Do bald spots on dogs grow back?

Symptoms of Alopecia

Some dogs will lose a patch of hair that may grow back, or not. Others will have gradual hair loss that spreads to other parts of the coat. Some pets will display more symptoms due to the nature of their disorder, such as itching, scabbing, scaly skin, and inflammation.


In the spring, a few dog owners bring their dogs into our Carmel veterinary clinic with sideburns that are beginning to bald. The bald spots usually occur on both sides symmetrically. These dogs don’t seem bothered by the hair loss, and they don’t itch, scratch, or bite the skin around the affected area. They just look a little silly. The bald spot starts small and often becomes quite large. Many dogs even get dark skin pigmentation where their hair is thinning. Given that this disease is seasonal and more prevalent in northern states, evidence points to the role of sunlight exposure in its development.

Despite the fact that there are numerous reasons why some dogs experience symmetrical hair loss, some short-coated breeds, including Boxers, Bulldogs, Schnauzers, and Airedale Terriers, are more susceptible to a genetic condition known as seasonal flank alopecia. (Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss). This condition, which is also known as cyclical flank alopecia, will frequently spontaneously clear up on its own as the days grow longer and your dog is exposed to longer periods of light. As the seasons change, the majority of dogs experiencing seasonal hair loss will gradually experience 3-6 months of hair growth.

Your dog is completely unaware of the disease because it is only cosmetic. Dogs are not self-centered like humans, so it is acceptable to do nothing and wait for the seasons to change. However, if you want your dog’s hair to grow back as quickly as possible, take these two measures:

1. To increase the amount of time the skin is exposed to sunlight, let your dog sunbathe.

The hair regrowth is not always predictable. A year later, it may take a long time with only partial hair growth, while other times it will regrow completely very quickly. Lifelong and incurable, this condition can only be managed, never cured.

Remember, there are many causes of hair loss in dogs. Therefore, if your dog is balding, contact your Carmel veterinary clinic to make sure that nothing more serious is going on. Click on the following link to Carmel Veterinary Hospital to learn more about our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts program.

Question for the Vet:

My 18-month-old female Pomeranian was taken to the vet three years ago after a dime-sized scab peeled off her shoulder area. The veterinarian described it as a “hot” spot, but not only has the hair never grown back there, but the spot has grown larger. I can make out tiny red spots encircling the area without hair. Any ideas or treatment options would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Bald Spots in Dogs: Common Causes and Treatments

There are lots of reasons dogs may lose hair (also called alopecia), from infection to irritation caused by parasites. A few of the more common reasons include:


Allergies are a frequent trigger for hair loss in dogs. Like people, dogs can have an allergic reaction to foods, environmental triggers such as pollen, or to parasites like fleas or mites.

Flea bites are behind most dog allergies, however. Along with hair loss from licking and biting the irritated areas, signs of flea allergies include itching and redness. For a particularly allergic dog, it may take as little as one flea bite to start an allergic reaction that lingers for days.

While allergies can affect any dog, some breeds are more susceptible than others. A change in diet, allergy shots, topical or internal medication, avoiding the allergen, and changing your dog’s diet can all be used to treat allergies in dogs.

Hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushings disease, a condition brought on by the hormone cortisol being produced in excess, may also be the cause of hair loss in dogs. Treatment options for Cushing’s disease, also known as Cushing’s syndrome, include medication and occasionally surgery. Â.

In dogs 6 years of age or older, Cushings disease is more prevalent. Other indicators of Cushing’s disease include panting, increased urination, increased calorie consumption, and a pot-bellied appearance. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the veterinarian.


Chinese crested and Mexican hairless dogs are two examples of “hairless” dogs, but some dogs are more prone to baldness than others. Greyhounds, whippets, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Italian greyhounds may develop bald spots on their outer ears, chests, bellies, thighs, or lower neck, usually after their first year.

Due to the lack of effective treatments, the majority of owners learn to cope. Be sure your veterinarian has ruled out any other potential causes of hair loss.

Infection or Infestation (Ringworm, Mites, Bacteria)

Ringworm fungus, pests like mange mites, and bacteria can all lead to infections that may ultimately cause bald spots on your dog.

Along with hair loss around the ears, eyes, mouth, and elsewhere, signs your dog may have mites include oily skin, thickened skin, itching, and inflammation. Symptoms of ringworm — a contagious infection of haired skin and claws — includes circular or irregular hair loss, inflammation, and infected crusts.

Small ringworm lesions may go away on their own, but it is contagious and needs to be treated. Ringworm is treated with topical antifungal medications. In severe cases, oral antifungal medications may be necessary. Antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections, topical or oral medications, and other treatments for mites may be necessary.

Pressure Sores

Where their elbows or other bony body parts are frequently in contact with hard surfaces, older or heavier dogs may be more prone to pressure sores. The constant pressure tends to thicken the skin over time, cause hair to fall out, and cause calluses to develop.

If calluses crack, bleed, or get infected, treatment may include moisturizers, antibiotics, or use of bracing. You can prevent pressure sores and calluses by providing your pooch with cushioned bedding.

Some dogs may develop a rash or hives as a result of insect bites and stings, medications, plants, chemicals, even shampoos. This can lead to bald spots.

Allergic rashes usually appear within minutes to hours of exposure, and other symptoms can include listlessness, fever, lack of appetite, and vomiting. Always talk to your vet immediately if your dog develops hives as emergency treatment may be needed.

Symptoms of Baldness and Hormone-Related Skin Disorders in Dogs

Your dog’s fur and skin could most definitely be impacted by an underlying disease process. Your pet may exhibit symptoms of illness that are directly connected to the primary illness, such as increased thirst, frequent urination, decreased energy, weakness, or loss of appetite, in addition to the signs of baldness and skin irritation.

  • Loss of hair coat in a specific area of the body, or all over
  • Thinning of hair which may result in the look and feel of a puppy coat
  • Dull coat or a coat that appears to be lightening in color
  • Thin skin
  • Oily skin
  • Dry skin which can lose it’s stretch and pliability
  • Scaling, such as on the ear edges
  • Dandruff, dry or oily
  • Hardening of the epidermis
  • Scratching
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Obvious calcium deposits
  • Recurring skin irritation
  • Types

    There are many hormone related skin and baldness disorders. They can be age, sex and breed predisposed.

  • Hypothyroidism may often result in a secondary bacterial infection of the skin in addition to the hair loss and thickened skin
  • Hyperadrenocorticism can cause the hair to fall out and bring about an oily dandruff
  • Sex-hormone dermatosis may bring changes such as darkening of the skin
  • Growth hormone-responsive dermatosis can change the elasticity of the skin
  • Castration-responsive alopecia can result in the arrest of hair growth after a shed
  • Your veterinarian can discuss a wide range of other syndromes with you, including hypopituitarism, idiopathic cyclic flank syndrome, and hormone-producing tumors, to name just a few.


    How long does it take for bald spots to grow back on dogs?

    After ruling out any additional potential causes for your dog’s hair loss, your veterinarian can assist you in determining the proper dosage. Melatonin typically will lead to hair regrowth within 2-3 months.

    How do you treat a bald spot on a dog?

    Topical Treatments for Dog Hair Loss Medicated dog shampoos may be able to reduce some hair loss or revive your dog’s coat. For topical hair loss treatment, there are also sprays, ointments, and dips. This may be an effective method of treatment, depending on what is causing your pet’s bald spots.

    Why is my dog balding in one spot?

    Allergies, Cushing’s disease, pressure sores, genetics, infection or infestation, and are among the five most typical causes of bald spots in dogs.

    Do dogs recover from balding?

    Fortunately, alopecia in dogs is often treatable and rarely permanent. Numerous conditions, such as fleas, skin allergies, and hormonal issues, can contribute to it. If your dog starts losing fur, it’s crucial to take them to the vet, especially since in some circumstances it can be excruciatingly painful.