French Bulldog Hair Loss: Reasons and Treatment

French Bulldog hair loss

French bulldog hair loss can be a worrying issue. Understanding the causes of this problem and identifying which breeds are more susceptible to it can help pet owners maintain their furry friends’ healthy and beautiful coats. Alopecia, or hair loss, in dogs can be a partial or complete loss of hair, as well as defects in the coat or hair growth issues. It can affect dogs of any age or breed and may result from skin infections such as ringworm, bacterial infections, mites, or allergies.

To determine the cause and proper treatment, it is essential to take your dog to the veterinarian. Alopecia can affect various systems in the dog’s body, including the immune system, lymphatic system, endocrine system, and skin. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial. During the examination, the vet will assess the dog’s age, overall health, and the location and extent of hair loss to develop an effective treatment plan. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you notice hair loss in your dog.

french bulldog hair loss

How to spot alopecia in French bulldogs?

Alopecia in dogs is characterized by a specific pattern of hair loss, which can manifest as:

  • focal hair loss in a particular area
  •  multifocal hair loss in several areas
  • diffuse hair loss across the entire body. 

The latter may indicate an underlying internal disease in the pet. French bulldogs with focal or multifocal alopecia often face infections like bacterial folliculitis, which can be treated effectively with antibiotics.

Hair loss in Frenchies can come with other symptoms like shedding, the recession of fur in larger areas, itching, and skin inflammation, which require appropriate care.

The symptoms of French bulldog hair loss

In addition to normal or “healthy” shedding, there is also excessive and abnormal hair loss in dogs, either in quantity or intensity. To be able to tell the difference, it is important to know that a dog changes its coat twice a year, usually once in winter and once in summer. During shedding, old or dead hair is replaced by new hair (which has a different thickness depending on the season), which is healthy, of better quality, and has a shiny appearance.

Here are some signs of French bulldog hair loss that may occur:

  • Hair loss all over the body
  • Hair loss around the eyes and mouth
  • Symmetrical hair loss that appears on both sides of the body
  • Skin inflammation
  • Hair loss in patches
  • Flaky skin
  • Itching and wounds from scratching
  • Colored, dark, or gray patches on the skin
  • Unpleasant odor

Hair loss is just one symptom of this medical problem. Alopecia in Frenchies may be accompanied by changes in behavior or irritability, and your dog may become restless or lethargic.

In extreme cases, a dog may suffer from redness or swelling, flaky skin, a change in skin color accompanied by an unpleasant infection odor.

Causes of French bulldog hair loss

Many diseases, infections, and conditions can cause alopecia in Frenchies. One of the most common reasons for hair loss is mange, which can lead to extreme hair loss and the formation of crusts on Frenchie’s skin.

It can be upsetting to see your dog losing hair, especially if you have a pet with long, silky, and smooth hair. Fortunately, alopecia is treatable, and a visit to the veterinarian should help identify the root of the problem and find the appropriate treatment to restore the dog and its hair to its usual healthy state.

Hair loss in Frenchies can be the result of numerous skin conditions, and cases can range from gradual to acute.

The most common causes of hair loss in dogs include:

  • Demodicosis caused by the Demodex folliculorum parasite. When a dog’s immunity decreases for any reason, Demodex folliculorum can multiply and lead to a very serious disease that is accompanied by increased hair loss, especially in the head area;
  • Disruption in hair follicle growth caused by trauma, infection, immune disorders, or endocrine system abnormalities;
  • Inflammation of the hair follicle;
  • Allergic reactions in which flea bites are the most common source of allergic reactions. These reactions often cause dogs to bite and scratch their skin, which can damage their hair. Allergic reactions in dogs can also occur due to food;
  • Diet and feeding can be a cause of the French bulldog hair loss issue if it involves poor nutrition;
  • Parasites and fleas in French bulldogs  can cause intense itching, and you may notice that the dog is losing hair around the lower back, inner thighs, neck, and ears;
  • Bacterial infections can also be a source of alopecia and usually require antibiotic treatment;
  • Ringworm on a dog’s skin is a contagious fungal infection. These are the characteristic red circles that the fungus creates on the skin. Ringworms on the skin are best treated with antifungal shampoo and medications. If left untreated, secondary infections may occur;
  • Seasonal alopecia: in some dogs, hair loss may occur every fall. 
  • Inherited: hair loss in dogs can be inherited. Some breeds have genetic predispositions to hair loss. This hereditary condition is generally harmless, and most dog owners simply live with it instead of treating it in their dog. Breeds that have genetic predispositions include Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Greyhounds;
  • Cushing’s disease is a condition in which a dog’s body overproduces steroid hormones, which can also cause hair loss.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

french bulldog hair loss

Diagnosing French bulldog hair loss

If you notice that your furry friend is experiencing hair loss, it is recommended that you take them to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. The vet will examine your dog’s symptoms, the pattern of hair loss, the skin condition in the affected areas, and your pet’s behavior.

To diagnose hair loss in dogs, the vet will look at:

Hair loss patterns

Hair loss across the body can indicate mange or bacterial infection, while certain areas may suggest ringworm or mites. Flea allergy is often indicated by hair loss on the back, neck, ears, or tail. Hair loss on the face and paws typically suggest atopy, while symmetrical hair loss may point to thyroid, adrenal gland disorders, or endocrine disorders.

Blood analysis

Immune system conditions, hormonal abnormalities, thyroid issues, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes can be detected through blood testing.


If your dog has skin cancer, a tumor, or persistent lesions, the vet may take a skin sample and send it to a laboratory for diagnosis.

Skin scraping

Skin scraping with a blade can help detect the presence of mites.

Elimination of allergens

Discontinuing the use of certain medications or shampoos, treating for fleas, or feeding a hypoallergenic diet may help reveal an allergy.

french bulldog hair loss

Allergy testing

Skin and/or blood tests can be done to determine the allergens affecting your pet.

Diagnosing hair loss in your Frenchie may involve a physical exam, a thorough medical history, and blood and skin testing, which may include a skin biopsy. If the cause of the hair loss cannot be determined, the vet may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist.

French bulldog hair loss: wrapping up

Dealing with hair loss in dogs can be a multi-faceted process, depending on your pet’s individual susceptibility to skin infections. To ensure your pet receives the best care, always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and keep an eye on their skin recovery and hair regrowth. If there are any changes or concerns, inform your veterinarian so they can adjust the treatment accordingly.

It’s worth noting that French bulldog hair loss itself isn’t contagious, but some of the underlying causes, such as parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, can be transmitted to other pets and even humans. As such, it’s essential to take measures to prevent hair loss in dogs.

There are several ways to do this, such as regularly brushing your dog and taking them for yearly check-ups at the veterinarian. Additionally, effective flea and parasite control, using a dermatologically approved special shampoo, and providing a diet rich in nutrients can all help to support skin and hair development.

It’s important to seek veterinary help as soon as possible if you notice hair loss in your dog. While some cases may be simple to diagnose and treat, others may require the expertise of a veterinary dermatologist to establish an accurate diagnosis and formulate an effective treatment plan. With timely and appropriate care, your furry friend can be restored to good health and happiness.

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