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D2005-05

Dear Daisy Dog

My greyhound’s thighs are bald. His bare skin looks completely normal, and he isn’t itchy. The vet can find nothing wrong with him. Will his hair grow back?

Daisy Responds

It’s unlikely.

Greyhounds and several other breeds develop pattern baldness, just like you humans do. But in the case of canines, more than the head is affected.

Dogs with pattern baldness may lose hair from the ears and the skin behind the ears, the insides and backs of the thighs, and sometimes the underside of the chest and belly.

The hair begins to thin as early as six months of age.
Hair loss progresses very slowly, until the affected areas are hairless or produce only small, fine hairs. Sometimes the skin darkens where the hair has been lost.

In addition to greyhounds, breeds predisposed to pattern baldness include the dachshund, Chihuahua, Italian greyhound, whippet, Manchester terrier, and Boston terrier.
Portuguese water dogs and American water spaniels also can be affected, although their hair loss generally occurs under the neck, on the tail, and on the insides and backs of the thighs.

Pattern baldness sometimes responds to melatonin, but it returns when the medication is stopped.

While I have long, curly hair, I like a guy who’s bald, so I see no reason to treat the condition.

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