Your Pet Question:
My dog has chewed a bare spot on his hind quarters. It’s pink, but no skin is broken. I see no sign of fleas, so I assume it is a ‘hot spot’. I have noticed he only gets these when we are indoors a lot and the heat is on. Could it be the dry heat? Or is there something else causing this?
Kim Tanner, BC
The Expert Says:
This area of hair loss on your dog sounds like the result of allergic dermatitis which can make your dog quite itchy thus causing him to chew himself excessively. The hind quarters, feet, face, and groin are common sites targeted by the dog when he is itchy because they are easiest to reach. Common allergens pets encounter in the winter months are dusts, moulds, food ingredients (specific proteins and/or carbohydrates) and believe or not, fleas! The low humidity of your home during the winter also exacerbates itchiness. Other less common causes of hair loss may be mange or hormonal disorders. An examination of your dog by a veterinarian should help determine the cause of this problem. After diagnosis, your veterinarian will be able to offer treatment options to alleviate and manage the problem which should enable the hair to grow back.
Dr. Doug Roberts practices veterinary medicine at Cornwallis Veterinarians Ltd. in Kentville, NS.