Why Is My Dog Losing Hair Around Their Eyes? Should I Be Worried?

Hair loss is a pretty big deal for us humans, so it is an even bigger deal when your four-legged friend suffers from hair loss. This can be caused by a variety of things, such as a skin infection, an allergic reaction, a parasitical infection, or even stress.

Hair loss does not target a particular breed, this can happen to any dog at any age, and this can end up being a factor that leads your dog to suffer from permanent or partial hair loss.

Dog losing hair around eyes

Here, we will focus on hair loss around the eye area in particular and we can try and help you work out what is causing your dog’s hair loss. Alternatively we will offer some solutions to your dog suffering from hair loss.

If you are especially concerned about your dog and their hair loss, then we would advise that you contact your veterinarian and seek their advice in dealing with the situation.

Potential Causes of Hair Loss Around the Eyes

So, now we will go into the possible causes of hair loss in dogs – these are not guaranteed causes of hair loss in your dog, but this might help you to work out what exactly is causing hair loss in your dog.

Environmental Allergies That Cause Hair Loss

So, dogs are kind of similar to humans when it comes to allergies because dogs can actually suffer from environmental allergies like we can. Yeah, humans are cruel because we have managed to pass down these allergies to our domesticated dogs. 

There are lots of things that dogs can be allergic to, be it their food, or be it pollen, they could even be allergic to dust. Like humans every dog is different, and your dog will only show signs of allergies when it has been exposed to a certain environmental factor multiple times.

This is the same as humans – dogs cannot be allergic to something the first time that they are exposed to it. This is a gradual process.

Hair loss is a common symptom of an allergic reaction, along with frequent itching and red spots. The reason why your dog will suffer from hair loss is because these patches on its face will be really itchy.

So, hair loss is a result of your dog frequently itching its face – we do not mean with its paws, we mean repetitive scratching along a carpet or rug. 

So, there are lots of ways that you can resolve any allergy issues – some methods are straightforward and some are pretty complex. Of course, we would advise that you take your dog to see the veterinarian first of all just to give your dog a full check up before attempting any other methods.

But, if you suspect that your dog’s hair loss is due to allergies then there are some remedies that you can try. First of all, you really need to strengthen your pet’s immune system by supplementing your pet’s diet just to help fight against skin, seasonal and environmental allergic reactions.

In fact, you can buy supplements in liquid forms so this is something that can be mixed into your dog’s wet or dry food. It comes with guaranteed health benefits, and chances are the food will mask the taste of the supplement so your dog will not even notice that it is there.

Supplements formulated for dogs will especially strengthen your dog’s skin, your dog’s fur coat, your dog’s hips, joints and also its heart and immune system. 

Infections That Cause Hair Loss

So, if you and your dog regularly take walks outdoors, especially in the woods then you need to make sure that you thoroughly check your dog’s coat afterwards. This is to make sure that your dog has not picked up any kinds of parasitical infections.

This sounds pretty scary, and in some cases it really can be – especially because the potential insects that can cause these infections are by no means exotic. They are insects that can be encountered pretty regularly, such as mites, flies, worms and lice. 

Similar to the environmental allergy reaction, the common symptoms of your dog having a parasitical infection are hair loss, itchiness and also red rashes. When it comes to parasitical infections, hair loss can occur around the eyes, but this is not necessarily the case for all dogs.

The best solution to this is prevention in the first place. Like we said before, when you take your dog out in the wilderness you should make sure that you check its coat for any insects. Also, it is really important that you check hidden spots for parasites too, these include skin folds, armpits and also ears.

If you can’t find any on your dog, but you are worried about them showing symptoms then be sure to check their bedding as well as their favorite spots for lazing around in the house.

Here’s the thing, if you genuinely suspect that the main culprit behind your dog’s hair loss around the eyes are parasites then you should make sure that you keep your dog nice and clean.

We would definitely recommend showering your dog and using dog-friendly shampoo, just to make sure that all excess dirt and dust is completely out of your dog’s fur. This works especially well if you think your dog could be suffering from mites or lice, and also, shampooing your dog’s fur helps with the healing process too.

Bacterial or Fungal Infections That Cause Hair Loss

So, we have divulged pretty thoroughly into parasitical infections, but we should not neglect bacterial or fungal infections that cause hair loss too. In human terms, this can be likened to athlete’s foot, which is a skin infection in your foot that is caused by a fungal growth. 

The thing is, if you leave any kind of scars or wounds on your dog untreated then this could lead to problems in the future. These problems are bacteria setting in, which can then lead to worsened conditions and can also result in possible hair loss too.

So, if you think that there is some sort of fungal growth happening on your dog’s skin, then this is because that skin spot would have been permanently wet and did not have any kind of access to sunlight.

This is particularly common in skinfolds that overlap each other. The skin within these folds cannot get exposed to sunlight and fresh air so easily.

A fungal infection that results in hair loss around the eyes in dogs is ringworm. So, even though this is a skin disease that features ‘worm’ in it, this does not mean that worms are actually involved.

Spoiler – there are no actual worms involved in this fungal infection. We would say that ringworm was given its name due to the fact that the fungal infection works to cause hairless rings around your dog’s eyes, and these rings can grow larger.

When it comes to any kind of resolution for bacterial infections or fungal infections, then you might actually have the medical products that you need all at home. Here’s the thing, medical treatments that require the usage of antiseptics and antibiotics are usually opted for when you are treating bacterial infections in dogs.

However, it is important to note that you should supervise your dog and make sure that they do not actually lick up this sort of medication once you have given it to them.

When it comes to fungal infections, then there are medical products that can work to take care of this skin condition for you. If you are keen to purchase any kind of antifungal product for your dog, then there are a variety of forms that you can purchase this as.

For instance, you can purchase antifungal sprays or antifungal shampoos, this may be a trial or error type of process just so that you can work out what your dog likes better.

Although, you should be able to work out what would suit your dog better just because you know their temperament and how they react to different sensations. So, you are basically asking yourself whether you think your dog would prefer to be sprayed or shampooed. 

Intrusion of Foreign Objects That Cause Hair Loss

It is a given that there is nothing that dogs enjoy more than playing outdoors. They also love playing with toys, these are substitutes for them playing with things that we would consider to be gross and dirty.

Yeah, there is nothing that dogs love more than playing in dirt, mud and grass – they get pretty excited when they are exposed to the outdoor elements.

However, the outside is all fun and games until something annoyingly finds its way into your dog’s eyes. We know as humans that there is nothing worse than when something gets in your eye. 

For dogs, it is even trickier to try and get dirt or dust out of their eyes. They can just roll around frantically and try and scratch their face so that the foreign object eventually gets out of its eye. You might even notice that your dog’s eyes will water just to get rid of the intrusion of foreign objects.

Here’s the thing, in this scenario then the best possible thing that can happen is that the foreign object will dislodge on its own. Sometimes life really shows you that miracles do exist.

Alternatively, dust or dirt can get pretty lodged in your dog’s eye which will cause your dog a fair amount of irritation and in some cases it could even cause your dog pain. 

So, if you are watching all of these symptoms unfold then there is a pretty strong chance that your dog does have something stuck in its eye. The best thing that you can do to help your dog with this pretty annoying and unasked for intrusion, then you should try and calm your dog and check their eye for any visible dust.

If this is something that you can clearly see, then you should be able to help your dog to dislodge it. If your dog is in pain or is uncomfortable then they will be pretty happy to accept your help, even if your dog is not a particular fan of you being super close to their face. 

The best ways that you can help your dog are to try and use tap water and gently flush out the debris from your dog’s eye. Alternatively, you can opt for using tweezers if there is a particularly big piece of dirt or dust stuck in your dog’s eye.

If this is something that you are particularly nervous to do, then we would definitely advise that you take your dog to the vets if they cannot unlodge the dirt or dust themselves. You will know if your dog is in any kind of pain or discomfort due to the way that they react to the situation.

You can also purchase different kinds of antiseptic eye wash for dogs, which can really help if your dog is quite prone to major eye infections. 

The bottom line is that if you feel nervous or uncomfortable to dislodge whatever has stuck itself right in your dog’s eye, then go to a professional for help. They will have the right tools that can really help your dog, and they should be able to do this in a quick and pain free way.

Inner Eye Problems That Can Cause 

So, if you feel like you have tried absolutely everything and that you are still noticing hair loss around your dog’s eyes then your dog might have inner eye problems.

This is not something that is easy to notice because it is an inner eye problem, and this can range from glaucoma, which is a build up of fluids inside the eyes, or even conjunctivitis which is an eye infection. Both of these things will make your dog scratch their eyes constantly. 

If these infections are prolonged over a vast amount of time then actually, your dog constantly scratching their eye could lead to hair loss around the eyes. If you leave an eye infection untreated then the eye condition can worsen and actually turn into full blown infections. This can result in further eye damage such as vision loss.

Here’s the thing, you might notice a common theme where symptoms of hair loss are concerned. All of these conditions have hair loss as a symptom so it can be tricky to differentiate between them and work out what is wrong with your dog.

If this is the case then we strongly recommend that you take your dog to your veterinarian just to check your dog’s eye area and make sure that any possible infections are treated as soon as possible. 

Cushing’s disease: what this is and hair loss as a symptom

Cushing’s disease is named for the human neurosurgeon (Harvey Cushing) who first described this endocrine disorder in 1912. Dogs who suffer from Cushing’s disease will have a problem with their adrenal glands, these are two smaller glands that are nestled in front of each of their kidneys.

The function of these glands is to produce vital hormones that ensure important bodily functions are regulated, however, Cushing’s disease is where these glands produce too much cortisol.

When too much of a certain hormone is being produced, your dog’s body will become unbalanced. One of the most noticeable symptoms of this disease is that your dog will urinate excessively, but along with this your dog’s intake of water will have increased pretty drastically.

When cortisol is being produced too much over an elongated period of time, your dog will become a lot weaker through muscle loss. Additionally you may notice that your dog’s skin will thin, and they might also suffer from hair loss.

The areas where they will suffer from hair loss in particular are on their neck, around the rib cage or hip area, or the perineum. Your dog might also pant frequently, or they will have a much more increased appetite than usual, or they might even look pot-bellied.

This disease is more common in senior dogs, this tends to be when dogs reach eight years old and above. Cushing’s disease in dogs can be caused by one of the following: a tumor residing on the pituitary gland (at the base of the brain), a tumor on the adrenal gland or by an overuse of steroid medications.

It is important to note that Cushing’s disease can be difficult to diagnose in dogs, in fact it requires a lot of complex tests to be able to do this.

Cushing’s disease might not be so severe on your dog, in fact, over 90% of dogs have benign tumors, and these are usually pretty small and do not have a tendency to spread. They might not even end up causing your dog physical or mobility issues.

If your dog has an adrenal tumor then your vet would want to run tests on your dog just to confirm if the tumor is benign or cancerous. Surgery to remove an adrenal tumor could be an option for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my dog losing hair around its eyes?

If your dog is losing hair around its eyes, it is more likely that your dog has a problem. This problem could be with its eye or this could be with its skin. Hair loss around the eye area tends to be a symptom of a bigger problem.

Should I be worried about my dog losing hair around its eyes?

This ‘bigger problem’ does not have to be scary or even life threatening, this will just be something that you need to go to the vet about. It is always best to get these things checked out, to avoid any further problems or worries down the line.

What are the main reasons for dogs losing hair around their eyes?

Your dog might have just injured its eye and this will result in major irritation and severe scratching which will result in hair loss. Your dog could be suffering from glaucoma, which means that your dog’s eye is damaged. This is something that can be easily managed.