Seasonal flank alopecia

Seasonal flank alopecia is when a dog loses hair in the flank area. It is a skin condition not a disease. Dog breeds that are most affected are Boxers, Airedales, Schnauzers and Bulldogs although numerous other breeds have been affected too.

The hair loss is generally confined to the flanks but can sometimes show on different places on their body. The skin typically is darkly pigmented in the areas of hair loss and can become dry and crusty. Usually the dogs will grow their hair back in two or three months. Sometimes the hair re-grows in a different color than the original hair and some dogs never re-grow their hair.

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At this time nobody knows with a 100% certainty why this occurs. Two of the most heard theories are that the cause is:

– a hormonal problem disrupting hair follicles
– related to vitamin D deficiency, lack of sunlight exposure

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In 95% of the cases this skin condition will not bother your dog, it does not hurt or become irritated or itchy. Sometimes the hair will fall out and can leave bald spots. The most common treatment is Melatonin, this can be helpful to induce hair growth and is given daily for two or three months until complete hair growth occurs. Restarting melatonin prior to anticipated onset of hair loss may prevent recurrence.

The prognosis for hair growth is unpredictable. Hair growth can be incomplete and new hairs may be different in color and texture.
There are a lot of home remedies like different kind of oils (fish, coconut), a special diet or sunbathing, but what works for one may not for another and the question will be if the treatments worked or that the condition healed over time.

The important thing to know that this is a cosmetic disorder which does not affect the dog’s quality of life.


2 thoughts on “Seasonal flank alopecia

  1. Pingback: Neutering your Bulldog | BaggyBulldogs

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