Hair Loss in Pets

Hair loss on dogs may be caused by a number of problems. The most common cause is from the dog having an allergic reaction to some thing with or in the environment of the dog. Test can be carried out by vets to determine what the dog is allergic to, but generally are due to either pollen in the air, dietary habits, and contact with irritant or flea bites.

However the most common allergy is due to fleabites and it is interesting to note that one fleabite can still be causing an effect on a dog up to seven days later.

Typically flea dermatitis begins around the base of tail and along the back. The animals become sensitized to flea saliva with most of the damage being a result of self trauma. These dogs become very itchy and scratch and chew like crazy. Animals with flea allergic dermatitis only require small numbers of fleas to show signs where as animals that are not sensitized can carry large numbers of fleas with little evidence of irritation.

Although fleas are one of the most common causes of dermatitis in cats and dogs they only spend about 5% of the life cycle on the animal. Eggs are laid on the host, falling off into the environment where they hatch no larvae. The larvae instinctively move towards the dark, sheltered areas where they undergo a moult, changing to immature adults.

Once the moult is complete these pre-emergent adults move back towards light and warmth where they remain waiting for a passing animal. They can survive in the environment in this state for long periods of time. When stimulated by vibration, heat and carbon dioxide from a passing body they emerge in less than one second leaping on to their new host. As a result, when tackling a flea problem w must become focused on controlling eggs in the environment as well as killing individual fleas on the animal.

There are many good topical preparations that can be used to kill fleas on a animal. These include products such as protectors, frontline, advantage and revolution.

Controlling eggs in the environment can be more difficult. There are also a few growth inhibitors that can be purchased as misters or bombs that can be used to treat your whole house.

If you have animals that have a severe allergy to fleas then it can be treated with corticosteroid to control the scratching to allow time for the flea elimination program to take effect. Corticosteroids can have plenty of side effects so it is not good to keep animal on the corticosteroids indefinitely. Putting a bit of time and effort into eliminating the fleas can save your dog a lot of discomfort without using potentially harmful drugs.

Maltese Dogs

Breed standard for adult dogs.

As defined by the American Kennel Club, this is the breed standard for Maltese.

Head: Of medium length and in proportion to the size of the dog. The skull is slightly rounded on top, the stop moderate. The drop ears are rather low set and heavily feathered with long hair that hangs close to the head. Eyes are set not too far apart; they are very dark and round, their black rims enhancing the gentle yet alert expression. The muzzle is of medium length, fine and tapered but not snipy. The nose is black. The teeth meet in an even edge-to-edge bite, or in a scissor bite.