According to the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Labradors are generally intelligent, friendly and social. However, Labradors' often suffer from medical problems, such as hair loss, otherwise known as Alopecia.
There are many types of Alopecia found in Labradors. Alopecia is commonly caused by parasites, allergies, hormones or genetic factors. While the patchy hair loss may alarm some pet owners, Alopecia in Labradors is generally cosmetic.
Most Common Type Found in Labradors
While Labradors can get Alopecia from parasites or allergies, the most common form of Alopecia in Labradors is Follicular Dysplasia. This form is believed to be genetic and permanent.
Labradors that have Alopecia must get a skin biopsy to determine the cause of the hair loss and the type of Alopecia.
Treatment is usually non-invasive; it involves antibiotics and antibacterial shampoos and conditioners to clear up infections. Melatonin and synthetic vitamin A may be used to treat the skin.
According to the Canine Inherited Disorders Database, Labrador Dogs with a genetic or autoimmune form of Alopecia should not be breed.