Diluted Coat Alopecia in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Your young dog loses hair by plaque? He may have this hereditary disease called diluted coat alopecia.

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Dilute coat alopecia: causes and signs of the condition

Dilute coat alopecia, also called color mutant alopecia, is a genetic condition that causes patchy hair loss in areas where the hair color is diluted. Hair loss is mainly located on the trunk.

Puppies are born with normal-looking coats, and signs of the disease usually begin to show between 6 months and 3 years of age. The hair loss could be explained by a structural anomaly of the hair follicle.

Which dogs are prone to the disease?

" As its name suggests, coat alopecia affects animals that display a so-called diluted color. It is most commonly seen in dogs with blue or fawn coats."

Many dog breeds can thus be affected among:

  • the German Shepherd,
  • the Shetland Sheepdog,
  • the Dachshund,
  • the Bernese Mountain Dog,
  • the Irish Red Setter,
  • the Great Dane,
  • the Dobermann,
  • the Italian greyhound,
  • Newfoundland
  • the Chow-chow,
  • the Chihuahua,
  • the Schipperke,
  • the Poodle,
  • Portuguese Water Dog,
  • the Australian Silky Terrier,
  • the Miniature Pinscher,
  • the Yorkshire Terrier,
  • the Whippet,
  • the Saluki.

Should I be worried if my dog has diluted coat alopecia?

Dilute coat alopecia is a condition that has no influence on the survival of the animal and generally only affects its appearance.

However, alopecia (hair loss) may be accompanied by other symptoms such as the appearance of scales, pimples and itching. Complications of bacterial folliculitis may also appear and require veterinary care.

Can this disease be cured?

There is no cure for dilute coat alopecia but the condition can be managed with symptomatic treatments that your veterinarian can prescribe.

Treatment may include mild anti-seborrhoeic or antibacterial shampoos and conditioners. The veterinarian may also prescribe oral antibiotics to treat any secondary skin infection.

Due to the hereditary nature of this disease, it is strictly inadvisable to breed dogs affected by this condition.

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