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Fur Issues

Beagle Fur Issues

Overview

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.

Conditions that Cause Fur Loss

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, particularly to an external element, but also seen with food  allergies. Cheap shampoo, home cleaning products, even a rug cleaner are possible culprits in causing this sort of reaction. In regard to food a Beagle eats, it is most often chemical additives that cause reactions. 

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.
At home treatment for this includes:

1) An anti-itch allergy shampoo. A quality product like Moosh Anti-Itch, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal shampoo offers relief in several ways. It works on both itchy skin and hot spots with bentonite clay, aloe vera and shea butter to give soothing relief. In addition, it moisturizes and restores skin and coat via neem and argan oil. 
2) Hot spot treatment spray.  While steps are being taken to pinpoint allergies, a dog needs fast relief. Using a hot spot spritz like Bodhi Dog's All Natural's Soothing Hot Spot Spray can provide immediate relief. 
Dermatomyositis

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%. 

Hypothyroidism

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. 

Severe Coat Loss - Alopecia and Unknown Causes

This condition can be baffling. Some cases spontaneously appear and resolve just as quickly. But, with other dogs, there can be chronic, ongoing problems of severe hair loss and balding areas.

It is thought that some forms of Alopecia are related to an imbalance of hormones. For this reason, sometimes having a dog spayed or neutered can help. 

In cases like this, if an owner is committed to restoring the coat, it can be accomplished in many instances . Do note that each coat will react differently, some with minimal restoration and some with a full and complete coat regrowth.

Also, it is important that your vet first rules out treatable health issues before you assume that it is an unknown cause; because, if your Beagle does have a medical condition, this sort of restorative treatment will only be temporary. 

At Home Treatment for Thinning and/or Balding Coats

If your Beagle has been thoroughly tested and the cause is known, the following may restore the coat:

Melatonin - This is considered safe for dogs, though do run this by your vet first since it may cause some sleepiness. This plays a role in helping the coat to grow back. Dosing is 1 mg per day for puppies, 2 mg per day for adults. Do be sure to obtain a quality brand like Spring Valley Melatonin 1 mg tablets that have no fillers such as rice or corn starch. 
Omega 3,6,9 supplement - Omegas are an effective supplement to restore both skin and coat. This can be added to each meal. We recommended a liquid Omega in an easy-to-dispense hand pump like Finest For Pets' Omega 3, 6 and 9 Fish Oil for Dogs that is pure, human grade omega with no additives or preservatives.
Restorative shampoos, conditioners and a rescue lotion - The DerMagic line of products can produce dramatic results. 

This includes the DerMagic Peppermint & Tea Tree Oil Shampoo and Conditioner which soothes skin and works to heal and restore the coat. 
And, importantly, the DerMagic Skin Rescue Lotion. This is massaged into the skin twice per day for the first week, then once per day until the coat has grown back. Results can be seen in about 3 weeks, and for some dogs, full regrowth in 2 to 3 months.
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