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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29711
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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I have a three year old boxer that is loosing hair in large

Customer Question

I have a three year old boxer that is loosing hair in large areas on both sides of her body, the Vet checked and said it is seasonal dermo something or other he say's the hair will grow back but it been four month and it only has gotten worse. Is there anything I can do that will be safer than putting her on melatonin?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I suspect that you're referring to a pattern alopecia (seasonal flank alopecia, cyclic flank alopecia, cyclic follicular dysplasia) common in bulldogs, boxers, airedales and schnauzers. The exact cause isn't known but photoperiod control of melatonin and prolactin secretion nay be involved. The onset of alopecia in the northern hemisphere usually occurs between November and March. Most dogs regrow their hair spontaneously 3-8 months later. Episodes of hair loss may occur sporadically only once or twice, or regularly each year. With repeated episodes, a progressive increase in the amount and duration of hair loss may be seen.Observation without treatment is reasonable because this disease is purely cosmetic and affected dogs are otherwise healthy. Treatment with melatonin may be effective. Protocols include melatonin at 3-12 mg/dog every 12-24 hours for 3 months and several weeks before the onset of the next expected occurrence. The prognosis for hair regrowth is variable. Regrowth may be incomplete and new hairs may be duller in color and drier in texture. Don't be afraid of melatonin. It's so safe we've never been able to determine a maximum dose that causes serious symptoms. There are no other known reliably effective therapies for this dermatopathy.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.