Welsh corgis are known for being healthy, sturdy and fit. While the breed suffers from relatively few genetic health problems, it is prone to skin allergies that can cause hair loss. They are also susceptible to all the standard causes of hair loss in dogs, including diseases, infections and parasites.
As a double-coated breed corgis shed their entire undercoat twice a year, usually in spring and fall. The amount of hair lost during this shedding cycle can be massive. The hair often comes out in tufts, making it appear the dog is suddenly losing patches of hair. When this hair sheds out, however, a thinner coat should already be in place. Corgis also shed smaller amounts year-round, and the coat will change in density depending on the weather. Hair loss from shedding is normal, but balding from shedding is not. There is no treatment to stop shedding, which is a natural part of the corgi’s hair growth cycle. Regular grooming during most of the year and use of a de-shedding brush during times of heavy shedding will help keep the coat looking nice and reduce the amount of hair left around the home.
Corgis are more prone to allergic skin reactions than many other breeds. Pollen, grass, shampoos, chemicals, foods and even certain fabrics or carpets can trigger an allergic reaction. Hair loss due to allergies is usually caused by the dog picking at places that itch. This may include scratching, biting, chewing or licking a single spot until it becomes bald. The hair is being removed by the constant friction and not falling out on its own. Treatment for allergies in corgis includes avoiding the allergen and administering antihistamines, steroids and skin-soothing baths and salves. Once the allergies are under control, the hair should regrow.
Many diseases can cause a corgi to lose hair, including several autoimmune disorders. While corgis are generally healthy and not as susceptible to these diseases as many other breeds, they can still be affected. Conditions that cause hair loss include hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, certain types of cancer and hormonal imbalances. Identifying and treating the underlying disease will restore hair growth in most (though not all) cases. Corgis will typically exhibit additional symptoms if they are affected by disease and the hair falls out on its own, not due to scratching or licking.
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