About Your Hair: Alopecia Month Series–Animals Suffer with Alopecia

By Dr. Linda Amerson
www.hairandscalpessentials.com

Did you know your fur baby, parrot or larger animals are susceptible to hair thinning, patchy alopecia, itchy, flaky, and problem skin problems? Yes, both humans and animals may become victims. Statistics reveal 40 percent of Americans are pet owners and dogs are purchased more than any other pets. When a man’s or woman’s best friend shows visible changes in hair loss, take them to a Veterinary Dermatologist. Some pet owners keep their pets indoors, while others keep pets exclusively outdoors. It is the owner’s personal choice, however, be very aware when you have newborns or young children interacting with pets. Sometimes pets become jealous and aggressive.

Many elderly consumers love the companionship of a fur baby. Dogs are more protective and can bark to alert the owner of strangers or danger. Overall, pets are very smart and observant. When a pet owner wants to get their fur babies’ attention, a treat or food in their dish will get their tails wagging. Do you have a pet with a picky palate? Or does your pet eat anything you feed them? Do you purchase clothes for your fur baby? Pet owners are to blame for spoiling fur babies with stove-cooked meat, table food, delicacies of certain brands of food, and then transition them into a four-legged fashion statement. Is this you I am describing? Professor Dr. Alison Diesel, from Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine, shared great information about small animals, both dogs, and cats, as well as large animals the School has seen and serviced. Professor Diesel said pets have personalities. Some personality examples include: happy, laid back, playful, scary and protective.

Some of the signs of hair loss and skin issues include:

• Does your pet constantly scratch their skin?

• Does your pet lick any particular skin area constantly?

• Do you notice sudden hair shedding? Hair all over your furniture or floor?

• Has your pet developed any sudden smooth patches of hair loss?

• Have you noticed any hair thinning of your pet’s fur?

• Have you noticed any sudden redness on your pet’s skin?

• Have you noticed any grey or darkened areas anywhere on their skin?

• Keep shots current on your beloved pets 

• Cats are more common to contract a fungal skin infection on their skin, which is very contagious.

• If your pet is kept outside, keep them bathed more often.

• Check your outdoor pet for lice and dermatophytosis (ringworm) often.

• Some pets’ DNA include a fine coat of hair, while other breeds have a thicker, coarser coat of hair. A dog groomer can maintain your pet’s hair length.

• Make sure you and your children/grandchildren wash their hands after interaction with your pet, for hygiene purposes and to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

• If you own larger animals, such as cows, goats, pigs, horses, etc., observe any changes with their coat of hair, and skin changes.

If you brush their hair, remember to wash your hands after the interaction. Take extra precautions during the current COVID-19 Pandemic. Contact a Veterinary Dermatologist for medical needs.

Dr. Linda Amerson, Board Certified Trichologist, LA’s Hair & Scalp Clinic, Arlington, TX 76013 817-265-8854

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