Why Your Pet Sheds
Although the little black dress is the perfect outfit for a night out in the city, it is not always the best attire for lounging in your house if you have furry friends running around. Shedding is not typically looked at as the most favorable part of being a pet owner. It is, however, a natural and normal part of owning an animal. Our veterinary hospital has had our fair share of “excessive” shedding complaints, and we hope to help satisfy some of our clients with this article by highlighting some key points in animal shedding.
We would like to bring to light to the fact that shedding is a normal biological part of dogs and cats. Dogs have approximately 15,000 hairs per square inch while cats have anywhere between 60,000 to 120,000 hairs per square inch which explains why dogs and cats can shed such large amounts without attaining a bald spot. Regular brushing will allow you to capture this natural hair loss, and keep it off your furniture and carpet!
Shedding usually is dictated by two external factors, which are the changes in the length of day and external temperature. When seasons change in your regional area, your animal’s hormones change as well. As East Coast residents, we can witness these temperature changes on a larger scale. The frigid, cold temperature of the winter season causes your pet’s hormones to grow a thicker coat, while in the spring and summer months, your animal’s fur will start to fall from its skin. However, due to the fact that most pets live indoors, with a relatively consistent temperature, this results in a constant cycle of shedding.
When To Be Concerned?
As a pet owner, you know your animal’s physical normality better than we do. Anytime you notice an abnormality, in this case, “excessive” shedding in your pet, please contact us today so we can perform a complete physical examination.
The medical conditions that are often associated with thinning fur (alopecia), are usually grouped into four categories: Hormonal, infectious, autoimmune and other.
1. Hormonal Abnormalities that cause excessive shedding are hyperadrenocorticism, alopecia X, and hypothyroidism.
2. Infectious diseases that are responsible for alopecia in pets are sarcoptic mange, bacterial folliculitis, and demodicosis
3. Alopecia areata, sebaceous adenitis, and vasculitis are all autoimmune deficiencies found in pets
4. “Other”, usually includes follicular dysplasia, cutaneous neoplasia, and seasonal flank alopecia.
If you are concerned with the amount of hair your pet is shedding, and believe it is out of the norm, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a Physical Examination. Properly having your furry loved one diagnosed for his condition can allow for you to have a clear and relieved mind.