Fur, Bugs

I’m seeing big fat ticks these days, and I’ve suspected that fleas also are rampant because of all the scratching and the resulting loss of fur. But, it turns out that all the scratching may have less to do with bugs than I thought!

constant scratching causes hair loss

constant scratching causes hair loss

The veterinarian suspects the loss of fur may be due not only to the pesky bugs which cause a lot of itching and therefore scratching, but also may be due to the coyote’s helping with the seasonal shed — it appears that coyotes have been using their hind paws — scratching often — in order to get all that itchy dead fur out.

it's not mange; note pattern of hair loss where hind leg can reach

it’s not mange; note pattern of hair loss where hind leg can reach

Coyotes are approaching the time of year when their coats are at their thinnest. But the fur is exceptionally sparse just where those hind legs can reach on the back at the shoulder blades and behind the ears. That is where almost all the scratching is occurring! The rest of the fur is coming off more naturally and at its own pace.

hair loss behind ears

hair loss behind ears

The scratched spots looks mangy, but I’m told that mange is systemic and would not appear just where they can reach with their hind legs. So it’s other things: ticks, fleas and seasonal shed, but no mange. That was a relief to find out!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dawnina
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 15:57:47

    Thank you for the interesting and informative postings…awesome as always!
    In your notes about coyote hair-loss and shedding of loose fur is the answer to my
    recent observation of several tufts of their loose fur in the SF, Russian Hill area.

    Reply

    • yipps
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:01:05

      Thanks for the thumbs up, Dawnina! Glad the posting was useful to you. Yes, some of our coyotes look very scruffy these days! People have told me they thought the coyotes were sick. Although they look shabby, tattered and ragged, they are not ill, they’re just shedding unevenly and in clumps. Janet

      Reply

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