Canine follicular dysplasia is a rare condition. It’s an inherited disorder where their hair follicles have abnormal coat growth. The affected dog typically has patches of short, sparsely-growing or absent hairs on their face, body, and limbs. In some cases, their coat can look like they’re almost completely bald. This condition can be diagnosed through a skin biopsy and genetic testing. Treatment usually involves hormone supplements and topical therapies to improve their coat quality.
Follicular dysplasia is caused by mutations in a gene involved in hair follicle development. The mutation affects the production of proteins needed for normal hair growth, leading to abnormal or absent hairs in affected dogs. Dogs with this condition typically have normal skin beneath the short hair patches, although some can also have dry, itchy, or scaly skin.
Symptoms of Canine Follicular Dysplasia
Symptoms of Canine Follicular Dysplasia typically include:
- Sparsely-growing or absent hairs on the face
In some cases, their coat can appear almost completely bald. Affected dogs can have dry, itchy, or scaly skin beneath the short hair patches. The presence of lesions or other skin abnormalities is not common but can occur in some cases.
Diagnosing Canine Follicular Dysplasia
Follicular dysplasia can be diagnosed through a skin biopsy and genetic testing. A skin biopsy involves taking a small sample of the affected dog’s skin and examining it under a microscope. The dermatologist will look for abnormalities in the hair follicles that indicate the presence of this condition. Genetic testing can also be used to identify which gene is responsible for the disorder.
The breeds most likely to be affected are:
Stages of Canine Follicular Dysplasia
There are three stages of Follicular Dysplasia. These include:
Early onset of the condition, associated with patchy areas of short, sparse fur with normal skin beneath.
Moderate hair loss and poor coat quality.
Severe hair loss and thinning or absent fur over large areas of their body.
Treating Canine Follicular Dysplasia
Treating Follicular Dysplasia typically involves hormone supplements and topical therapies. Hormone supplements help restore the hormones that are necessary for normal hair growth. Topical therapies such as shampoos, conditioners, and skin creams can help improve their coat quality and reduce shedding. In some cases, laser therapy can also be used to stimulate hair growth in affected dogs.
Preventing Canine Follicular Dysplasia
Follicular dysplasia is an inherited condition, so there is no way to prevent it. Responsible breeding practices can help reduce the chances of this disorder being passed down from one generation to the next. It’s important for breeders to screen their dogs for this condition before they are bred and only mate those that do not carry the gene mutation responsible for the disorder.