Analysis of the near-field irradiation of prolate spheroidal models of humans and animals by a small coaxial loop antenna is described. The near fields of the antenna are known exactly and hence are used to identify the suitable field parameters involved in the near-field absorption in the spheroidal model. An integral equation is formulated in terms of the transverse dyadic Green's function, and the fields radiated by the current loop are expanded in terms of the vector spherical harmonics. The extended boundary condition method is then employed to solve the integral equation. The power distribution and the average specific absorption rate (SAR) are calculated and plotted, for different human and animal models, as a function of the separation distance from the loop. It is shown that for distances less than 5λ the average SAR values oscillate about the far-field value. In particular, for d/λ < 0.4 an increase in the average SAR values was generally observed. It is also shown that in spite of the complicated nature of the near fields the absorption characteristics can still be explained in terms of the incident radiation. Furthermore, from the calculated SAR distributions at different frequencies it is shown that at all frequencies, excessive heating occurs at the surface of the spheroid while a limited absorption occurs in the central region around the major axis. This result is of particular importance in hyperthermia, where extensive efforts are being directed toward achieving deep-tissue heating by a coaxial coil carrying RF power at about 27 MHz.