PetMeds® Bald Spots on Pets – Potential Causes

In most cases, bald patches are often due to allergies including inhalant/contact allergies and/or food allergies.Patchy areas of hair loss or bald patches on our pet’s coats are common findings on physical exams.  One of the first things a veterinarian will do is to examine the hair shafts under the microscope to see if the hair loss is from self-licking or trauma from the pet. Further testing may include skin scraping to see if there are any mange mites, as well as fungal cultures to see if there is any yeast or ringworm causing the hair loss.

In most cases of self trauma, bald patches are often due to allergies including inhalant/contact allergies and/or food allergies. With such a thorough diagnostic workup, most cases of bald patches can be properly assessed and treated.  That is why it is always important to have a full veterinary evaluation first before self treating such lesions on our pets.

Have pet health questions? For any medical concerns, we always recommend you consult your veterinarian. However, for non-emergency questions, you can contact Dr. Dym directly using our Ask the Vet form.

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83 Comments

  1. Yoshi is allergic to everything, but even so, hydrocortisone cream helps alot and my mom adds fish oil to her food because it is beneficial for skin and coat health. I hope this helps a little.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Some cats will accept coconut oil as well in their food at dose of 1/2 teaspoon with each meal.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I have also found grape seed extract helpful as an anti-inflammatory and antihistamine like supplement in pets with allergies that can sometimes help as well at dose of 1 to 2 mg per pound twice to three times daily.

  4. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Topical coconut oil applied a few times daily is also wonderfully healing for allergic skin lesions.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Consider having full CBC/Chemistry/thyroid level blood testing to make sure no underlying medical issues. Try adding oral supplements like naturevet enzymes and nordic naturals pet omega 3 fatty acid from 1800petmeds to meals. Many times oral melatonin at dose of 3 to 6 mg twice daily can also help with hair growth and health.

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Hi Stacey. Sorry to be so late in getting back to you on this one. Most of time prescription anti fungal and antibacterial shampoos are needed here, as well as antibiotics/antifunglas and prescription meds to address the underlying allergies. In other words, best to see your veterinarian. For natural approach to this and other issues, see the book Dr Pitcairn’s guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, DVM, phd

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. My cat has a tiny red cut on her head. Above the eye under the ear. Around the little red spot seems to have hair missing from it. Can someone tell me what it is???

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  20. l have an 8-year-old Lab mix. He has had a bald spot above the base of his tail since I got him as a rescue from the SPCA at approximately 2 years old, but it has continuously gotten larger. He licks it frequently. The vet I used to take him to said it was a flea allergy, but he has only had fleas twice since I got him. He is now on Trifexis. Then they tried to say it’s a grain allergy, but I feed him grain-free food AND treats. I’ve tried various lotions, and a new vet prescried some medication. It didn’t help much. He licks and chews the borders of the spot and has scabs and sores. I’m not sure what to do until I save up enough for the extremely expensive allergy test, which I’m not sure would even help.

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  23. Hello, I have a toy poodle. We tried a new groomer and my dog had three bald spots. Two of the three grew back but the one has not it has been 6 weeks since his appointment. I feel like the bald spot is getting larger possibly? What should I do ? Any advice on how to help grow the hair back?

  24. Your pet needs a veterinary exam to evaluate this persistent bald spot and make sure it is not localized mange mites which are determined by skin scrape and/or another cause of inflammation of the hair follicles

  25. i have adaushound he is 6years old . he has bald spots on his back . dont know what to do for him

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