Dog Losing Hair In Patches And Scabs – 7 Reasons & Helpful Information You Need to Know

dog losing hair in patches and scabs

Regarding dogs shedding fur in clumps and developing scabs, it’s essential to return to the foundational step— pinpointing the root causes.

This is the season for doggo hair shedding. Wait, what? No, it is the hair-shedding gone crazy.

Shall we clarify a few things first?

Hair shedding is different from hair loss. Hair shedding is actually healthy. Don’t look at us like we have gone bananas now.

Hair grows in cycles. Seasonal hair shedding paves way for newer and fresher hair while getting rid of old and damaged ones.

Excessive hair shedding is hair loss often termed alopecia. It is a common health issue that can occur at any time for a dog.

And when it starts becoming obvious in certain areas in the form of patches, it is time to seek help.

As upsetting as it may sound, there are a bunch of ways to get a grip on this unpleasant situation.

Get the complete scoop on why doggos go through this medical condition in our article. There is so much talk about dogs losing hair in patches and scabs and we have got to start somewhere. So let’s begin.

Signs of Dog Losing Hair In Patches And Scabs

There are signs everywhere. Some are very evident and some are not so evident. You just have to keep your eyes open and know which ones are you looking for.

Here is a list of symptoms that indicate that your dog is going through hair loss.

  • Thinning out of hair
  • Bald patches (complete hair loss in specific areas)
  • Licking and extreme itching
  • Formation of scabs
  • Darkening of skin in particular spots
  • Inflammed and reddened skin
  • Bad odor
  • Bleeding or pus discharge
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Dull, brittle, and dry coat

Every time your dog doesn’t need to get to face all of these signs at the same time since they may appear depending on the health problem that is causing hair loss.

If you are watchful of these signs and consult a vet in time, your dog can be saved from a lot of mental and physical trauma.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Losing Hair In Patches And Scabs

Browse through the most common reasons for dog losing hair in patches and scabs. Who knows one of them might be the one why your doggo is losing the locks.

Check for the symptoms and if anything clicks, get an appointment with the vet immediately.

I. Your Dog’s Biology

Some breeds have hair loss written in their genetics. These guys are more prone to hair loss than other breeds.

Boston terriers, Salukis, Irish setters, Chihuahua, Whippets, and Greyhounds may start losing hair after their first year.

The hair loss will start showing in patches on the belly, chest, thighs, outer ears, and lower neck.

Have you ever heard of Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA)? This is passed over generations. The above-mentioned doggos go through CDA and the hair loss is obvious in patches and scaly skin.

CDA is just a genetic thing and cannot be associated with any health issue.

If your doggo is diagnosed with it, you might have to accept it with a big heart because there isn’t much anyone can do about it.

II. Allergens

Is your doggo losing hair, scratching itself more than often, or licking itself frequently? If yes, then you are in for a surprise.

Not a good one though. Some random allergy may be playing the bad guy in your dog’s life.

Allergy-triggering elements can come from the food they are eating, the shampoo that is used for cleaning them up, dust mites, pollen, home-cleaning agents, some medication, and more.

These allergies come under the umbrella of inhalant allergies, food allergies, and contact allergies.

Inhalant allergies are hard to deal with, to be honest. They can be controlled but do not go away permanently.

III. Foreign Bodies

No, we are not talking about aliens attacking your doggo. When doggos go out for their playtime outdoors, their skin is exposed to a lot of stuff aka foreign bodies.

These foreign bodies may create skin problems in dogs.

A brush with broken glass may end up with bald spots. Even their coarse hair can cause inflammation and scabs.

Hot pavements may cause them to irritate the skin which results in hair loss between the toes.

A small injury or wound from anything harsh in outdoor play will result in bald spots on dogs in that particular area. Antibiotics recommended by the vet can solve this issue in no time.

IV. Skin Infections And Irritated Skin Conditions

Exfoliative dermatoses are skin disorders occurring in canines that have common symptoms or side effects; hair loss in patches and scabs.

Dandruff is another skin condition that makes dogs loose hair immensely. It is related to hot spots, which are like wet open bruises appearing on the dog’s skin.

Fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections are a few other culprits that can directly affect the hair growth of your dog.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that makes the dog itch like crazy resulting in dry skin and damaged hair follicles.

V. Endocrinal Disorder

Endocrinal disorders are universal in dogs and hair loss is a side effect of such disorders. There could be several reasons behind it, out of which hormonal imbalance is one.

Crushing disease, also known as hyperadrenocorticism, is pretty common in dogs and is more likely to hit a middle-aged dog.

Alopecia, pot belly, lethargy, heat intolerance, and muscle weakness is a clinical sign of hyperadrenocorticism.

Hyperthyroidism can also hit your dog, but rarely since it is more common in cats. But if it does happen to your dog, he will undergo alopecia as a symptom.

VI. Pressure Sores

Hair loss due to pressure sores is common. This happens especially with large-breed doggos and overweight ones. Sadly most of us don’t know when to stop feeding our doggo.

Overfeeding is a hazard for them in every possible way. Hips, elbows, and sides are the common places to get the brunt of pressure sores.

Sometimes old dogs or ones with certain mobility issues lose hair because of these pressure sores. This can cause the skin to thicken at these places along with hair loss.

Pressure sores are hard to deal with so it is better to keep your dog mobile as much as possible to avoid them from happening.

VII. Post Clipping Alopecia

Post-grooming alopecia is a real thing. So don’t freak out when your doggo’s hair does not come out even and is not as thick as before.

This happens due to the changes that occur in the natural heating and cooling systems when their locks are shaved.

Sadly post clipping alopecia is more true for thick-furred canines than any other doggos because when the density of the hair is altered for these dogs, it dispirits the natural hair follicle growth.

Post-surgery clipping can also result in thinning of hair in patches. The good news is that the hair does come back.

You just have to show the most patient side of yours in these scenarios because sometimes it takes months for the hair to come back to normalcy.

How Can You Prevent Dog Hair Loss In Patches And Scabs?

An old saying that still falls true – prevention is better than cure. Why put your dog in the pain and agony of losing hair and then going through the treatment phase?

We know you agree with us but don’t know where to begin. Grrrrroan

Here is all the help you need regarding preventing dog hair loss in patches and scabs. And you are welcome.

1. Spruce Up Your Pup

We love a doggo all dressed up to the nines. Ok, not dressed up but all spruced up? Yes. Grooming a dog is not all about looking nice.

The health benefits that come as a side perk of looking good has more weightage here.

Regular brushing helps ensures that the skin gets to breathe. Clogged pores due to sweat and dirt demand regular brushing.

It is the best way to get rid of the old raggedy hair to make way for the new ones.

Using anti-bacterial and anti-fungal wipes to clean the paws and body after outdoor playtime keeps away the fungal infections and foreign bodies that may become the cause of alopecia.

Giving a bath every two months is much appreciated.

Messages with olive oil and dips in diluted apple cider vinegar are another hack to prevent dry skin and hair issues to arise.

2. Wholesome Diet

Omega 3 and 6 (these are healthy fatty oils by the way), iron, and proteins present in the diet make the dog’s coat fluffy, healthy, and shiny.

Other than these, a diet rich in antioxidants washes away all the toxins taken in the body from the environment.

What else would you want? If the nutrients from the dog’s diet are not ample, take aid from supplemental nutrition. Lack of nutrition is a major reason for alopecia. When you select a dog food, see if it is approved by FDA.

Make sure that it is wholesome with high levels of proteins and rich in fish oils, some vitamins, and minerals that can strengthen a dog’s immune system and are good for the skin and the coat.

Don’t forget lots of clean and fresh water helps in good metabolism and removes toxic waste from the body.

Sometimes an allergic reaction strikes from certain ingredients like gluten, soy, and corn from the diet which become a reason for hair loss. Keep your eyes open for that.

3. Clean And Healthy Environment

The environment your doggo lives in should be a clean and healthy one. And yes, hazard-free too. Dust can be a major ticking element for the skin.

So makes sure the place where your doggo sleeps is regularly vacuumed other than carpets and furniture.

Flea bites and mites infections are very common in dogs which makes them lose hair quickly or sometimes causes skin infections. A pet-friendly insecticide-treated house is a good idea.

At times, dry weather becomes the cause of irritated skin which makes the pup want to itch more and more. Frequent scratching is the main cause of hair loss in patches.

We suggest using a humidifier if you live in a climatically dry zone. Place the humidifier where your doggo spends most of his time.

4. Consistent Vet Screenings

Rain or shine, you can’t miss your appointment with the vet. A consistent vet screening helps reveal a lot of hidden stuff that we may not be aware of.

Hair loss, as mentioned earlier, is mostly a result of some underlying skin disorder in doggos.

The only person who can give you an accurate diagnosis is your dog’s vet. Regular scans help prevent such things from happening or they can be caught and subsided in their earliest stages.

We don’t mean to scare you but it is true that changes in the coat are sometimes caused by the deadliest of diseases like cancer.

Now you know why we emphasize not missing your vet appointments. A vet visit is the best prevention when it comes to dog hair loss in patches and scabs.

5. Have An Ulti-Mutt Relationship

The time you take out to spend with your doggo out of your busy schedule is very much treasured. How do we know that? Well, let’s just say your dog’s health speaks volumes.

Nervousness, anxiety, and boredom will make your dog do unusual stuff, like licking and chewing body parts.

This may become one of the causes of hair loss in patches. Exercise is one of the best techniques for anxiety relief. And what is best is that your doggo can soak up his dose of Vitamin D along with you.

A little suggestion: Avoid going out at times when UV is most damaging to make sure that you don’t expose your doggo to harmful UV rays.

Clean your pup asap with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal wipes after their time out to get rid of any bacterial infection that may become the cause of hair loss.


Sometimes hair loss is not gradual. Losing chunks of hair in a little time is not normal. Ignoring the warning bells that come in the form of signs of hair loss can make matters worse for your furry friend.

You have to dig deeper to catch the culprit behind these patches and scabs. Or else your doggo may suffer the worst.

We might have stated the signs and causes behind all of this but it is always advisable to seek professional help. Pet owners must visit a vet as soon as they detect something wrong in the body.

The earlier you catch the underlying issue, the quicker your dog will regain his health and be the same ol’ companion that he used to be.

Remember hair loss or alopecia in dogs is curable. You just have to act timely and smartly. And follow a healthy regime. This will be rewarding in a lot of terms for your doggo.

For more hints, tips, suggestions, and counseling on the doggo world, visit our blog. Our dog experts have been there and done it all and are passing the word of advice to our pup-tacular reader family for their loveable companions for life.


1. What are the crusty scabs on my dog’s skin?

Crusty scabs are a sign of unhealthy skin. There could be so many reasons behind them.

Mental health, dryness, bacterial and fungal infections, yeast infections, flea infestations, food and environmental allergies, and in more serious cases cancer are some health issues that lead to crusty scabs.

Inflammed and damaged skin can take the form of these crusty scabs. Scabs as a result of skin cancer may not heal if the cancer is not treated.

Some of the common areas of the body where you can locate scabs are the armpits, nose, ears, back, and belly.

2. What does it mean when your dog is losing patches of hair?

When your dog is losing patches of hair, go see a vet immediately. This is not just regular hair shedding.

Patches of hair loss indicate some serious skin diseases are broiling up on your dog’s body.

You may guess the cause but a vet can tell you for sure through proper screenings and tests. And then loss of hair in patches is not an incurable disease.

Your vet can guide you with the proper treatment and how to go about it.

3. How do I know if my dog has mange or allergies?

Invasion of tiny parasitic bodies in your doggos fur is mange. Extreme skin irritation and hair loss are the main signs that indicate the presence of allergies or mange in the dog’s body.

Other than itchy skin, rashes, redness of the skin, bumps, sores, and crusty scabs are found in the face, trunk, and legs.

A veterinarian may perform specific tests that can confirm the presence of allergies or mange.

4. Can mange in dogs spread to humans?

There are two kinds of mange. One kind is not contagious but the other, commonly known as sarcoptic, is.

The mites that cause sarcoptic mange are the same ones that cause scabies in humans. This is highly contagious and transmissible.

Although it is not something serious as these mites are unable to complete their life cycle in humans but it is irritating like anything.

Extreme itching is an indication of your doggo going through this, quarantine immediately. Decontaminate your home.

5. How long does it take for a dog scab to heal?

To say that a scab may heal in a specific period may not be correct information. Scabs are just the showcase of an underlying health problem.

It depends on what health issue is causing it and how severe is it or when have you started the treatment.

Scabs caused by cancer may take months to heal. While for a minor infection that is causing it may take two weeks maximum to heal.

6. Can I put Neosporin on my dog’s scabs?

Any medication used without the consent of a vet is not advisable. Neosporin is more of a human thing than an animal.

It may not cause any side effects if used in smaller amounts but it is still not advisable to use it.

Aloe vera has great healing properties, is natural, and has no side effects. It is best for topical application on wounds and infections. You can also use a dog-specific balm or wax for this purpose.

But it is best to see a vet before applying anything on your dog’s skin. Who knows what could lead to something worse?

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