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Why Is My Husky Losing Clumps of Hair: (When To Worry)

It’s easy to become alarmed if your husky starts shedding in clumps and patches of hair. This isn’t supposed to happen, right?

Before panic sets in, it’s essential to understand why this may be happening.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about hair loss in Huskies.

➡️ Personally, I’ve dealt with both healthy and unhealthy hair loss in huskies for over a decade. I’ll explain everything I know below to help your husky get back on track. Though, please remember I’m not a veterinarian.

husky losing clumps of hair

The photo above is an example of a regular coat blow believe it or not… yup!

Normal Shedding Vs. Unhealthy Hair Loss

Let’s start with the most important part of this question first, normal hair loss vs excessive and unhealthy hair loss. As huskies shed a lot anyway it can be difficult to know precisely what’s normal shedding or a coat blow vs unhealthy hair loss.

➡️ Coat blowing

Huskies, like other cold-weather breeds, have a double coat consisting of a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat. Twice a year, typically in spring and fall, Huskies will “blow” their undercoat. This process means they shed the old undercoat heavily, making way for new hair growth. This is a completely normal process and may appear as if your Husky is losing clumps of hair. However, it’s just your Husky’s way of adapting to the changing seasons.

➡️ Identifying unhealthy hair loss

While coat blowing is a natural process, there are times when hair loss can indicate a health issue. Unhealthy hair loss typically presents differently from a normal coat blow. It can appear patchy, uneven, or accompanied by other symptoms like skin irritation, inflammation, or changes in behavior. Your Husky might also seem uncomfortable, itchy, or more tired than usual. Additionally, if you suddenly see your husky’s exposed skin, then this is absolutely not normal.

➡️ Is it normal for huskies to lose actual clumps of hair?

Sometimes yes, and it’s perfectly normal during a coat blow to see a lot of clumps of dead fluffy hair on the floor (like in the photo above). However, when this might indicate a problem is if the clumps of hair are not following the usual coat blow season, is accompanied by other things like severe itching, clear skin irritation, and changes of behavior. Knowing whether the hair loss is healthy or unhealthy is very contextual and owners must consider multiple things.

Related: Short Haired Huskies: What You Need to Know About Them

7 Reasons for Unhealthy Hair Loss In Huskies

Now let’s explore some reasons why your Husky may be experiencing unhealthy hair loss.

1. Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal skin infections, such as those caused by Staphylococci bacteria or Malassezia yeast, can lead to hair loss. These infections often come with other symptoms, like redness, inflammation, itching, and sometimes an unpleasant odor. They usually require treatment with antibiotics or antifungal medications prescribed by a vet.

2. Allergies

Allergies are a common cause of hair loss in dogs. They can be allergic to many things, including certain foods, environmental factors like pollen or dust mites, or parasites like fleas. Allergic reactions can cause itching and inflammation, leading dogs to scratch or lick excessively, which can result in hair loss.

3. Parasites

External parasites, such as fleas, ticks, or mites, can cause significant discomfort and lead to hair loss. Scabies, caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, can cause extreme itching and subsequent hair loss. Demodectic mange, caused by a different kind of mite (Demodex), can also result in hair loss, though it is typically less itchy.

4. Autoimmune Diseases

Certain autoimmune diseases can cause hair loss in dogs. These conditions occur when a dog’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own cells. In diseases such as lupus or pemphigus, this attack can target the skin and hair follicles, leading to hair loss.

5. Hormonal Imbalances

As previously mentioned, hormonal imbalances, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease, can cause hair loss in dogs. These conditions interfere with the normal function of the dog’s metabolism and can affect the health of the dog’s coat.

6. Nutritional Deficiencies

Poor nutrition can also contribute to hair loss in dogs. Essential fatty acids, proteins, and certain vitamins and minerals are all necessary for healthy hair growth. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can lead to a dull coat and hair loss.

7. Certain Medications

Some medications can cause hair loss as a side effect. Chemotherapy drugs, for instance, can lead to hair loss. If you notice hair loss after starting a new medication, it’s important to discuss this with your vet.

Let’s discuss below when it’s crucial to see a vet.

When to See a Vet

It’s crucial to consult your vet if your Husky’s hair loss is accompanied by other signs of illness such as lethargy, changes in appetite, behavior changes, skin irritation, or if the hair loss seems sudden or extreme.

Your vet will likely perform tests to determine the cause of the hair loss and prescribe appropriate treatment.

➡️ When to see a vet:

  • Your husky experiences noticeable behavioral changes
  • Your husky is suddenly lethargic
  • Your husky refuses food
  • You can see patches of skin
  • Your husky is excessively scratching and irritated
  • You can see skin irritation
  • The hair loss is suddenly extreme and clearly not like regular shedding

Can We Solve This Issue at Home?

Some hair loss problems can be managed at home with the right care and attention. But of course, if you suspect that your husky is acting differently or shows other negative symptoms, waste no time in taking him or her to the vet.

Let’s run through some basic, yet crucial things that affect skin and coat health.

A Balanced Diet

The right nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy coat for your Husky. Here are some nutrients that are important for a healthy coat:

  1. Protein: As the main component of hair, a diet high in good quality protein can help maintain a healthy coat and reduce hair loss. Look for dog food that lists a high-quality source of protein, like chicken or beef, as the first ingredient.
  2. Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids play a key role in skin and hair health. They are found in fish, flaxseeds, and certain special dog foods and supplements. Consult with your vet to see if a supplement would be beneficial.
  3. Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins like A, E, and Biotin, and minerals like Zinc, can contribute to a healthy coat. These are usually adequately provided in a balanced dog diet but check with your vet if you suspect your dog may be lacking.

Remember, sudden changes in diet can upset your dog’s stomach, so any changes should be made gradually and under the guidance of a vet.

Regular Grooming

Regular grooming not only helps reduce the amount of hair shed around your house, but it also helps distribute the natural oils in your Husky’s coat, promoting healthier skin and hair. Here’s a basic grooming routine:

  1. Brushing: Brush your Husky’s coat for 5-10 minutes per day using an undercoat rake and a slicker brush to remove loose hair and prevent mats. These brushes are gentle and forgiving.
  2. Bathing: Bathing your Husky every 2-3 months is generally sufficient. Overbathing can strip the natural oils from their coat and dry out their skin, leading to more hair loss. And always use a natural ingredient dog shampoo to avoid removing the coat’s healthy oils!
  3. Checking for Parasites: During grooming, check for any signs of parasites like fleas or ticks. Look for signs of redness, irritation, or tiny moving specks in their coat.

Parasite Control

Regular use of parasite control products is crucial. There are many options available, such as spot-on treatments, oral tablets, or special collars. Your vet can recommend the best option for your Husky. Remember, even if your dog is primarily indoors, they can still get parasites.

Environmental Control

If your Husky has allergies, reducing exposure to allergens can help control hair loss. This might include regular cleaning of your home to reduce dust mites, using hypoallergenic dog beds, or limiting certain outdoor activities during high pollen seasons.

Mental Health

Stress or anxiety can lead to excessive grooming and subsequent hair loss in dogs. Providing a calm, secure environment, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and plenty of attention can help reduce stress in your Husky.

How Long to Solve this Problem?

The time it takes to resolve hair loss will depend on the cause.

For instance, if it’s due to a seasonal coat blow, the process might last a few weeks, but if it’s due to an underlying health issue, it could take several months.

Generally, a healthy Husky will start to regrow hair within a few weeks of resolving the underlying cause, whether that’s changing their diet, resolving a skin infection, or getting control of fleas.

Remember, patience is key. It may take several weeks or even a few months to see a noticeable difference.

Final Thoughts

Hair loss in Huskies can be perfectly normal, but it can also be a sign of an underlying health problem. As a responsible Husky owner, it’s crucial to monitor your dog’s hair loss and look for any other signs of illness.

When in doubt, always consult with your vet. They can help identify the cause and provide the right treatment. With appropriate care and attention, your Husky can maintain a healthy, shiny, and beautiful coat. Remember, each Husky is unique, and understanding their individual needs will help you provide the best care possible.


The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here

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