Silver Labs have a rare coat color.
But this doesn’t exempt them from shedding.
Which is usually normal in dogs.
However, if they start losing patches of fur…
It could be a sign of a different problem.
Continue reading to find out:
- 13 reasons for your Silver Lab’s hair loss.
- 3 easy tips on how to manage your dog’s hair trouble.
- When you should be alarmed about your SIlver Lab’s shedding.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why is my Silver Lab losing hair? 13 reasons
- Silver Lab hair loss: 3 vital tips
Why is my Silver Lab losing hair? 13 reasons
#1: Color dilution alopecia (CDA)
The secret to the Silver Lab’s rare coat is a ‘dilute gene.’
However, it’s also linked to abnormal hair loss.
And vets call it color dilution alopecia, a.k.a. CDA.
It’s an inherited condition.
And you’ll often see it in light-colored dogs. Which makes Silver Labs more prone to hair loss than Fidos with dark coats.
Now, what’s a dilute gene?
It turns a dog’s base color into a lighter shade.
Say black becomes gray.
And in Silver Labs’ case, chocolate changes to pale bluish-brown.
For this to happen, the puppies must have a pair of the recessive dilute gene – ‘dd.’
Or else, experts say there’s none to 25% chance of having a light-colored Fido.
“What are the common signs of CDA?”
At birth, the affected dogs will have healthy coats.
But at around 6 months old, they’ll start showing symptoms.
And based on a study, these are:
- Dry, dull coat.
- Poor hair growth.
- Comedo or clogged hair follicles.
Note: Sadly, there’s no cure for CDA in dogs. But you can manage it. And I’ll give some tips shortly.
Aside from getting bald patches…
Does your Silver Lab also keep scratching?
If so, they might have an allergy.
This could be due to the following:
- A food they ate.
- Parasites in their body.
- Inhaled allergen in the environment (e.g., pollen).
For example, some dogs are allergic to flea bites.
And experts found a 13% increase in its cases in dogs.
So if your Silver Lab’s one of them, they’ll start itching around the bite.
Then they may lose hair due to frequent biting and licking.
#3: Poor diet
What dogs eat also affects their fur and skin.
So hair loss can also be a sign that your Silver Lab has an unbalanced diet.
“What nutrient deficiency causes this issue in dogs?”
Vets say that the right amount of energy and protein are the keys to healthy skin.
So if your Fido can’t get enough of these in their food…
They’ll have a dull coat and lose hair.
According to them, a dog’s meals should consist of the following:
|15%–30% fats||10%-15% fats|
|30%–35% protein||25%-30% protein|
This is a skin problem caused by fungi (not worms).
Based on experts, this infection forms a circular shape on the skin. Which is where it got its name.
Then the area won’t have any fur in it. Although their hair may regrow after a few days.
So check your Silver Lab’s body for any ring-like wounds.
Warning: Your dog can pass this infection to you and other pets at home. So consult your vet for topical treatment. Then sanitize your whole place.
Another reason your Silver Lab’s hair’s falling out is ‘mange.’
Research says it’s due to mites in a dog’s fur or ears.
These parasites will lay eggs in your Fido’s skin.
As a result, your Silver Lab will itch all over.
Then their skin will swell and become red. And this irritation can lead to hair loss.
Warning: Like ringworm, you can also get mange from an infected dog. But you can prevent it by giving your Fido a vet-prescribed medicine. And also by clipping and washing their fur with antiparasitic shampoo.
Unlike fleas, ticks won’t usually make your dog itchy.
But vets say their bites can become infected.
And this will trigger your Lab to scratch the areas repeatedly. Resulting in bald patches.
Also, ticks may cause discomfort as they cling to your Fido’s fur.
#7: Yeast infection
Do you also notice a musty odor on your Silver Lab?
If yes, the hair loss can be due to yeast infection.
As per specialists, you can find this fungus on your dog.
But due to excessive moisture…
The yeast will multiply and irritate your pooch’s skin.
And some of its other signs are:
- Thickened skin.
- Dark pigmentation.
- Frequent ear infection.
You may know this as skin rashes or hives.
This usually happens when your dog inhales or eats an allergen.
Or if an insect bites them.
As a reaction, ‘wheals’ or red, bumpy areas on the skin will appear.
And just like what you feel after an insect bite…
Those areas will be so itchy.
So it can make your dog scratch furiously. Making your silver Lab lose their hair on the affected areas.
#9: Pressure sores
Where are the hairless patches on your Silver Lab?
They could be pressure sores if they’re only in the elbows or knees.
This happens when the bony parts of your dog come in contact with hard surfaces.
Say concrete or wooden flooring.
Then gradually, the skin in the areas will thicken. And it’ll make the fur fall out.
Note: These sores are common in senior and large dogs like Labs.
#10: Foreign body
Now, if your Silver Lab’s only scratching a specific part of their body…
They might be trying to remove a foreign material lodged near it.
Labs are highly energetic and curious.
So they can put their snouts or pass through everywhere.
Then your dog may step on a glass shard by accident. Or have some grass seeds stuck in their skin.
Thus, inspect the affected areas. Use a flashlight to see better.
Check if there are foreign bodies stuck in your dog’s fur. And carefully remove it if you can.
If not, better leave it to the hands of a vet.
Note: Frequently affected areas are paws, nose, ears, and eyes.
#11: Cushing’s disease
Your Silver Lab may also lose their hair due to hormonal problems.
One of them’s called ‘Cushing’s disease.’
This happens when the body produces more ‘cortisol’ than needed.
It’s a hormone that boosts a dog’s energy in times of stress.
But too much of it can lead to this condition. Which can mess up your Fido’s system and increase their:
As a result, they’ll have a dry coat. And this could also lead to hair loss.
Your Silver Lab can also have a poor coat due to a lack of ‘thyroxine.’
It’s a hormone that regulates a dog’s metabolism. Which the thyroid glands produce.
Based on a study, one of its common signs is thinning of hair.
And you’ll often see it on a dog’s trunk. Or anywhere in their:
#13: Extreme stress
In some cases, hair loss can also be a sign of emotional stress in dogs.
Just like how you may find your hair falling out under so much pressure.
Luckily, some experts shed light on this issue.
A study on mice discovered that a stress hormone stops hair growth.
In rodents, it’s called ‘corticosterone.’
But in humans and dogs, it’s ‘cortisol.’ (The one I mentioned earlier.)
The hormone helps the body handle stressful situations.
However, if the dog’s under stress for days…
They’ll have too much cortisol.
The same thing also happened to the mice in the study.
And high levels of stress hormones caused their hair to stop growing.
Silver Lab hair loss: 3 vital tips
#1: Find the root of the problem
To manage your Silver Lab’s hair loss, you must first know its cause.
For this, bring your dog to the vet.
Then, prepare to answer these possible questions about your Fido:
- Lifestyle and activities.
- Past or existing conditions.
- Indoor/outdoor environment.
- Current diet and medications.
Depending on your dog’s case, your vet may advise you to:
- Give oral medications (e.g., antibiotics).
- Apply topical treatment (e.g., ointment).
- Slowly shift to a bland diet (for allergies).
- Consider surgery (for severe cases only.)
Note: The 1st two tips also help manage alopecia in dogs.
#2: Get rid of pesky parasites
Itch is the next common cause of hair loss in dogs.
And besides allergies, the culprits for this are parasites.
Thus, if you’re Fido had healthy results from the checkup…
Then this could be the reason. Especially if your Lab has some of the signs listed before.
Now, what you’ll do depends on the parasite your dog has.
So refer to the table I made below:
|Fleas||Vet-prescribed flea control.||Vacuum and sanitize your whole house.|
Keep your other pets away from your dog.
Wash your Lab’s bedding and belongings.
Treat your yard with pet-safe insecticide if necessary.
Ointment to soothe irritated skin.
|Clean your dog’s place regularly.|
|Ticks||Use tweezers to remove the ticks.|
Avoid squeezing them to not leave any parts on your dog’s skin.
|Inspect your Lab’s body for ticks after going outside.|
Trim the bushes in your yard where ticks may stay.
You might also like: 17 Best Home Remedies For Dog Scooting (Itchy Bum)
#3: Relieve your Fido’s stress
Lastly, if your Silver Lab seems not in pain or itch…
Then they might be stressed.
If they do, it’ll show in their actions and posture.
So look out for these common stress signals in dogs:
- Folded ears.
- Loss of appetite.
- Excessive barking or whining.
Once you confirm it, soothe your Lab by trying these proven tips:
- Play classical music.
- Perform a relaxing massage.
- Spend more time with them.
- Keep their area quiet and clean.
- Give them a space where they can be alone.
Note: Also, find out the real cause of your dog’s stress. Then avoid it or remove it away from them.