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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience
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I have two min pins with hair loss on the bottom of their neck.

Customer Question

I have two min pins with hair loss on the bottom of their neck. Hair loss is only there. What is the cause, prevention, and how can i make the hair grow back faster?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Donna P. replied 6 years ago.

HelloCustomer

Could I get a little more information?

Do you mean the balding spot is on their back between by their shoulder blades?

Have the dog had their vaccines or other injections recently?

Have there been any topical medications applied?

Are they scratching the area?

Donna P.

 

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hello doctor. Thank you for your time. The balding area is at the throat and chest before your reach their belly. No injections recently. No itching since no permethrin has been put on the skin for her. The male has never had any itching...just this strange hair loss. I had a collar on both dogs but took them off when hair loss began. I just want to know why so it won't happen again and how do I make that hair grow back faster? They are beautiful and have shiny black coats except for that area and it looks strange.
Expert:  Donna P. replied 6 years ago.

Hello again,

I am sorry but with the additional information it is not what I was thinking. I am going to have to step away from my computer for a bit so I don't have time to research - so I will opt out so that someone else can help you in a more timely manner.

Donna P.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Wait...are you going to do some research to find the answer or you don't have the time?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
When will someone get back to me? I would like an answer given i paid to deal with a professional. I understand if the professional needs some time to find the answer but I won't accept that someone just not giving a solution and not taking the time to do the research to find the solution to my problem. If so, I would like a full refund. Please explain how you plan to handle this issue. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 6 years ago.
Customer hello and I hope I can be of some assistance. I just signed on and saw your question and it appears that a different expert "opted out" meaning she decided not to answer the question and to open it up to a different expert. Unfortunately this can cause a delay as often it is not obvious right away to other experts that this question is still needing to be answered. Sorry for the long delay, but I hope I can be of assistance to you.

I did some research regarding your question. It sounds like your min pin's have hair loss or alopecia with really no other symptoms, both in the neck/chest region. There could be a number of causes of this. Usually in cases of hair loss it is good to first rule out parasites, fungal infections etc. Those things sound unlikely in your dog. But typically a vet may do a skin scraping to check for mites, a fungal culture, etc. If all of that comes back negative, then we start to consider alopecia disorders, of which there are many.

I researched min pin's in particular and they are prone to a few types of genetic alopecia disorders. One I might suspect in your dogs is simply called "pattern alopecia" or "pattern baldness." This is often located in exactly the area are you describe, the front of the neck. This has a genetic basis and is more common in this breed. There really is no way to prevent it as it is genetic, and there is no specific therapy. However, some cases may respond to melatonin supplements to help get the hair growing again. Here is some pharmaceutical information on melatonin from a veterinary handbook:

 

Melatonin

Prescriber Highlights

Oral and implantable pineal gland hormone

Potential uses include: alopecia in dogs, sleep and behavior disorders in cats and dogs, adjust seasonally controlled fertility in sheep, goats, and horses, and adjunctive treatment for adrenal disease in ferrets

Adverse effects appear to be minimal, but little experience

Potential contraindications include: pregnancy, sexually immature animals, and liver dysfunction

Drug-drug interactions

Chemistry

A naturally occurring hormone produced in the pineal gland, melatonin occurs as a pale yellow, crystalline solid and has a molecular weight of 232. It can be derived from natural sources or by synthetic means.

Storage/Stability/Compatibility

Unless otherwise labeled store at room temperature in tight containers.

Pharmacology

Melatonin is involved with the neuroendocrine control of photoperiod dependent molting, hair growth and pelage color. Melatonin stimulates winter coat growth and spring shedding occurs when melatonin decreases. The mechanism of how melatonin induces these effects is not well understood. It may have direct effects on the hair follicle or alter the secretion of prolactin and/or melanocyte stimulating hormone.

Melatonin also increases serum prolactin levels, growth hormone, and increases response to growth hormone releasing hormone. Long-term use may decrease luteinizing hormone. Melatonin is also ostensibly a free radical scavenger.

Uses/Indications

Melatonin may be useful to treat Alopecia-X in Nordic breeds, Canine pattern baldness, or canine recurrent flank alopecia in dogs. It has also has been used anecdotally for the treatment of sleep cycle disorders in cats and geriatric dogs and to treat phobias and separation anxiety in dogs. Melatonin implants are used in the mink and fox pelt industries to promote the development of luxurious hair coats. Implants are also used to improve early breeding and ovulation rates in sheep and goats. Preliminary research is being done for this purpose in horses also.

In pigs, one study (Bubenik, Ayles et al. 1998) demonstrated that 5 mg/kg in feed reduced the incidence of gastric ulcers in young pigs.

Pharmacokinetics

No specific information was located.

Contraindications/Precautions

Melatonin implants are considered contraindicated in pregnant or sexually immature animals. There are very specific times for administration depending on latitude, hemisphere, and breed. Animals that are nursing young may not benefit from implant therapy.

In humans, melatonin is considered contraindicated in patients with hepatic insufficiency as it is cleared hepatically. It is also contraindicated in patients with a history of cerebrovascular disease, depression or neurological disorders. Use caution in patients with renal impairment.

Reproductive/Nursing Safety

No information located; use with caution.

Adverse Effects/Warnings

Melatonin appears to be quite safe in dogs. Side effects in dogs when given orally are rare, although sex hormone secretion and fertility may be affected. Subcutaneous implants in dogs have been associated with sterile abscesses.

Adverse effects reported in humans include altered sleep patterns, hypothermia, sedation, tachycardia, confusion, headache and pruritus.

Overdosage/Acute Toxicity

Little information available; unlikely to cause significant morbidity after a single overdose.

Drug Interactions

Melatonin may potentiate the effects of benzodiazepines or succinylcholine.

Doses

Dogs

For dermatologic conditions:

1. For experimental treatment of Alopecia-X in Nordic breeds, Canine pattern baldness, or canine recurrent flank alopecia: Empirical dose of one to four 12 mg implants SC. Retreatment may be necessary once or twice a year. If implants are unavailable, oral melatonin at 3-6 mg every 8-12 hours may be tried. Although appears to be safe, recommend having owners sign a release form noting the "experimental" nature of treatment. (Paradis 2000)

2. For treatment of canine recurrent flank alopecia or seasonal flank alopecia: 2-3 mg per dog PO once daily for 3-5 days weekly or monthly or this as a daily dose. Doses of up to 10 mg per dog have used. Improvement is usually seen in one month with maximal improvement in 3 months. (Merchant 2000)

3. For treatment of Alopecia-X in Nordic breeds, Canine pattern baldness, or canine recurrent flank alopecia: 3 mg for dogs under 10 kg and 6 mg for dogs 10 kg or greater PO q8-12 hrs for 6 to 8 weeks. (Campbell 1999)

For sleep disorders (nocturnal activity):

1. 3-6 mg (total dose) PO q12-24h (Virga 2002)

Cats

For sleep disorders (nocturnal activity):

1. 3-12 mg (total dose) PO q12-24h (Virga 2002)

Ferrets

For adjunctive treatment of adrenal disease:

1. Anecdotal reports of using melatonin 1 mg PO once daily 8-9 hours after sunrise or using the injectable mink implant approximately once every 4 months have been received. Monitor ongoing reports for further information.

Monitoring Parameters

1) Clinical efficacy

Client Information

For use in small animals, must be administered as directed to be effective. Relatively "experimental"; safety and efficacy are not clearly established.

Dosage Forms/Approval Status/Withholding Times

Veterinary Products:

An 18 mg implant for sustained subcutaneous release is available in a variety of countries. One trade name is Regulin®. It is labeled for use in sheep (UK and NZ) and goats (NZ) to improve early breeding and ovulation rates.

There reportedly are mink implants available in the United States from Neo-Dynamics(NNN) NNN-NNNN and a 5.4 mg implant product marketed for ferrets (Ferretonin®; Melatek, LLC; www.melatek.net). Actual approval status is not known.

Human Products:

Melatonin tablets are available in a variety of strengths from a variety of sources. Common strengths available range from 0.5 mg to 3 mg tablets. Sustained release capsules (3 mg) and oral liquid (500 mcg/ml) may also be available. Because melatonin is considered a "nutrient" there is no official labeling or central quality control systems for it in the USA. Purchase from reputable sources.

 

 

Ideally I would recommend a visit to your local vet to have these areas examined, skin scraping, etc. if you haven't already done so. But if you are interested in trying the melatonin, it appears to be considered very safe in dogs, but it has not been extensively studied in dogs. I would check with your vet before using it however, to be sure your pets don't have any reasons (previous medical problems or other medications) they should not take this. It can take a number of weeks to see a response. I hope this information is helpful to you and again, I am sorry you experienced a long delay in getting an answer. My best to you and your min pins! Dr. MarciaSmile

Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 6 years ago.

Oops!

 

I just saw that this question was asked in 2 different postings and it appears that Dr. Rosie already answered and her answer was accepted. I am happy to see that we both gave you a similar answer!

Thank you anyway and I hope all goes well with your min pins!

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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia
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I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience