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hair loss

 
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/08/02, 11:20 pm    Post subject: hair loss Reply with quote

Hi all,

I have an approx. 9-month old rescue GWP, adopted 3 months ago. She is a black and grey, instead of brown, howeover her head is coming through brown now. Very strange looking.

I have been feeding her a Solid Gold diet with Kelp, Seameal, and Scorbate supplements in an attempt to boost her immune system. When we got her she struggled with infections -- bladder, minor eye infections, minor infections from cuts and lesions. It's been an aggravating battle. With everything I've put into her in the past 3 1/2 months, I'd like to see her busting with health.

She had a severe allergy at one point that my vet mis-diagnosed as a staph infection and gave antibiotics which made Matea very ill. She's a skinny dog and only now putting some weight on in muscle, so she could ill afford a week of not eating.

The overall minor infections are clearing, but I'm concerned about general hair loss. Not shedding, really. Just not much hair. And now she's losing hair around the face. We've ruled out demodectic mange, as she hasn't responded to natural/homeopathic approaches that should have cured this, plus it's not advancing into anything that looks like mange. The top of her snout, around her eyes, are balding, but the process is slow.

I've switched her to the fish protein of Solid Gold foods, as I feared lamb might be the culprit. She also had extremely bad gas on the lamb, and this has gotten better on fish protein. Also, she has anywhere from 5-7 bowel movements a day; again, on the fish it's getting better. I'm thinking this is just a dog going through a heavy-duty detox period, but could any of this bizarre hair loss be something else? Has anyone experienced this with their GWPs as they mature? It's strange that at 6 mos of age she came to us with a black head and now it's turning brown, but the hair is no longer shiny on her head -- dull and thinning.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,
Illona and Matea
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 11/09/02, 6:47 am    Post subject: hair loss? Reply with quote

It sounds like there may be several things going on with your pup.

First, black hairs will turn red around the mouth area due to saliva coming in contact with the hair. I guess it's a chemical reaction of sorts. The hair on the top of her head that is changing color is probably due to her simply changing coat. Wire's do not "shed" like a Golden or a Lab. The coat dies and needs to be removed by stripping it out. If you don't remove this dead coat, the hair will slowly change color and look dull and clumpy.

Try this.... ruffle up the hair on top of the head and then with your fingers just grasp some of it and pull it out. I think you will be surprised how easy it comes. Under that dead hair, should be a whole new shiny bunch of hairs. Or it may look kinda bald for a week or so, but then you will see the new coat growing in. If you keep up this "pulling" every couple of weeks, the hair will always stay "new". You should do this on her entire body as well. Don't be afraid... it will grow back, promise.

The constant infections are worrisome. Has your vet done a Thyroid test on her? An "out of whack" thyroid can cause itchy skin, poor coat, over or lack of appetite, weight gain/loss.....and many more conditions.

Good luck with her and keep us posted on the eventual findings.

Bernee Brawn
Justa GWP's
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/09/02, 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernee,

Thanks for the tips. You're right! The hair on the top of her head does come out with a little tugging. It's not very thick though, or clumpy. You can actually see her skin. As for the rest of her coat -- it's shiny, coarse, but just thin on her sides and underside.
I do 'brush' her with a soft rubber hand brush, and very little hair comes out. I'll keep up the 'tugging' on my German Hairless Pointer, as we've started calling her. Also, she's not showing signs of itchiness. Her appetite is great; she's self-feeding now, eats only a little more than what is called for but she is highly active. Her muscle gain is great. In fact, she's grown 4" since we brought her home and has gained almost 10 lbs.

The infections are getting better, but I will look into thyroid testing. I'm currently reading Martin Goldstein's book on natural healing, and have a superb natural health-care provider for Matea. I'm trying to go more that route for now, as anything my vet has done with Matea has been an absolute shock to her system. When we adopted her 3 mos ago from the SPCA she'd had every vaccination available, plus was spayed. I think her system was overloaded and I'm seeing the results now.

When I have approached her previous symptoms/conditions naturally (food allergy and even a bout of kennel cough in spite of Bordatella vacc.) she has responded very quickly.

I'm going to see what Goldstein has to say about thyroid, but my suspicion (based on my own health experiences) is that the kelp should be helping her on this. If I'm not seeing much change in a couple more weeks I think I have to find a new vet and get the thyroid tested.

Thanks, Bernee. It's such an adventure.

Illona and Matea
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dualgwp
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PostPosted: 11/09/02, 2:59 pm    Post subject: hair losss Reply with quote

You say she was spayed not too long ago.... some dogs will blow their coat after anestesia... that may be a part of the hair less syndrome.

But, many Wires just simply dont carry as much coat as other Wires. Some are smooth just like a GSP, while others very wooly.... it could simply be her genetic makeup.

Bernee Brawn
Justa GWP's
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juswanrn
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PostPosted: 11/18/02, 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How's she doing? I have many suggestions for you, depending on her health at this time

Sherry
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/18/02, 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sherry.

Matea's hair is an on-going mystery. Her longer glossy black hair on her face is all gone. Now it's short, dull, brown and almost like puppy fuzz, only she's 9 months old. The rest of her is shiny and starting to thicken up a little bit, but it's not the wiry, curly coat she had only 3 months ago. Almost flat, with a few residual tufts.

The top of her snout and around her eyes are still relatively bare; doesn't look like there's much new growth there, and the rest of the head hair is getting shorter and thinner.

I guess, given her age, that she's going through some changes, however, I think I'm going to call a holistic vet 2 hours from here and see if he can see us and make suggestions.

What kinds of suggestions do you have, Sherry?

Thanks,
Illona
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juswanrn
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PostPosted: 11/18/02, 9:10 pm    Post subject: Growing Hair Reply with quote

How is her health doing otherwise other than her coat. Sounds like her immune system is weakened greatly.

What state do you reside in?
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Illona
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PostPosted: 11/18/02, 11:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Growing Hair Reply with quote

Sherry, we're up here in Ontario. And yes, I believe a lot of Matea's problems have to do with a stressed immune system. We don't know where she came from but she'd been 5 weeks at the SPCA, very skinny, then given every possible vaccination, and finally spayed before we could take her home. I'd really wanted to bring her home and let her balance out before getting her spayed, but the SPCA won't release an unaltered animal up here.

Still, it's been over 3 1/2 months of high-quality natural food and numerous supplements. This hair loss thing seems like such a set back. How long CAN it take for a dog to detox?

I'm currently reading Martin Goldstein's book on natural healing for dogs, and everything's sort of ringing true, but of course, he gives no time frame or specifics. It's a little frustrating. When Matea broke out in scabs and red bumps and was throwing up, my vet said it was a staph infection and put her on antibiotics which made her sicker. THEN the vet asked me to bring Matea in for a full work-up: blood, x-rays, the lot, but I was hardly about to subject the poor dog to more at that point. She stopped eating for several days -- even rice and chicken. Then our holistic dog-food provider said it was a food allergy; when we treated Matea for that, it worked. As a result, I'm reticent to go rushing to the vet on this hair loss thing.

Except for relatively consistently red eyes and this hair loss thing, she's doing well. Building MAJOR muscle and putting on much-needed weight. Still very, very lean though.

It's so frustrating to see all her lovely long wirehaired pointeir hair disappear. Any suggestions are welcome!

Illona
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Jon P
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PostPosted: 11/30/02, 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not suggesting that holistic methods would not apply here, but hair loss of this magnitude would prompt me to look at some type of acute problem among which may be:

1) demodactic mange - normally seen in young dogs until they develop an immunity. Some dogs will need treatment if they are slow in developing that immunity.

1) thyroid deficiency - will cause weak hair growth and/or loss of hair.

3) Crohn's disease - an adrenal deficiency that must be taken very seriously.

4) alopecia - strong hair loss due to hormonal imbalance

I would discuss these and other possibilities with your vet before I assumed that nutrution or supplementation will cure the problem.
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admin
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PostPosted: 11/30/02, 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
4) alopecia - strong hair loss due to hormonal imbalance

Actually, Alopecia is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks and destroys the hair follicles, much the same way the body destroys the islet cells in type I Diabetes.

I too am not suggesting that holistic isn't the way to go (hey.. I don't even use pesticides!!) but I agree with Jon. Before you spend too much more on nutritional or topical preparations you may want to consider consulting a vet that is familiar with skin and coat issues.

I had a very good friend with a Siberian that had terrible hair loss issues. As a puppy he was lovely, but when he matured, he lost most of his guard coat from his shoulders to the base of his tail. What coat that was there was dry, burned and felt like hay to the touch. She spend over four years and many many dollars trying to treat the problem with nutritional and topical treatments, including a year of raw diet for with no results. When she finally took the animal to a vet that was well versed in skin/hair issues, they did a biopsy and diagnosed the dog with HFD (Hair Folicle Dystrophy.) The cure... neuter him. He promptly grew hair and is now quite lovely.

-Sheri
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Keith
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PostPosted: 01/10/03, 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to watch out for with wirehairs is bad coats. My first wirehair had a very thin coat that at certain times of year would get almost bald in some areas. I think that it was genetic and dogs like that should never be bred. I have seen this coat problems in other wirehairs.
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