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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9012
Experience:  29 years of companion animal practice.
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My 3 yr. old Pomeranian has started losing his hair. It started

Customer Question

My 3 yr. old Pomeranian has started losing his hair. It started on his belly and is working up on both side of his body. I took him to a local vet. and had tests ran on him. They said he is perfectly healthy and could not find the cause for the hair loss. They told me he needed to be neutered as they thought that might be the cause. We had him neutered about 2 months ago but the hair loss continues to spread. Can you help me?He is on Welactin 1/2 tsp. evry other day and 1 pill each of Melatonin 3 mg. and Denamarin per day. He eats Priscription diet dog food and Purina moist bits. His treats are beg-n-strips and dog milk bones and teriyaki chicken strips.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
HiCustomer
I am sorry to hear about Sampson.

How long has he been taking the supplements (melatonin, Denamarin, Welactin)?

Was a blood test for thyroid done?

Was a skin biopsy done?

This is an Information Request, to help me answer your question. Rebecca
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The local vet put him on the medication for 1 month last year because his liver enzymes was high. When retests were done his liver enzymes had dropped over 100 points. Now the vet has had him back on the medication for another month for overall wellness and for his coat. All blood work show no diseases at present. Blood work for thyroid checked out okay. No, skin biopsy has not been done. The hair loss is also on back of both hind legs and his tail as well as the potty trail and up both sides of his body.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
HiCustomer
Thank you for that information.

The kind of hair loss you describe sometimes does respond to neutering, but if it has been more than 6 months since neutering, it probably will not help.

The next thing I would have tried is the melatonin. I usually try about 6 milligrams per day, for at least 4 to 6 weeks, before giving up on its helping.

So if increasing the melatonin does not help, and neutering did not help, and thyroid levels are definitely normal, the next step would be a skin biopsy. I would send the biopsy specifically to a veterinary dermatohistopathologist, an expert in both pathology (looking at an interpreting biopsies), and in dermatology.

The biopsy should tell you why the hair is not growing, and give you an idea what, if anything, will help.

Good luck with Sampson, Rebecca

Edited by Rebeccavet on 4/24/2010 at 9:46 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The local VCA vet told me the same thing about neutering might help and has helped in some cases. The vet recommended only 3 mgs per day because he only weighs 4 and a half lbs. It has been 4 weeks since starting him on 3 mg of melatonin. The hair loss appears to be spreading higher up on both sides of his body. I can increase to 6 mg per day and hope this helps. Can you tell me every thing that will cause hair loss so I can get him checked for everything possible. We live in Alaska and he needs his hair. My wife would go crazy if anyhing happened to him, she loves him so much and don't want him to suffer from pain. He seems to be more sensitive in the area of the hair loss and she is afraid to even have him groomed. Thanks so much for your opinion, but it seems that i am at a stand still and time i wait on the med's to work it will be to late and i am afraid his hair will not come back after he looses it. I will check on the skin bio-opsy here, but need to know if this is one of those things that vet's can not cure because they just don't know what the cause of the problem is. Seems as though the skin biopsy is the only thing we have not done. All blood test showed no problems except liver enzymes to high last year and they have come down over 100 points this year and is now down to 300. The vet here says for this type of dog she was not to worried since it has come down.I will hit the accept button so you can be paid this little amount for your time and i thank you. If you know if the hair comes back once it has been lost or not i would appreciate an answer there.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
Hair can grow back, after being lost. The skin biopsy will tell you what is going on in the hair follicles. If the follicles are in a "rest" phase, then there may be therapy to get it growing again. If the biopsy shows no hair follicles at all, he may never grow hair again.

Apparently melatonin is very safe, and 6 or even 12 milligrams is safe no matter the size of dog.

Hormone imbalances (adrenal, thyroid, growth hormone, sex hormones) all can influence hair growth. One blood test to consider is called an ACTH stimulation test, which we normally use to measure the amounts of the hormone cortisol, before and after giving ACTH. There is a panel, done at the vet school in Tennessee, where they measure about 6 different hormones before and after the ACTH. It is another test I would consider, but to me, the skin biopsy is the next most logical step.

I know it must be so sad to see him without hair, especially a breed that is known for its big coat. I would talk to your vet about a biopsy, and having the biopsy "read" by a dermatohistopathologist.

Good luck, Rebecca

Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9012
Experience: 29 years of companion animal practice.
Rebecca and 5 other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried to send a 10.00 tip, but it may have added a lot more, so i only want to give a 10.00 tip, but P.C. did not react and i had to push 3 times to get it to go through. So please make sure the 10.00 tip is the only one confirmed. Thank you.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 4 years ago.
Hi Web Warrior,
Thank you for the Accept, and your choice to give me a bonus. I do not know how that part of the website works (I only answer questions), but no bonus or tip has shown up yet, only your Accept. As far as I can tell, you will not be charged 3 times (or even once).

I am sending this as an "Info Request", so that you are not expected to accept or pay again. Rebecca

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Rebecca
Rebecca
Veterinarian
3829 Satisfied Customers
29 years of companion animal practice.