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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My prairie dog is losing patches of hair.

I read online that this may just be a seasonal thing, but other sites said it can be alopecia. I brought him to two different vets. One just checked for parasites, not knowing what else to do and the other didn't really do anything. They both said they've never had a case of a PD losing hair, but then again, both don't often see prairie dogs in their office.

I just want to know if this is normal... he's been losing hair slowly for a couple months now I'd say.
 

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Seasonal shedding, or even just with a temperature change in your home, is normal. It can kind of give them a rough-looking appearance, or even a distinct line across their back where you can tell the fur is obviously different lengths and scruffy, but it does not generally create bald patches where you can see skin. If the skin was red or irritated, my first thought would have been parasites, and skin scrapings from a couple different areas should be able to rule that out pretty quickly. Unfortunately, hair loss by itself is a pretty vague symptom, it could be something dietary, or an allergy, or something irritating in his enclosure, even simply boredom - if you notice him pulling the fur out himself, but it can also be an indicator of very serious issues, like kidney or liver failure. If you can't figure something within his home environment that could be causing it, you might want to consider a round of blood tests at your vet. They should be able to check kidney and liver function, check white cell count, and other basic indicators of health without a lot of specific knowledge about prairie dogs... or they could call another vet for a consultation. With my array of critters, my vet is always calling around the country to get information for me when they don't have it themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks so much for the reply! The vet said his skin is very healthy. She took a few skin scrapings and ruled out parasites. There's no signs of irritation or anything like that. He's not balding to the point where his skin is showing either. I guess hair loss is a better word. Where his brown hair used to be, there's now shorter, darker hair there. I got him to stay still long enough to snap a quick picture of what I'm talking about... I'm hoping the image uploaded.

He's very active, because we only cage him at night. So he's never really bored, depressed or anything like that. He's very spoiled, haha.

I'm thinking it might just be a hormonal/seasonal thing, because he's over a year old now and he's becoming "a man". We're actually taking him to get neutered on Friday.
 

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My girl PD has the same thing. Never on the male. When she gets like that I give her Revolution for K9, usually 2 doses about 2 weeks apart and she is fine after that. If you use revolution get it from a vet. They are too small to guess on dosing. She sometimes gets scabs on her maybe from itching I use Zeasorb AF powder on her. I think its mites, my vet agreed but cant see them with a scraping. Since the revolution works there is a good chance thats what it is.
 

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Ivermectin injections from your veterinarian are what is best if there is a diagnosed skin condition. Call me to discuss diet and habitat because they could be contributing factors to your skin issue. However, all prairie dogs molt at different times of year due to a multitude of variable including but not limited to: humidity within their habitat, weather in your location, amount of lighting, numerous items used in your habitat, diet, and more.

*proper lab run skin/fur samples can take two weeks in proper lab conditions to grow certain types of fungus* They also can carry lice that are not the same species as those encountered with humans, mites, and other skin irritations from diet and habitat.

My information is in my profile and I'd be happy to help you.
Gena Seaberg, PhD
Consultant for Prairie Dog Care Domestically and Abroad Since 1995
 

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Possibly a thyroid issue? A friend of mine has several PDs. One of them has bald patches (I think its a female). His vet determined it to be due to thyroid problems.
 

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I have the same thing happening to my little girl I've had her for 2 weeks and she's my first PD. It's only on her face and nose but it seems to be growing. She has a vet appt next week. Any suggestions as to what kind of habitat , environmental issues, or diet could cause this ?
 
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