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Hi!  I’m a new member, as of this evening, and I found the site as I was researching the hair loss issue our 2 year old miniature goldendoodle, Finnley, is having.  It started with loss of hair and darkening skin on both of his sides and has been getting progressively worse over the last few months, including most of the hair on his tail gone, except for around the base of it.  His beautiful tail literally looks like a rat tail now :(  I was convinced it was hypothyroidism.  Having some other symptoms such as a few lb weight gain in last month and a bit lethargic.  We took him to the vet last Friday and they took blood, urine and stool samples.   He called yesterday to say his kidneys & liver were fine and that his thyroid level was on the low side of normal, at 1.1.   He said he wanted to have them test for level of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), to see if that was elevated.  We gave him the go ahead and heard back from him today that it was not high, so he said he’s not ready to diagnose him with hypothyroidism at this point.  He suggested it may be from allergies or possibly some other “odd problem” going on and we’ll be talking tomorrow.  I’ve read the information on seasonal flank alopecia and have him taking 3 mg of melatonin twice a day for approximately 2 weeks now....not seeing much improvement.  The hair that is on his sides is different than the rest of his hair....it’s coarse, straight and dark.  Has anybody experienced this with their Doodle?  I would appreciate any advice anyone can offer.  Thank you!

Adding a picture taken 9 days ago.  Most of hair on tail, except for base, is now gone. Dark & thinning patches on sides actually go over the top of his back now:

 

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Replies

  • I would urge you to consult a veterinary dermatology specialist. They have much more experience in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the skin and coat than any GP vet, no matter how good.

    I have a LOT of experience with allergies in dogs, and this doesn't look or sound like allergies at all.

    First thoughts that came to my mind were Cushing's Disease or Sebaceous Adenitis, both of which run in Standard Poodles and are seen in doodles. S.A. requires skin biopsies to diagnose. Cushing's requires a urine cortisol/creatinine test and then if the results are not normal, a test called LDDST. 
    Here is a link to the ACVD website where you can find a specialist.
    https://www.acvd.org/tools/locator/locator.asp?ids=16_Find_Dermatol...

    acvd.org | Find Dermatologist | Veterinarians with specialized training in skin, ears, and allergy
    The ACVD is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association to advance excellence in veterinary dermatology, oversee postgraduate training,…
  • Thank you for the info and the website.  Looks like there’s a couple specialists close to me.  I had discussed the possibility of Cushings with the vet.  His first thought was that Finnley was too young, but now I think it’s time to pursue that testing, as well.   They have taken skin scrapings on tail and sides to rule out mites, etc, and all looked good.  I read up on SA last night and I didn’t see many symptoms similar to his, but still a possibility.  I’ll be speaking with the vet today to see where we go next.  Thanks again!

    • I have seen a fair number of doodles with S.A., and what is happening with his tail looks very much like that to  me. But I am not a vet and even a vet couldn't tell much from pictures on the internet. 

      Is the skin in the areas where there is hair loss greasier at all?
      The thing about seeing a specialist is that where a GP vet may have seen X skin condition a few times a year, a derm specialist sees it a few times a week. They can actually save you money because they can cut through a lot of the random general testing & trying things that usually happens with a GP vet. And you usually get an answer and some peace of mind a lot quicker. 

    • Also, skin scrapings taken to rule out mites and bacterial issues is way different from the biopsies taken to diagnose Sebaceous Adenitis. That would not have shown it. 

  • I was not familiar with seasonal flank alopecia. I just read about it and it does look a bit like this. The melatonin needs to be given for 2-3 months to see results, so you would not see anything in 2 weeks.

    Again, that can be diagnosed by a dermatologist via skin biopsies.

    • Thanks again for helping us.  I spoke with the vet today and they’re going to do a skin biopsy tomorrow.  I’ll be sure to mention SA so they check for that.  I’ll let you know what we find out in a day or two. 

  • Hi Pam ~ My name is Linda Hamilton and I have been a member of DK for many years, but not as active these last couple of years.  I happen to come in to the site tonight and saw your post and know how frustrating it can be to go through something similar.  I wonder if he could have mural foliculitis. 

    I have a doodle that was suspected to have SA, but when I took him to Dermatology specialist in the Seattle, we found out he had a fairly rare disorder - mural foliculitis.  Initially, he was very itchy and I noticed dark crusty skin around his nose, and the edges of his ears, he also had black skin starting on side and then his hair started falling out like crazy.  When we saw the dermatologist, he did further testing and confirmed Beau had 3 infections - he was put on antibiotics which took care of the infections quickly.  He also started taking Atopica and had to have  oil baths every ten days.  This is an auto-immune disorder and his body does not produce oil like it should.  It has been two years now, and we have been able to keep him looking good and in control with a low dose of Atopica and regular oil baths.

    I hope you are able to get a diagnosis and help for your doodle.     

    • This is interesting. I had not heard of mural foliculitis, but the treatment is exactly the same as for S.A. 

      • Hi Karen ~ its been quite a while since I checked in to DK.  I have missed seeing everyone.  Yes, the treatment is the same.  The difference is that SA affects the gland.  Beau's disorder attacks the follicle.  He is being maintained.  Once he was being treated, his coat came back quickly.  

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