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I have a German Shepherd, one with lots of fur. All of a sudden he is having hair loss. It is not in the normal quantities, slightly more than usual but not a bald patch. Do I have some thing to worry about?

  • Hair loss or shedding? Do you brush him regularly? – Just Do It Apr 19 '16 at 15:21
  • its hair loss .I do not brush his hair everyday , about once in 2-3 days or so – SSB Apr 19 '16 at 15:30
  • Does the dog exhibit any other irregular behavior? – Just Do It Apr 19 '16 at 15:40
  • I think he feels itching, because he suddenly starts scratching himself but this is not done often. He is also consuming more water than usual but that might be because of summer [42 degree c] . Other than this there is nothing unusual. – SSB Apr 19 '16 at 15:47
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I wish I could give you an answer with more expertise but I'm not a dog expert. Only knowledge I have is experiences with my own pets.

Based on your comment replies, it seems your dog might be dealing with allergies. The best course of action would be to take the dog to a vet to have him checked up.

Now, if you want to learn what might be causing this itch look for these signs:

  • If the dog is itching and losing hair all over its body, its something he is eating/drinking; check his food and google if G.S. are allergic or prone to allergies to any of these ingredients. Sometimes switching from tap water to distilled water helps too.
  • If the skin problems are localized, that means the dog is getting in direct contact with the allergenic component, something in your yard or park you frequent; study his movements when outside and try to pin out the exact place where the dog happens to lay down or scratch and it fits the itching pattern.

Still, my first suggestion would be to take him to a vet. Hope all goes well with your dog.

  • OK thanks alot..really helped because i was totally freaked out. Thanks again. – SSB Apr 19 '16 at 16:12
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like Just Do It said, check for food allergies or irritation first. When in doubt, take him to the vet. It never hurts to get a check-up anyways.

Additionally,

Hair loss, specifically on the stomach, can be associated with thyroid problems. My dog had thinning belly hair until we got her on the proper medication. If he seems more sluggish or lazy than usual, this could be why. A few tests from the vet will determine if this is the case.

Keep in mind that Shepherd type breeds will blow their undercoats at the beginning of summer, so the warm weather could be the explanation in the uptick in shedding. Mine is doing it right now (it's a mess). If not brushed out within a reasonable amount of time, the clumps of fur coming out could mat and cause some skin irritation and itching. I highly recommend an under coat brush coupled with a wire slicker brush to keep him looking sleek.

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If you're sure it's hair loss and not shedding I would go for a vet visit. Many things cause hair loss, it will be hard to determine the cause without physical exam and/or blood work.

To list a few potential problems:

  • Parasites - fleas, mites, demodex

  • Allergies - food or environmental

  • Cushings disease

  • Skin infection - fungal or bacterial

Don't wait too long as the problem can escalate quickly. Good luck :)

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