Today we’re going to discuss Alopecia in Pomeranians. I’m happy to have Peach the Pomeranian and her “Pommy Mommy” Lauren to be our guest blogger! Alopecia (AKA Black Skin Disease) in Pomeranians is a very “hot topic” among Pomeranian owners. She will tell us all about how she first started to notice the warning signs of Alopecia in Peach. Lauren also shares what her Vet’s advice was and more facts about Alopecia in Pomeranians for us as Pommy Mommies to have a better understanding of this unique disease.
During this past year I had noticed that Peach’s usually lion like coat had been thinning around her shoulders, back, and hind legs. Seasonal shedding I thought nothing of it. Eventually I began to see large amounts of fur fall out during brushing while darker wiry hair grew in it place. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her, but it was unsettling. Her usually glossy lion-like coat was becoming dull, lifeless, and thin. Yet, she didn’t show any strange behavior or discomfort. I beginning to panic, my sister who loves reality television jokingly said ‘wouldn’t it be funny if you dog was bald like the one on Real Housewives.’ Then it clicked. I sat up that night doing as much research as possible to see if there was something causing her to go bald, and there was… Alopecia in Pomeranians
Before I go on and create any panic or anxiety in any Pommy Mommy’s reading this let me explain that there are several reasons a dog could be losing their hair. Don’t immediately jump to conclusions that your dog has Alopecia X or Black Skin disease. Things such as allergies, seasonal weather change, dry skin, over brushing, poor diet, age (puppy uglies and elder dogs), and skin irritants (such as doggie perfumes and some shampoos) can cause hair loss! I attempted a sensitive skin regime for Peach and usually a change like this can reverse whatever damage had been done, but not with Peach… Alopecia in Pomeranians
I eventually felt the need to bring Peach to the vets office to find out what was going on with my sweet girl.
Once there Dr. Porter examined Peach and told me he could see she had Alopecia X also known as Black Skin Disease, due to her darkening skin and fur loss. He wanted to take a blood sample and skin culture to make sure though. Eventually the tests came back positive and I was heart broken, mostly because I didn’t understand. Finding information online on dog hair loss is easy but a lot of it can be frustrating different sites say different things. Here is a short explanation of I have created with the help of my vet to better explain and help deal with Alopecia X.
The Symptoms of Alopecia in Pomeranians:
– Occurs in adolescence to early adulthood, usually by four years of age, although signs may appear at any time.
– Gradual loss of color and lushness of the coat.
– Gradual and symmetrical loss of outer coat, usually ranging from shoulders to hind legs.
– Increasingly dry, “cottony” undercoat
– Symmetrical baldness
– Hyper-pigmentation (darkening) of the skin
– Alopecia X does not cause any pain, if your dog is in pain immediately contact your Vet.
– Understand that these changes don’t occur over night. Its a gradual slow change which may not be noticed at first
– Alopecia X can SOMETIMES be reversed. There is not absolute cure and every dog is different.
Coping with and possibly reversing hair loss
– Change their diet! Good fats promote hair growth and healthy skin. Look for foods with potatoes, lamb, omega-3, omega-6. Ask your local pet store to show you skin and coat foods available.
–Try adding skin supplements! Skin supplements like Pommy Mommy Naturals SkinPRO™ Pack is specially formulated with your Pomeranian’s skin in mind.
NOTE: If you find that these are a bit out of your price range try using a low milligram fish oil pill from the grocery store. The ratio is 20mg per pound. Giving your dog too much can cause loose stool so be aware of the amount you are giving them try a little lower dose if you are unsure.
– Spay/Neuter your Pom! Hormonal imbalance may be causing your pets fur to fall out. Spaying/neutering may reverse the effects of Alopecia X in its early stages or halt any further fur loss.
– Try Oral Melatonin! Oral melatonin is used as a sleep aid for most people, but for dogs it can help stimulate hair growth.
– Change your grooming routine! Over brushing and bathing can cause damage to the hair follicles. Try easing your brushing routines with a softer brush or the amount of time you brush them. Try switching to a sensitive skin, oatmeal base, or sensitive de-shedding shampoo followed by a light conditioner. These will bring the moisture back into the skin and coat and bring the color and lushness back.
Peach is slowly beginning to regrow hair, she’s not as fluffy as she once was but hopefully one day she will be little lion again. Alopecia in Pomeranians
Remember these things take time, patience is key, and always check with your vet before starting any new diet or routines.