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Skin conditions account for quite a few of the cases we see as a general practitioner vet. There are lots of different causes of skin conditions. Some may be quite itchy for your pet and some are not itchy, but they still result in hair loss. Some cases will have hair loss because the animal is chewing and pulling the hair out themselves and in other cases, it will just fall out by itself. So the most common causes of skin conditions and hair loss would be an allergy. And in those cases, it would normally be through self-excoriation, so the animal, the pet gnawing and scratching so much that they are scratching away the hair. In those cases, the skin would often be quite red because they are injuring their skin.

The other cause of hair loss would be parasitic infestations. Again, this is because those parasites cause your pets to be very itchy and so they would scratch and chew and result in the hair loss. The other things would be hormonal. So there are certain hormonal conditions and these are not itchy conditions that will result in hair loss. The most common ones are the Cushing's disease and this is where you typically get hair loss along the flanks, so bilaterally you lose the hair along the sides of your pet. This only happens in dogs. The other hormonal condition that we see this in is hypothyroidism. In these cases, they do not tend to get bald patches in specific areas, but their whole coat will become quite thin and they can start to lose fur very easily.

Finally, we have something called seasonal flank alopecia. And this is something we do not really know why it happens but it can happen mostly in bitches and every year they will just shed both sides along their flanks, their rib cage, they just lose their hair. After a few months, it grows back again and the following year the same thing will happen. The final cause of skin conditions would be an infection of the skin that could result in hair loss. So this can happen if you are getting scabby lesions, infected areas of the skin where the skin's health is impaired and therefore the hair follicles are affected and the hair will then fall out. These skin infections can sometimes be itchy. So again, the hair loss may be as a result of your pet chewing or scratching at themselves.