Does your Boston keep losing its hair, and you can’t seem to figure out the cause?
If you are wondering why your Boston is missing hair and what to do if you notice hair loss, this article will discuss six possible causes of hair loss.
Also, this piece will give you home remedies for Boston hair loss.
6 Reasons Your Boston Terrier Is Losing Hair
Hair loss, also known as alopecia, is an extremely common condition seen in Boston Terriers.
Hair loss can become especially concerning when it is associated with itchiness, odor, and skin rashes.
There are many potential causes for canine hair loss ranging from normal seasonal shedding to an underlying medical condition.
Let’s get into six reasons your Boston can be experiencing hair loss…
The simplest explanation for hair loss is shedding. If your Boston doesn’t appear to be itchy, and there are no visible bald spots, the hair loss may be due to normal shedding.
Bostons will normally shed their coats seasonally, and sometimes, they may even shed year-round. This shedding is part of the normal hair cycle and is typically nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately, because shedding is normal for dogs, there are not many options to reduce shedding aside from regular brushing and bathing your pet.
If your Boston seems to be shedding more than usual, or other symptoms accompany the shedding. Symptoms such as baldness, itching, or skin rashes, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
If your Boston Terrier has been shedding more frequently than usual, one possible culprit is stress. Stress from moving or a change in schedule can cause excessive shedding.
To improve excessive shedding from stress, you must identify what is causing your Boston to be stressed then address the underlying cause of the stress.
You can also try natural products like Adaptil pheromone collars to help reduce stress.
One of the most common causes of hair loss in Boston Terriers due to a medical problem is allergies.
Typically, when a dog has allergies, they will be very itchy, and excessive scratching can lead to hair loss.
There are three main types of allergies in dogs:
- Flea Allergy
- Food Allergy
- Environmental Allergy
If your Boston Terrier is itchy and is losing its hair, you should first rule out fleas. Fleas are extremely common.
A single flea can potentially cause an allergic reaction resulting in itching and hair loss. Therefore, even if you don’t see a lot of fleas, it is important to treat for fleas just in case.
If your pet is not currently on flea medication, you should consider starting your Boston Terrier on flea medication. My favorite over-the-counter flea products include Seresto Collars and K9 Advantix II.
Another common cause of hair loss and itching is a food allergy. This is particularly important to consider if you have recently fed your Boston a new treat or switched their food.
Contrary to popular belief, corn and wheat allergies in dogs are very rare. The most common allergens in dog food are actually protein-based. Poultry, beef, and dairy seem to be the most common sources of food allergies.
If you believe your pet may have a food allergy, it is important to consult with a veterinarian.
Your veterinarian will prescribe a special hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet for 8-12 weeks to rule out the possibility of a food allergy as the cause of the itching and hair loss.
If you have ruled out fleas and food as the possible culprits for the hair loss and itching, your Boston may have environmental allergies.
Environmental allergies, also known as canine atopic dermatitis, are caused by inflammatory reactions to pollen, dust mites, or mold.
This allergic response will cause your Boston to feel very itchy and experience hair loss.
Signs your Boston may have environmental allergies:
- Hair loss
- Itching that is worse during allergy season
- Licking and chewing of the paws
- Skin redness
- Recurrent ear infections
- Recurrent skin infections
The veterinary medical industry has developed safe, long-term treatments for environmental allergies. Your veterinarian can help you decide which medication would be best for your Boston.
My favorite allergy medications for Boston Terriers are Cytopoint injections and Apoquel.
Special Note On Grass Allergy
If your Boston licks or chews their paws excessively, they may be allergic to grass.
One preventative measure is to wipe the paws off with a damp towel when they enter from outside, which can help reduce the number of allergens on their paws.
4. Infectious Organisms
There are four things you should look out for when it comes to infectious organisms.
Bacterial skin infections can cause areas of hair loss on your Boston Terrier. Often, a bacterial skin infection will first appear as small red bumps or pimples.
As it progresses, the bumps turn to scabs and crusty areas.
Bacterial skin infections almost always need to be treated with oral antibiotics. If you suspect your Boston has a skin infection, you should contact a veterinarian.
Like bacterial infections, yeast skin infections also usually appear crusty. Often, dogs with yeast infections will have a foul odor to their skin.
Yeast infections need to be treated by a veterinarian typically with a topical medicated shampoo and oral antifungal medication.
Various external parasites can cause hair loss in your Boston.
Scabies mites can cause hair loss and extreme itchiness.
Demodex mites, also known as mange mites, can cause hair loss with or without itching.
Your veterinarian will do a special procedure called a skin scrape to rule out mites.
Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that can cause hair loss. Ringworm is highly infectious and can be easily passed between dogs and can sometimes even be passed to people.
Ringworm usually appears as a small round area of hair loss. Your veterinarian will take a fungal culture from your Boston if they suspect ringworm.
5. Contact Reactions
Occasionally pets can lose hair due to contact with something irritating. If you notice something is irritating your Boston’s skin, discontinue use and consult with a vet.
Here are a few causes of contact reactions in Bostons:
- Certain shampoos or soaps
- Unsafe over-the-counter flea medications
- Toxic chemicals
6. Metabolic Conditions
Metabolic conditions can also cause hair loss. If you notice bald spots or hair thinning, this could signify that your Boston has an underlying metabolic disorder.
Hypothyroidism can cause baldness on the tail giving your Boston Terrier a rat tail appearance.
If you notice that your dog is gaining excessive weight and seems to be very sleepy, this could be a sign of hypothyroidism.
Veterinarians can diagnose hypothyroidism by checking a blood test called a total T4. The treatment for low thyroid is administering thyroid pills.
Cushing’s disease results in an overproduction of a hormone called cortisol. High cortisol levels can lead to hair loss. If your Boston has Cushing’s disease, they will likely also drink and urinate excessively.
Cushing’s disease can be diagnosed by a blood test and treated with oral medications.
At-Home Treatments For Your Boston Terriers Hair Loss
If you notice that your Boston has had hair loss, it might be a good idea to speak with a veterinarian.
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In the meantime, here are a few easy things you can try at home.
As described above, fleas are one of the most common causes of hair loss. Ensure your Boston is on a high quality veterinary recommended flea preventative.
Groom Your Boston
Make sure you are regularly bathing with a gentle shampoo. If you brush regularly, this can help decrease the amount of shedding and fur around your house.
Give Fatty Acids
Fatty acids can improve certain skin conditions. Giving daily fatty acids to your Boston can help the coat look more healthy and shiny.
Here are a few fatty acids supplements to consider trying:
As you can see, there are many common causes of hair loss in Boston Terriers.
To definitively diagnose the cause of hair loss, consult with a veterinarian.
This is especially important if the hair loss seems excessive or is associated with other symptoms such as itchy skin or rashes.