Stress is a well-established cause of hair loss
in humans, but did you know it can have the same effect in animals?
Following a sudden shock or trauma the hair growth cycle can become disrupted, often temporarily, resulting in sudden shedding and rounded bald patches developing due to the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata
Mojo the police dog
There have been many cases of alopecia in animals
; Mojo, a British Transport Police dog, developed the patchy hair loss symptomatic of Alopecia Areata after being the first dog on the scene at the Manchester Arena Ariana Grande concert bombing on 22nd May 2017.
His handler, PC Phil Healy explained, "On the night of the arena attack, it was such a long, long day. Mojo did 11 hours of searching there. About a week afterwards, he developed stress-related alopecia. His hair started falling out and we are sure it was brought on by that night… You could see it in his face. He didn’t want to be there. Nobody did but we had a job to do
The eight year old Collie, who received a Crufts Humanitarian award along with his handler, has now retired after seven years of service. Announced on 3rd August 2018, the British Transport Police said, 'Our faithful friend PD Mojo is putting up his paws and settling into a life of retirement… He’s given seven years of loyal service to BTP but, given all he went through last year, it’s time for him to enjoy his old age. From all of us at BTP, thank you Mojo. We are proud to have served alongside you.'
Trauma-related Alopecia Areata
When Alopecia Areata is caused by a sudden trauma it often results in temporary hair loss. The hair also tends to regrow naturally within around 12 months in many cases.
For humans where the hairloss occurs on the scalp only there are a number of Alopecia Areata treatment
options which can be used to help accelerate the process. These are not suitable for animals, however, and are often also unsuitable for children under 16 years of age.
Where a child is concerned, a GP will be able to advise as to potential hair growth solutions, whilst anyone whose pet is experiencing excessive shedding or patchy hairloss should contact their vet for advice.