As dog owners, we’re responsible for all aspects of caring for our pets. So, when we see something as minor as a bald spot on the tail, we immediately get worried. But what are the common causes of bald spots on a dog’s tail?
A bald spot on the dog’s tail could be the result of a number of problems, most of which are underlying, such as allergies, fleas, mange, parasites, behavioral issues, and, worst of all, Cushing’s disease.
Keep reading below for more information about bald spots and how to handle them.
Before reading this article, “Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Tail,” check out: Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Leg? (Common Causes) (2023) and Why Is My Dog Losing Hair Around Its Bum? (2023).
Common Causes of a Bald Spot on Your Dog’s Tail
Alopecia, the medical name for a lack of hair in a normally hairy area, most frequently affects a dog’s head, ears, stomach, and back. Hair loss near your dog’s tail is more likely to be the result of an underlying health problem than a pressure sore.
But hold on, there’s no need to get too worked up yet. In addition to these potential causes, there are a few other reasons why your dog might have a bald spot on their tail.
Sarcoptic and Demodectic Mange
Loss of tail hair in dogs is another symptom of mange. Your dog may be in considerable discomfort if they contract this parasitic skin condition. There are two distinct kinds of mange found in canines.
When a dog’s immune system is weakened, a skin and fur infestation known as demodectic mange can develop. It’s possible for the problem to stay in one spot, but it also could spread elsewhere.
Hair loss, bald spots, ulcers, lesions, and inflammation are some of the symptoms of demodectic mange. Puppies, older dogs, and dogs with impaired immune systems are at greater risk.
Dogs get sarcoptic mange when they come into contact with canine scabies (burrowing mites), which can be spread from one dog to another. Once the mites mate, the females are going to dig into your dog’s skin and lay eggs, which are expected to hatch three to ten days later.
Due to pain, your dog is going to scratch at the affected areas nonstop. This can lead to a variety of unpleasant side effects, including scabs, itchiness, hair loss, and a skin rash.
Both types of mange necessitate veterinary care. The type of mange will be identified through a skin sample taken by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may recommend either topical or oral treatment, depending on their findings.
A lot of dogs today experience allergy symptoms. Itchiness and irritation are two symptoms that may be present in dogs who suffer from food or environmental allergies. Long-term irritation can cause hair loss in these circumstances.
Taking care of an allergic dog has unique challenges. Special diets are necessary for dogs with food allergies, and long-term treatment with antihistamines or desensitization therapy is typically necessary for dogs with environmental allergies.
Hair loss and itching can be caused by a wide variety of external parasites, and they are not limited to the tail area. Fleas are major causes of skin irritation in dogs.
Fleas are harmful and annoying, but they may only be a problem during certain times of the year. Anti-parasitic medications used topically or taken orally are all that are needed for treatment.
Flea preventatives, including collars, spot solutions, and chewable tablets, are an easy way to keep your pet flea-free.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis
There is a unique skin ailment brought on by fleas called flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). When fleas feed on a dog, they shoot their saliva into the skin, and some dogs have an adverse reaction.
This causes a localized allergic reaction in the dog. Interestingly, fleas prefer to eat in the anal region of dogs with infected anal glands (the aroma may attract them). When this happens, the anal region suffers the most from FAD, leading to hair loss and irritation.
The only step required in treating FAD is the elimination of the flea infestation. In extreme circumstances, the veterinarian may suggest local therapy to alleviate the irritation.
Compulsive behaviors like excessive barking or tail biting are common among dogs with anxiety and depression. If your dog’s tail is always wet and messy, they’ve probably been chewing on it while you’re gone.
It may sound revolting, but certain parasites in a dog’s intestines can really crawl out of its anus and cause itching in the anal region and the tail. Because of the discomfort, the dog may lick or scratch the region frequently. This will irritate the tail’s skin and induce hair loss over time.
Dogs are especially susceptible to intestinal parasites, and nearly all dogs will deal with this problem at some point during their lives. Fortunately, preventing intestinal parasites is as simple as keeping your dog updated on dewormers.
Anal Gland Problems
Dogs frequently experience problems with their anal glands. Dogs have these glands around their anuses, and they release a small quantity of a foul-smelling substance with each bowel movement (to serve as a form of scent marking and canine communication).
These secretions accumulate in the sacs if they aren’t removed adequately (due to the small anal sac canals). This leads to an infection in the anal glands over time. When a dog’s anal glands are inflamed, the area at the base of its tail becomes extremely itchy.
Hair loss at the base of the tail is to be expected when the itching worsens and the dog bites or licks. The hair loss might start anywhere, even far away, if his or her anal glands become severely blocked.
Pain in the dog’s tail and lower back area might cause the dog’s tail hair to fall out, which can be a sign of an underlying problem. When a dog is in pain, it will lick and chew at its tail. Pain can be caused by a number of conditions, such as a broken tail or arthritis.
Itchiness in the tail area is sometimes caused by a foreign object becoming lodged there. A foxtail is usually to blame. There’s also the possibility of grass seeds and awns.
Bald spots on the hips and legs are another symptom of hypothyroidism in dogs, and they can also affect the tail. Hypothyroidism is brought on by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland tissue.
The outcome is a decline in the production of thyroid hormone, which may lead to multiple issues such as anemia, weakness and atrophy in the muscles, and lethargic behavior.
Hypothyroidism can cause severe tail balding in dogs because healthy hair development is dependent on adequate levels of thyroid hormone. It’s also possible that the hair on his sides, back, and lower legs will thin and fall off.
Labs, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Boxers, and Rottweilers are only some of the most prevalent breeds to get hypothyroidism. Take your dog to the vet if you think he or she may have hypothyroidism.
Your veterinarian will likely request blood work to confirm the diagnosis before prescribing an oral thyroid hormone to help normalize your dog’s thyroid levels.
Cushing’s disease, often called hyperadrenocorticism, is another hormonal disease associated with tail hair loss. This condition is brought on by overactive adrenal glands, which result in an abundance of the hormone cortisol being produced.
Cushing’s disease is very dangerous since it raises the likelihood of developing complications, including diabetes and kidney damage. Cushing’s disease causes weight gain, increased thirst and appetite, and skin changes in dogs.
Oral medications are available for the treatment of Cushing’s disease (but their use in veterinary medicine is unapproved). Although the medication cannot extend the dog’s life, it does improve the dog’s quality of life by alleviating its symptoms.
What to Do if My Dog Has a Bald Spot on Its Tail?
Following the veterinarian’s instructions for care is the top priority. You can also help your dog heal quickly and promote hair development by taking certain measures, which we’ll detail below.
Stop Hair Pulling/Biting
This is for dogs suffering from itchy hair loss conditions. It’s crucial that you keep your dog from touching the area so it can recover without complications. An Elizabethan collar will do the trick.
Apply Coconut Oil
Coconut oil promotes hair development and soothes irritated skin. Both functions help dogs that are experiencing tail hair loss. Coconut oil is easy to apply; simply massage the organic oil onto the exposed skin.
Some vitamins and minerals, as well as the omega fatty acids found in certain supplements, have been shown to stimulate hair growth.
The market is flooded with several supplements designed specifically for dogs. Consult your vet if you need help deciding what’s best for your fur baby.
We advise getting the veterinarian’s approval before trying any of these remedies at home. Even if they won’t interfere with conventional care, it’s best to double-check with your vet.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most likely explanation for spots on a dog’s tail is fleas.
Mange on a dog’s tail will typically result in sores, scabs, and hair loss.
While it is okay to touch demodectic mange is safe to touch, sarcoptic mange is contagious.
Conclusion for “Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Tail”
And there you go. Those are the various reasons for that bald spot on your dog’s tail. However, it’s important not to self-diagnose and to take your dog to the vet if he seems to be showing other symptoms along with the bald spot.
If this guide, “Why Is There a Bald Spot on My Dog’s Tail,” helped, check out:
- Poodle Tails: To Dock or Leave Naturally? (2023)
- Goldendoodle Tail Styles – With Pictures! (2023)
- 7 Sickle Tail Dog Breeds With Pictures! (2023)
Learn more by watching “Why Does My Dog Have A Bald Spot (What to Do to Help)” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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