Why is My Prairie Dog Losing Hair?

A Pair of Prairie Dogs

Written by Lisa

When not researching and writing about weird and wonderful animals, Lisa enjoys spending time with her 'two' families: her husband and 3 kids, and her 3 dogs, Sooty the cat, Frank the terrapin, and Bob the bearded dragon.

Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Hair loss in prairie dogs is not uncommon. In fact, it is one of a number of ailments that these animals can suffer, particularly in captivity. But why do prairie dogs lose their hair? What causes this hair loss, and when it occurs, is there anything that can be done about it?

Prairie dogs in captivity often suffer with disease that is caused by their diet. These animals should be fed a diet that is as close as possible to that found in their natural habitat. In the wild they eat plants, grasses, and leaves, but trying to replicate this exactly can be difficult. As a result, many captive prairie dogs are fed foods that are just not suitable for them. Ultimately, this can cause them to become overweight, or even obese. As you have probably surmised by now, this often leads to a range of diseases and disorders that can affect the general health and wellbeing of these creatures.

What Causes Hair Loss in Prairie Dogs?

There are a number of reasons why a prairie dog might lose its hair and a poor diet is one of them. If your pet is deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, it could suffer hair loss. Other causes include parasitic or fungal infection as well as constant rubbing of the body on metal cages.

Can Hair Loss in Prairie Dogs Be Treated?

If your pet is suffering hair loss, you should take it to a local vet for a diagnosis. It is important to identify the exact cause of the hair loss as this is what will determine the course of treatment required.

If a parasite infection is the cause, for example, the vet will likely recommend a treatment to kill the ticks or mites. A fungal infection will typically require a specific ointment or medication, which again, your vet will prescribe if necessary.

If the hair loss is not attributed to either a parasitic or fungal infection, the vet might run some blood tests to try to determine the cause. This will help to determine if your prairie dog is deficient in certain minerals and minerals or if there is another underlying cause.

The vet will be able to recommend a suitable diet for your prairie dog as well as sufficient vitamin and mineral supplements, if required.

Conclusion

Hair loss is not uncommon in captive prairie dogs. If your pet is losing hair and has bald patches, it is best to take it to the vet for a diagnosis. Vets are best placed to determine the cause and recommend the best way to treat the issue.

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