Last Updated on November 22, 2021 by Dogs Vets
Top Reasons Why Your Australian Shepherd is Shedding so Much and What You Can Do
Australian Shepherds are popular dog breeds often seen in the show ring and working on farms.
These are among the most common breeds found at rescue shelters across America because many pet lovers buy them without realizing how much work they require.
However, those who decide to keep an Aussie quickly fall in love with the breed, and their dogs become treasured family members.
Aussies are not the easiest pets to take care of. Their coats require regular grooming, they need plenty of physical exercises and mental stimulation, but this article is about something much more troubling – Australian Shepherd shedding.
Why Do Dogs Shed So Much?
According to AKC, Australian Shepherd is very popular in the US. It is known to be the 18th most popular breed in the country.
Just like other animals that molt, dogs’ shedding can vary throughout the year. Seasonal changes are one of the significant factors that affect how much Aussies shed.
For example, your Aussie may start to lose their winter coat during the spring and summer months.
On average, dogs drop about 40–80 percent of their undercoat in preparation for summertime shedding.
Next, you may notice your Aussie thicken their winter coat for added protection against cold air and temperatures.
As fall approaches, your dog will likely shed the heavy undercoat first before growing a new one for the colder months ahead.
How Do You Identify Hair Loss? ( Ectoparasites, Allergies, Skin Disease, Cushing’s Disease )
Aussies are usually very healthy dogs, but they can become sick too. Although common in older dogs, over 50 percent of Australian Shepherds are diagnosed with at least one hereditary disease by eight years old.
Common hereditary problems include hip dysplasia, eye diseases such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, or allergies.
Environmental problems can also trigger shedding in Aussies since their skin is sensitive to changes in the weather, and they may develop irritation, dryness, or itchiness.
If you notice your furry friend scratching their skin often or losing large patches of hair, you should immediately take it to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.
If your Aussie has an ectoparasite, such as fleas, mites, ticks, lice, biting gnats, and others, these parasites will damage their skin by sucking blood and lymphatic fluid from it. The result? Hair loss!
Is Your Australian Shepherd Suffering from Demodectic Mange?
Demodectic mange is a disease caused by Demodex mites, the same pests that cause sarcoptic mange in humans.
These microscopic ectoparasites are found on most dogs but only trigger skin conditions when they reproduce excessively.
Not all Mange cases are created equal. While most demodicosis cases require professional treatment, some do not.
However, when left untreated, this condition can become life-threatening if your dog’s immune system becomes weak due to stress or illness.
Besides causing Australian Shepherd shedding and additional skin conditions, these parasites can also lead to bacterial infections because infected lesions leave open wounds for germs to enter quickly.
Canine Alopecia Areata in Aussies
A common skin condition in Aussies, alopecia areata, is a non-contagious autoimmune disease that typically triggers hair loss.
This condition has been known to affect many breeds, including German shepherds, poodles, and bull terriers.
In dogs with alopecia areata, hair follicles become damaged, stopping new hairs from growing.
Since the hair loss only affects specific areas of your dog’s body, bald spots will appear all over their skin, but it usually starts at the face, neck, and shoulders.
Generally speaking, females tend to lose hair around their vaginal area before males do.
Alopecia areata is a frustrating condition for dog owners, but the good news is that most cases resolve on their own within six months to a year without treatment.
How Do You Make Your Aussie More Comfortable?
Keep your Australian Shepherd as healthy as possible by providing proper nutrition, exercise, and grooming.
In addition to maintaining a well-balanced diet, you should always watch for allergies and skin diseases symptoms.
If you think your dog needs topical medications or medicated shampoos, kindly ask your veterinarian for advice before using anything on them.
Which Home Remedies You Can Try for Your Pet?
Your safest bet is to speak with your veterinarian about specific products and solutions for your Aussie.
If your dog needs topical medications, you can always ask for an ear cleaning solution with benzoyl peroxide to reduce itching and swelling.
Bathing a shedding Aussie will only exacerbate the problem because this breed produces a lot of oil from its skin and coat glands.
Cleaning your pet once a month is ideal, but if they have just finished losing their extra winter fur, then you may need to bathe them every two weeks or so.
To ensure you are using the right kind of shampoo, kindly refer to our article on the best shampoo for Australian Shepherds.
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