Three words for you: Dachshund. Pattern. Baldness.
There’s really no way to introduce this delicately, so I decided to just spell it right out without beating around the bush. You may be chuckling to yourself already, thinking, “Is this chick for real?” But in truth, Dachshund Pattern Baldness is a very real medical affliction and is no laughing matter. Well, it is pretty funny to us humans, but still, emotionally trying on the dachshund.
Merlot and Moses both went a whole year of life with no symptoms of pattern baldness. My mom’s dachshund, Bella was the first to start showing signs, mind you she is five years old. It first began with minor hair loss on the under breast. We thought since that’s the general area that drags the ground the most, it was just from general “wear and tear.” Then, the hair loss spread all throughout her breast, chest, and stomach. Soon her tail had lost so much hair, it looked like a rat’s tail – very unattractive on a dachshund!
My mom had Bella tested for everything from cancer to thyroid problems to vitamin deficiencies, fungus and beyond. All tests came back negative and Bella continue to bald. I always just pointed and laughed at her, and made fun of my parents for being bad dachshund caregivers to have let this happen! Then…it happened to my dachshund.
Merlot was first; she has this tiny patch on her under breast that is just thinning away. It hasn’t really spread – it’s just in that one small area (the shape of a diamond):
Then came Moses. Moses has it bad. I first noticed it the other day when this chest bone (the manly adam apple-y one in the front under his throat) had almost no hair on it. The skin is as SOFT as a baby’s bottom and it is not red or irritated on either of the dogs (and they don’t itch it or anything!).
And you can imagine Moses’ horror. His pride and joy is his hair. Ever since he was a puppy he’s been prancing around the house showing us how he grew a new chest hair here or tail hair there. I feel so bad for the little fella. He’s extremely sensitive and so we can’t talk about it around him. He’d kill me if he knew about this blog post!
Here is some information I found on DPB:
Related terms: pinnal alopecia, saddle alopecia
What is pattern baldness?
With this condition there is gradual, symmetric thinning and loss of hair (alopecia) that usually begins by 6 to 9 months of age and progresses slowly until the affected areas are completely bald. Areas of hair loss are not itchy but may become darkened and scaly over time.
There are 3 different patterns of baldness that occur. In the most common syndrome, dachshunds and other breeds (mostly female animals) experience hair loss around the temples, underneath the neck, and on the chest, abdomen and back of the thighs. In dachshunds with pinnal alopecia (mostly male), the hair is gradually lost from both ears. Saddle alopecia occurs in American water spaniels and Portuguese water dogs, with hair loss underneath the neck, on the back of the thighs, and on the tail.
How is pattern baldness inherited?
What breeds are affected by pattern baldness?
Dachshunds are most commonly affected, and the condition is also seen in Boston terriers, Chihuahuas, greyhounds, Italian greyhounds, Manchester terriers, and whippets. Saddle alopecia occurs in American water spaniels and Portuguese water dogs.
For many breeds and many disorders, the studies to determine the mode of inheritance or the frequency in the breed have not been carried out, or are inconclusive. We have listed breeds for which there is a consensus among those investigating in this field and among veterinary practitioners, that the condition is significant in this breed.
What does pattern baldness mean to you and your dog?
Aside from the areas of hair loss, your dog's coat will be normal. There is usually no discomfort associated with this condition.
How is pattern baldness diagnosed?
The condition is diagnosed through clinical examination and ruling out other causes of hair loss.
How is pattern baldness treated?
There is no treatment to reverse the hair loss.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DISORDER, PLEASE SEE YOUR VETERINARIAN.
Resources: Scott, D.W., Miller, W.H., Griffin, C.E. 1995. Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology. p. 777 W.B. Saunders Co., Toronto. The HotDog Blog
Do you have a dachshund that suffers from DPB??? How are you helping him/her cope!?
Thank you for reading and I hope this helps someone out there who has been going through what we’ve been going through!!
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This entry was posted on 8:00 AM and is filed under Bridget , dachshund-health-issues , dachshund-help , Merlot-the-dachshund , Moses-the-dachshund . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.