area. Most of the time, it’s a foxtail. There could also be grass seeds and awns.
Stress is another reason why dogs lick their tails all the time. Worried or otherwise stressed-out dogs often lick too much (as a coping and self-soothing mechanism). Stud tails are uncommon, but high hormone levels can cause hair loss.
Non-Itchy Tail Hair Loss Causes in Dogs
The hair loss on a dog’s tail that doesn’t itch is usually a sign of a hormonal imbalance. Dogs with endocrine problems will have other symptoms and signs that have nothing to do with the tail or hair loss.
Hypothyroidism is often the cause of hair loss on a dog’s tail. When this happens, the dog’s tail hair falls out. This sign is called rat tail because of how the hair loss looks and how the tail looks. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t create enough necessary hormones.
The immune system can cause it or be unknown (of unknown origin). Dogs with hypothyroidism will also gain weight (even though their appetites don’t change), become sensitive to cold, and have less energy. The treatment is to take daily pills that compensate for the missing hormone for the rest of your life.
Cushing’s disease, hyperadrenocorticism, is another hormonal disorder that may lead to tail hair loss. It happens when the adrenal glands work too hard and make too much of the hormone cortisol. Cushing’s disease is dangerous because it makes it more possible to get diabetes or kidney disease.
When a dog has Cushing’s disease, it eats and drinks more, and its stomach gets more extensive, and its skin changes. Oral medicines can be used to treat Cushing’s disease. The treatment doesn’t make the dog live longer, but it does help control the symptoms, improving the dog’s life.