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Dog losing hair around eyes: Possible causes

dog losing hair around eyes
Is a dog losing hair around its eyes alarming? (Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash)

If you notice your dog losing hair around eyes, you’re most likely going to feel confused and worried. Generally speaking, it’s quite unusual to see a dog going bald around the eyes.

However, this happens quite commonly and the reason for it is that your dog is probably dealing with an issue relating to his eye or skin. In some cases it can be both.

This means that your dog losing hair around its eyes is actually due to a larger issue that is manifesting this way.

But, stay calm. Only because we say it’s a larger issue, doesn’t mean that it’s something life threatening.

In this article, we’re going to explain the reasons why canines might be losing hair around their eyes.

Dog losing hair around eyes – Reasons why

If you notice your dog losing hair around its eyes, it’s definitely a warning sign and you should contact your vet as soon as possible. However, we are going to explain the possible reasons why this might be happening.

There are two big reasons why your dog is going bald around the eyes:

  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems

Even though this sounds simple, it’s not. Every of these issues carries a number of other possibilities why it’s happening. You’ll see what we mean.

Eye problems

The first reason why your pooch might be losing hair around its eyes is due to eye problems. If your dog is rubbing and scratching their eyes constantly, no wonder its losing hair in that area!

Basically, certain eye issues like conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye), glaucoma, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (also known as dry eye), or even an eye injury can cause pain, itchiness, and discomfort for your dog! This is enough for your canine to start itching and scratching and eventually this will make their hair fall out around their eyes!

With eye issues, you will also notice other symptoms like clear or colored discharge, redness, or swelling around the eye. If your dog has an eye injury, the globe may be red and spidery or cloudy blue as well.

Of course, itching won’t be the only symptom of eye problems you’ll notice. Some of the other symptoms can be a clear or colored discharge, redness, or swelling around the eye. Besides this, your dog’s globe may become red and spidery or cloudy blue too in case of an injury.

There are of course many other eye issues your dog could be experiencing, some of which are:

Skin problems

The other reason why your dog’s hair might be falling out around the eyes is skin problems. There are many skin issues that can actually make your dog’s fur fall out. For example, dermatitis, demodicosis, and even ringworm.

Dermatitis

Just like humans, dogs can too experience dermatitis. It’s a very uncomfortable skin condition, that mostly affects the eye area, the groin area and the armpits.

Symptoms of dermatitis include:

  • Flaky skin
  • Hair loss around affected areas
  • Itching
  • Excessive scratching
  • Rubbing
  • Licking
  • Redness

Ringworm

Ringworm is very serious! It is a highly contagious fungal infection that can be passed on to humans too! So please be careful when petting your dog!

The infection starts with circular hair loss around the eyes. Your dog might also experience redness, lesions, and itching.

If you suspect ringworm, please let your veterinarian know. Usually, your vet will prescribe a topical therapy like an ointment or shampoo. Your dog might also get oral antifungal medications.

After the infection treatment your dog’s hair should grow fully back.

Demodicosis

Demodex Mange or demodicosis is an infestation of mange bacteria. This can happen to every dog, no matter how healthy your pooch is.

Basically, demodicosis happens to dogs who have a compromised immune system or dogs who are getting older and dealing with a weaker body.

This condition actually isn’t itchy for your dog, but it does cause hair loss around the eyes. Once demodicosis starts to spread it can wander to other parts of your dog’s body like the mouth, forelimbs, and paws.

What to do?

As mentioned above, if you notice anything strange with your dog’s health, be it hair loss around the eyes, excessive itching, scratching, rubbing, and so on, please contact your veterinarian!

You can only speculate what is going on with your dog, but your veterinarian will know how to exactly determine the cause of your dog’s hair loss.

He or she will take a look at your dog’s eyes and do tests for glaucoma and dry eye. Your vet might also take skin scrapings to look for mites and fungus.

By performing different tests your vet will know what issues your dog is having and know which medication to prescribe to treat it.

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