Hair loss, when it is not caused by a parasitic condition, trauma or infection, may result from one of several metabolic disorders. Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism are two of the most common.
In Cushing’s syndrome, the adrenal glands secrete an excessive amount of cortisol, a hormone. These Chihuahuas begin to lose hair on the flank and neck, and may eventually lose hair on the back and sides of the body as well. The skin itself may become thin, scaly and dry, and may darken in places. Other signs include enlargement of the belly. Typical dogs with Cushing’s syndrome will want to drink, eat and urinate more frequently than normal. A complex disorder, this syndrome is usually treatable.
Hypothyroidism occurs when an inadequate amount of thyroid hormone is released to the body. Chihuahuas with this disease seem to gain weight easily, appear sluggish, and seek out warm spots even during the summer months. Hair changes are most noticeable, and include loss of hair from the flanks and back, increased pigmentation of the skin, scaling and seborrhea. Because the ears are also commonly affected, you’ll often see and smell a thick, greasy, yellowish material inside the canals. Hypothyroidism/ once confirmed through a simple blood test, is easily controlled with thyroid hormone supplementation.
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