Seasonal Flank Alopecia Articles
click here to open a pdf article about a Bulldog with Focal Alopecia
Seasonal flank alopecia is difficult to cure, because it seems to
come annually due to lack of sunlight in the winter months.
It is especially common in the northern states.
Daily exposure to sun can really help; unfortunately a bulldog
will stay out far too long so you need to keep watch,
especially in the hot summer months, that they don't overheat.
Melatonin may cure it, and I do believe the root cause is
allergies of some sort. Sometimes it goes away on its own.
Sometimes it just comes back every year.
Here's some information on this fairly common bulldog disorder:
Seasonal affective disorder can be culprit for canine hair loss
Coming off of a long, dark winter as we are in the Midwest,
we're confronted with a unique disease seen in certain breeds of
dogs. Light responsive alopecia or seasonal flank alopecia is most
often seen at this time of the year. It is not well understood but is
thought to be from lack of sunlight exposure to the pineal gland.
The pineal gland is located at the base of the brain and is the gland
responsible for telling bears to hibernate and perhaps telling us to
crawl into bed early during these long winters, eat fatty foods, and
in general, not have much energy.
These changes are not recognized in dogs but physical changes such
as trun-cal alopecia and hyperpig-mentation are evident Light responsive
alopecia is logically more common in those areas of the country with
dark winters such as the Midwest, the Plains states, parts of New England
and Canada. Studies of seasonal affective disorder in humans show an
incidence of 2 percent in Florida vs. 10 percent in New Hampshire. When
seen in other parts of the country or at other times of the year it maybe
evident that affected dogs are house bound during the daylight hours for
a prolonged period of time. For example, the owner leaves before dawn
and arrives home after sunset so the dog is exposed to virtually no natural
sunlight. It is not known whether the disease is comparable between humans
and animals but what is certain is that a photo period plays a role in both.
This information comes from this Hilltop Animal Hospital