Boston terriers are known as the gentlemen of the dog world because of their tuxedo-like coats. They can be found in red and white, black and white, and brindle and white. Their shiny, short hair makes maintenance easy, often requiring only a quick rubdown with a wet paper towel. Unfortunately they can be susceptible to conditions that result in skin conditions such as hair loss and itching.
Occurring primarily in female dogs at around six month of age, hair loss often begins around the ears and moves down the front of the neck, chest and undersides of the legs. While not attractive, there does not appear to be any underlying infection causing this type of hair loss.
Also known as inhalant allergies, atopy can be caused by dust mites or pollens. Symptoms include chronic itching of the armpits and groin, red or pink skin, face rubbing, foot licking and recurrent ear inflammation. Secondary infections can occur from all the scratching so keeping an eye on the rash is critical.
Cushing's disease is caused by an excess of cortisone in a dog's body. Too much cortisone essentially poisons your dog. Normally the body regulates the secretion of cortisone, but tumors in either the pituitary or adrenal glands can interfere with the body's ability to regulate cortisone production. Symptoms affecting the skin include hair loss, normally on the torso, calcified lumps on the skin, wrinkled or fragile skin, dark skin and susceptibility to skin infections.
Mast Cell Tumors
Mast Cell tumors are cancers of the mast cells and are the most common type of skin cancer found in dogs. These tumors release harmful chemicals that can cause internal bleeding, gastric ulcers, and a range of allergic reactions. Mast cell tumors can have a variety of manifestations. They can occur on or under the skin, be in groups or occur singly, and can be anywhere on the body. A single tumor can vary in size from day to day, growing and shrinking almost at random.