Why does my dog have small bald spots?
My seven-month-old black Lab has small bald spots on her face, head and a
few on her legs. I was wondering what they are. She does not act like
they bother her; it looks like she got in a fight or something and got
scratched a few times, but she has not been around any other animals.
Can you give me any ideas?
It sounds like your dog has puppy mange. Don't be alarmed by the name. Although the word mange has negative connotations, your dog's condition is probably not serious.
Puppy mange, also known as Demodectic mange, is extremely common in dogs between six and eighteen months of age. It comes in two forms: mild and severe. Your dog's symptoms are consistent with the mild form. In this syndrome, small patches of baldness develop on the face, legs, or body. The spots usually aren't painful or itchy. You should go to your vet to confirm this diagnosis. He or she can prescribe an ointment that will help the baldness to resolve. Even without treatment, the spots will probably disappear over time.
Dogs with the severe form of puppy mange lose hair over large areas of their bodies. Although this syndrome is rare, it definitely warrants veterinary intervention.
In theory, puppy mange is contagious. However, in practice the syndrome does not behave in an infectious fashion and there is very little risk that your pet could spread the problem to other dogs.
Finally, be aware that for many dogs diagnosed with puppy mange, it takes several months for the hair to grow back.