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Fur Issues

Beagle Fur


This section will discuss the various fur and coat problems that can affect a Beagle dog. These will be issues that cause:
  • Hair loss
  • Extreme shedding
  • Dry coat
  • Dry skin problems
While there are many health issues and environmental factors that can cause fur problems with a Beagle, most can be resolved once they are diagnosed.
Acantosis Nigricans

This is a medical condition in which there is abnormal darkening of the skin that you will see under the Beagle coat. The main form of the disease occurs in dogs less than one year of age. In the main form the skin darkens and thickens, and secondary infections with bacteria or yeast can occur. It can affect large areas of the Beagle’s body.

It is not currently possible to cure this, but the condition can be controlled with steroids, melatonin injections, and frequent anti-seborrheic shampoos (these counteract swollen oil glands). This condition is diagnosed with a skin biopsy.

The secondary form of the disease is much more common. The darkening of the skin on the dog happens because of 1 of 3 reasons:
  1. Friction caused by obesity
  2. Complications from Hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease.
  3. Allergies
Secondary acanthosis nigricans can also cause fur loss and itching. The treatment for secondary acanthosis nigricans usually consists of treating the underlying condition, through weight loss, thyroid medication or allergy relief. In extreme cases, steroid therapy at low doses helps to reduce inflammation.. Vitamin E supplementation can give relief. The majority of time the condition will improve once the underlying condition has been identified and properly treated.

Allergic Dermatitis

Fur loss is a common symptom when a dog has an allergy to an external element. Dog shampoo, conditioner, even the rug cleaner an owner may use is a possible culprit in causing this reaction to the Beagle. Not only will the dog suffer from heavy shedding that can result in some bald spots, there may be red blisters, sores or lesions on the skin as well. 

Fortunately, this can be quickly corrected once it is determined what is causing the Beagle's reaction. A veterinarian should perform patch testing to find the cause and then the owner must eliminate that element. In moderate to severe cases, antihistamines and/or steroids may be prescribed to help the Beagle recover.


This condition develops very quickly and just as surprisingly, can disappear very quickly. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. When this occurs, there will be patches of fur loss on the coat of the Beagle. Most of the time, unlike an allergic reaction, there will be no itching. This goes away on its own as the dog’s body develops enough antibodies to fend off its inside attacker . In just about all cases, the fur will completely grow back. 

Hot Spots

Raw and red irritated areas on the skin, along with thinning fur on the area can be the result of allergies, alopecia and more.   These spots can be quite itching and sore. While the issue is being diagnosed, use a quality rescue lotion that will moisturize and protect the skin and fur follicles without clogging the pore. For recommended products, look to 'Grooming' in the Beagle Specialty Shoppe


This is an infrequent disorder in which the fur loss happens due to a negative reaction to sunlight or UV rays. This condition can be confirmed with a small skin biopsy. Not only will the coat thin, the dog’s skin will be affected also. There may be scabs, sores, redness and irritation. A Beagle with this issue must be protected from the sun. He or she should be kept inside except for house training purposes. Prednisone may be given in short and small doses initially, followed by vitamin E. The recovery rate for dogs having this is currently 87%. 
Food and Flea Allergies

Beagle hair may be affected when the dog has an allergy to a food or has a flea allergy. Luckily, this can be quickly diagnosed and quickly fixed. An owner should always bring their dog to the veterinarian when any coat issues; however help with Beagle fur loss for these reasons will be mainly the responsibility of the owner.  For food issues, one must begin feeding the Beagle very bland diet of only chicken and rice or chicken and sweet potato. A bit of salt may be added but no other seasonings or ingredients. Every 2 to 3 weeks, a new food is introduced; thus allowing the owner to be able to determine which element is causing the reaction. 

Fleas allergies are actually a reaction to the flea's saliva and even once the flea issue is resolved, irritation may continue for up to 4 months for Beagles that are very sensitive and allergic to this.  If there is any amount of fleas on a dog, there will be fleas in the home.  Therefore, eradicating all fleas in the house, yard and on the dog will be needed.  Bathing your dog with oatmeal shampoos and applying rescue lotion to affected areas can help help up issues.
If your Beagle is having a severe reaction, he should be taken to the veterinarian as prescription antihistamines and/or steroids may need to be given. 

This condition happens to the Beagle when the thyroid becomes sluggish and produces a lesser amount of hormones. Before fur loss occurs, the coat may become very dry and hair may break off easily. You may notice this when patting or brushing your dog. The under active thyroid may also cause weight gain and weakness.

This can be diagnosed when the veterinarian runs thyroid tests. Treatment will be medication, often needed for the rest of the dog's life. Recovery is a slow yet steady process; in most cases the Beagle will make a complete recovery. 
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