It’s never easy to watch our dogs get older.
Watching them lose a little bit of energy and a little bit of that “lust for life” as they get older and older is always difficult. We like to remember our furry little family members as the energetic puppies they were when we first got them.
Unfortunately,the inevitable slowdown for our older dogs isn’t the only sign that they are getting a bit up there in age.
Sometimes their physical features change, too – especially when it comes to hair loss.
Even worse news, though, is that sometimes a dog losing hair around their eyes isn’t always a sign of the natural aging process.
Sometimes it means something a lot worse – a sign or symptom of more dangerous (and potentially life-threatening) health issues that you need to get out in front of ASAP.
Below we breakdown some of the conditions that can cause dog hair loss, shining a light on the subject so that you know how to best move forward from here.
Why Is My Dog Losing Hair Around Its Eyes?
For starters, the overwhelming majority of dogs that you are going to come in contact with (including the ones you own) are going to deal with hair loss around their eyes and their face as they get older.
Some dog hair loss is expected as our dogs move from puppyhood into adulthood and later on in their senior years. That’s just the nature of life in the cycle that they go through.
At the same time, though, hair loss around the eyes specifically can also be a very real sign and symptom of a skin problem or skin infection – or something else even worse – that needs to be addressed just as soon as possible.
This is why it is so important that you keep your eyes on your dog and really try to spot when they start to lose hair.
You’ll want to know what else is going on in their lives that may be contributing to these hair loss issues, especially since most serious hair loss around the eye problems are linked to other signs and symptoms that something’s wrong “under the hood” of your animal.
What Triggers Hair Loss Around Dogs Eyes?
In this section we are going to break down some of the most common reasons your dog is losing hair, including the reasons that are pretty common and not at all life-threatening as well as some that definitely deserve a call (if not a visit) to your vet.
Let’s get right into it.
Dirt and Debris
Dogs love to play in the dirt, they love to play in the mud, and they get all kinds of things stuck in their hair and stuck on their body that we wouldn’t want anywhere close to our skin.
That’s just the way that dogs are.
Most of the time, anything that gets stuck near a dog’s eyes or attached to a dog’s skin is going to be sloughed off pretty quickly. Usually they shake it off themselves when it becomes a little bit annoying, but it’s always rubbed or scrubbed off in a couple of days – if not even faster than that.
Dirt and debris that is allowed to stick around the eye of your dog for extended amount of time, however, will always cause some problems.
These foreign substances are going to either take one of the more sensitive parts of your dog’s skin. That’s going to cause a lot of irritation, and the excess irritation will (inevitably) cause some of the hair around the eyes of your dog to fall out.
All you really have to do to stop your dog from losing hair around this area when it’s caused by dirt and debris is to give them a quick bath!
Demodex mange (sometimes called Demodex canis) is another common reason that dogs our losing hair around their face and their eyes, and it’s something that even otherwise healthy dogs can be afflicted with if you aren’t careful.
Demodex mange is most often caused by tiny little colonies of mites – skin mites -gathering up with one another on an area of your dog (generally around the eyes) and essentially feeding on your dog’s body.
These parasites love to eat dogs hair and skin, causing all kinds of itchiness and irritation that your dog is inevitably going to want to fight back against.
Every time a mite bites down on your dog it’s going to drive them crazy. And every time they get a little nuts they are going to want to rub, scratch, and tear at the area infested with these parasites – and that’s generally going to rip hair right out of their skin.
It’s important that you get out in front of this issue just as soon as humanly possible.
Mites (when left unchecked) can cause a lot of damage, especially if they are able to spread along the hair follicles on your dog – jumping from the eyes to their nose and the mouth of your animal.
A total takeover can happen when pet owner’s are really irresponsible, causing tremendous damage to their pet along the way.
Even worse news is that mange from these mites can be transmitted from dog to dog, making your furry little family member a carrier. That’s big trouble!
Insecticides and other medications from your vet cannot only stop the cause of this hair loss, but can also guarantee that these kinds of infestations and infection issues don’t flare up again later down the line.
Pink eye is one of those infection issues that everyone can pretty much spot from a mile away, a fungal infection that you’re going to recognize instantly because you’ve probably seen it in other dogs for people at least a handful of times in your life.
This kind of information can be caused by a couple of different root cause triggers, including:
Luckily, no matter the cause of pinkeye with your pets the problem can be treated pretty quickly – especially if you schedule a call with your veterinarian.
Bacterial pinkeye infections are usually combated with antibiotics, antibiotics prescribed by a quality veterinarian that recognizes the issue at hand and helps you attack it head on.
Allergic and viral conjunctivitis issues can be a little bit more difficult to get a handle on (if only because of the novelty of each condition), but they too can be brought under control with the help of your vet.
It’s one thing to watch as your dog suffers from hair loss issues that make them look a little silly as they get older, but it is something else altogether to watch your dog not only deal with here loss problems around the eyes but also watch them deal with a lot of pain and discomfort, too.
Some hair loss around eyes issues are going to be caused by something called a atopic dermatitis.
This condition is super uncomfortable, similar to the kind of dermatitis that humans get, and is generally going to include symptoms that include extreme hair loss around the eyes in dogs.
Other symptoms include flaky skin, extreme itchiness, rubbing, redness, and other problems as well.
Most of the time, this cause for hair loss around the eyes is triggered by an allergic reaction or by dog food and flee reactions.
It’s important that you diagnose things correctly ASAP (especially if you are dealing with a baby food allergy that might not just be causing hair loss, but other serious health issues).
The best way to overcome wet food allergy problems that are making dog losing hair around their eyes is to go with elimination diets. You slowly take things away from their diet to see what causes the reaction to disappear, making notes to find the root causes and confirming that you never feed them that kind of canned food again!
Flea issues usually require a bath to get rid of!
Ringworm problems can present themselves in a couple of different ways, not the least of which is causing hair loss around eyes, nose, and mouth areas of your pets.
Not only will ringworm be one of the causes of hair loss that your dog has to fight through, but it will also usually cause redness, skin lesions, and extreme itchiness to spread throughout the body of your animal as well.
The really nasty thing about ringworm is that it’s also contagious for human beings.
All you have to do is pet your dog’s hair on a regular basis (something every pet owner does all the time) and the ringworm fungal infection can jump from the dog to you before you even know what’s going on.
In those circumstances isn’t just going to be the male dog that’s suffering!
Ringworm is best treated with topical therapy solutions and other pain medication that get right down to the underlying cause and make sure that the infection is destroyed completely.
Is This a Treatable Problem?
In the overwhelming majority of situations, hair loss with your dog is definitely going to be a treatable problem – even if it is pretty localized to the area around eyes for the most part.
Sure, you need to properly diagnose the conditions and causes that are triggering your dog’s to lose hair in the surrounding area.
But all pet owners have to do is pick up the phone and contact their veterinarian to tell them about the symptoms they are observing to get that diagnosis taking care of. Most quality vets are going to be able to diagnose a skin condition your dog may be dealing with just from you telling them a couple of the symptoms of the infectionsover the phone!