Tangie had not been itchy. He had gradually lost hair
for the last 18 months, but had a beautiful fluffy coat
when he was a puppy. Apart from the fact that he was born
with a hydrocephalus, making him walk in circles, and the
broken leg he had as a pup, he had never been on any medication.
However, Tangie was cryptorchid, which means that one of
his testicles had not descended.
Physical examination of Tangie revealed that there were
no other skin lesions, and that he was losing his coat in
the collar area, on his sides and around the tail base.
His head and legs were still fully haired. This typical
localisation of the baldness is mostly seen in hormonal
The first step was to castrate Tangie, because undescended
testicles have a bigger chance of becoming cancerous and
can produce an excess of certain hormones, which can cause
baldness. At the same time small biopsies of the skin were
Tangies undescended testicle was send for examination
to a pathologist, but no tumour was detected.
His skin samples showed changes seen in hormonal diseases,
but also seen in alopecia X. Tangie then had blood tests
to determine if he suffered from an underactive thyroid
gland or Cushings disease. These tests were negative,
and it is now believed that Tangie has got Alopecia X.
It is probably caused by an imbalance in the sex hormones
of the adrenal glands, and is especially seen in male Pomeranians,
Chow Chows, Keeshonds, Samoyeds and miniature Poodles.
Although the normal quality of life is excellent, and the
dog is not bothered by his hair loss, it is of course very
upsetting for the owners. Other people often think the dog
is not being looked after. For that reason, we decided to
try Tangie on some medication, and now, almost 4 months
after we started it, Tangie is getting his hairs back. Just
in time for the winter!!
Ingrid Segboer MRCVS
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