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Melatonin For Hair Loss?


Guest LindsaySF

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Guest LindsaySF

Honey is losing hair on her neck, belly, and thighs. :( If she had come to me that way it would be one thing, but she used to be pretty fuzzy so I don't know why it's happening.

 

I had them do bloodwork at the vet and her T4 came back 1.0. This is within the normal range for Greyhounds, but Honey is a mix, so we're not sure if it is normal for her. They did the free T4 test as well, and the vet said that came back normal. If it's not her thyroid what is it?

 

I've heard it mentioned that melatonin supplements can be given for hair loss. Where would I get melatonin? What is the dosage? Is it safe?

 

What else can I use? Honey already gets fish oil caplets, but just one a day or else she gets loose stool. I use the human kind from Costco. Is there a certain brand that is better?

 

I realize the hair loss is likely just a cosmetic problem, but it bothers me. :blush She also gets cold faster than she used to, so I worry about her being naked. Teagan is quite fuzzy for a Greyhound, so this is new territory for me. Help please? ;)

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

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I would run a full thyroid panel just to rule out hypothyroidism---at least run a tsh. Not being able to get warm is symptom of hypothyroidism. Being she's not 100% greyhound a T4 of 1.0 could be very low for her.

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Guest simile

I've never used melatonin for hair loss on my pups, but I've used it as a calming agent. The usual dosage I give is 3mg per 20lbs, but I don't usually exceed 9mg in one sitting. Of course, I'm using it to make a pup calm and drowsy, so I don't know what the dosage would be for hair regrowth.

 

You can pick up melatonin in the health food/vitamin section of any store. I get mine at WalMart - 100 3mg pills for about $4.

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A veterinary dermatologist told me about melatonin for fixing Arlie's bald butt, but I never pursued it. I did ask about drowsiness as a side effect and she said the dose required wouldn't have that result, but we didn't get into specifics. Might be worth asking your vet, particularly if there is someone at the clinic with a particular interest in dermatology.

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Carl's ophthalmologist suggested using melatonin for his fur loss. They seem to be fascinated by his fur loss! I agree with running a full thyroid and would also suggest you might run it again in a couple of months. Carl had blood work done last May, it came back normal. In June his eyes started getting cloudy rings, to make a long story short, we ran a another full thyroid panel in November (as his eyes worsened) and it turned out that he was truly hypothyroid (the eye problem was related to the thyroid). Just this month I heard from someone here that Carl had been diagnosed, and treated, as hypothyroid while he was racing. A fact that I did not know when I adopted him. I'd had his blood work done right after I got him, but not a full thyroid panel. I've have him on thyroid medication since November, but changed it to Soloxine in January, he has a little peach fuzz coming in on his neck and thighs. So far I haven't tried the melatonin, but we're going to see the vet on Tuesday and she's a holistic/traditional vet, so I'm looking forward to what she has to say. Oh, his eyes are getting better...so being hypothyroid untreated for so long played havoc with his eyes.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest TexasGreytMom

One melatonin (3mg) puts me right to sleep. I never thought to use it on pups. We have a thunderphobic girl, but I would be afraid it would make her too groggy. Interesting topic!

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I have given my greys melatonin (generic brand from my local grocery store) for years. It worked really well on one of my girls in particular as far as her growing hair on her bald butt. It never made them drowsy. I usually give 2 or 3 mg either with breakfast or dinner.

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As long as she's acting well* and not losing it in weird spots or patches, I'd probably wait a couple months and then retest. For a non greyhound, depending on your lab's levels, that's probably the low end of normal. Could be she's just going thru a big shed.

 

* If the getting cold is really noticeable, wouldn't hurt to run a full panel now.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I have given my greys melatonin (generic brand from my local grocery store) for years. It worked really well on one of my girls in particular as far as her growing hair on her bald butt. It never made them drowsy. I usually give 2 or 3 mg either with breakfast or dinner.

I am going to start diamond on 3mg to see if that helps his poor nekid butt

 

I'm glad I saw this thread

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Kari and the pups.
Run free sweet Hana 9/21/08-9/12/10. Missing Sparks with every breath.
Passion 10/16/02-5/25/17

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Guest BlackandBrindle

Are you sure it's not just seasonal shedding?

 

Spud was much fuzzier than he is now when we adopted him but he gets fuzzier as it gets colder. Now he's naked as a jaybird :lol

 

I will say that we used melatonin for Spud's SA but I never saw any hair growth that was noticeable during that time... :dunno

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Lindsay - I think I posted about Indy's experience with this a few months ago???

 

I adopted Indy at 3-1/2. He is now almost 11-1/2, so I don't recall all the specifics, but during the first 1-1/2 yrs post-adoption, he kept losing hair on his butt, thighs, chest, tail, legs - gee, just about everywhere except his back! Took him to three different vets (including a dermatologist who attributed the problem to allergies). After extremely expensive allergy treatment (oh, each vet also ran a thyroid panel and said it was "normal") -- I finally returned to the regular vet and requested another thyroid panel. I did a lot of reading online and thyroid manifestations can vary from dog to dog.

 

Anyway, I don't recall the specific results but for one particular value he was at the bottom of "normal." Say the normal range was 0 - 20. Well, Indy was at 0. I should add Indy also exhibited other signs of low thyroid levels as well (lethargic, irregular bowel movements, cold, itchy, moody, etc.).

 

So I said to the vet let's start him on thyroid meds as have tried everything else. Started Indy on thyroid meds and within a few months he was well on the road to recovery. In time all his fur grew back except for a little "rat tail" patch on his tail. :lol:

 

BTW, the allergist put Indy on antibiotics, antihistamines, steroidal ointments, blah blah blah. The poor dog was so sick and battled repeated staph infections from all the antibiotics.

 

I would not be afraid to try her on thyroid meds. You'll know in six weeks to two months if that's the ticket. If I recall we had to do a repeat panel six weeks after Indy was initially started on meds. I say no harm, no foul. Thyroid meds are inexpensive compared to the allergy treatment Indy suffered through. You can always stops the meds if there is no improvement.

 

Also, Indy's half-sister Holly is on thyroid meds. Interestingly, she exhibited a little differently than Indy. Low energy, often looked sad and tired like she had been up partying all night! :P Holly only lost fur bilaterally on her thighs. Exact pattern on both sides. Once we started her on the meds, her hair grew back and she definitely perked up.

 

Thyroid symptoms can be very subtle. And I agree, what is normal for one dog may not be for another. Good luck to you and Honey. Be her advocate.

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Yeah, but most dogs will grow hair with thyroid supplements, so I'm not sure that's a good indication of thyroid problems.

 

I would probably do a full panel with TSH just to be sure. Shedding is one thing, but actual hair loss seems a little drastic for a seasonal coat change.

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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I should add that Indy's hair loss was very subtle and progressive. It definitely didn't happen overnight. And my concern for him was not simply a matter of cosmetics. He was not well and had a host of related symptoms. Once on thyroid meds, most of Indy's medical issues cleared up. And I honestly believe if left untreated he would have died several years ago.

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Guest LindsaySF

I think meds was the right decision for Indy because he was showing other symptoms. My dilemma with Honey is that she doesn't have any other symptoms. I mean, she is skittish already and looks sad all the time. How would I know if those were symptoms? :lol

 

Batmom, I don't think she is overly cold. She has always been more sensitive to the cold than Teagan (example, today at our M&G's she had her coat on and he didn't), but I don't think she is getting worse, not that I've noticed. I get paranoid because I see that she's naked and she didn't used to be. What would you consider weird spots to be losing hair?

 

BlackandBrindle, someone else had said she could be going through a seasonal shed and maybe a little too much hair came out. I suppose that's possible. I've only had Honey since October so this would be her first summer with me. Her coat is thinning along her outer thighs, elbows, knees, chest, etc, that could be her losing her winter coat or something. But the part that most concerns me is her neck, belly, and inner thighs, those are almost totally bald. She used to have some hair there, it was thin but fuzzy. Would she shed that hair in a seasonal shed?

 

I will ask my vet about the full thyroid panel with TSH. I'm wondering what was done before though. The initial bloodwork we sent out was a comprehensive somethingorother that the vet said would check for a variety of "metabolic problems". It cost $150. They did CBC, platelets, etc. The T4 in that bloodwork came back 1.0, so she sent out an additional "free T4" test, that one was $100. How much is this TSH thing going to cost me? :lol:

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

 

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Guest caiteag
One melatonin (3mg) puts me right to sleep. I never thought to use it on pups. We have a thunderphobic girl, but I would be afraid it would make her too groggy. Interesting topic!

 

 

I give Ty 1 3mg melatonin for thunder, fireworks and any other continued loud noises that distress him (like when the basement was being renovated). It doesn't knock him out, but it does seem to take the edge off of his stress and make the experience easier for him.

 

No idea on how useful it would be in hair re-growth.. though I might try that with Ty because he's pretty naked.

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Bear in mind, Carl's only symptom until his corneas started developing rings was patterned fur loss. He started to blow his coat as normal in the spring, but by summer nothing had grown back. I'm not convinced all dogs "show" symptoms other than the fur loss. It just makes me sick that his eyes developed the rings and 2 vets wouldn't listen to me when I asked about his thyroid. GRRRR.

 

Good luck, I hope she's only blowing her coat!

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I promise not to belabor the point :P , but I concur with Carl's mom ... because thyroid issues manifest differently in every dog, symptoms can be sneaky and subtle rather than obvious -- as in oh look, I see you have a broken arm. And it isn't always obvious that there is a correlation between symptoms.

 

Lindsay, I don't know if this helps any but both Indy and Holly's thyroid-related hair loss was gradual - it was nothing like the fur-flying spring shed both are going through right now. I don't recall even noticing that they were losing hair. Just one day you look at your pup(s) and realize their coat is quite sparse and they are plucked-chicken bald in certain areas. :lol Rather than falling out, it's more like the hair just stops growing.

 

Also like Carl's mom, three vets politely dismissed me when I raised the thyroid question. I realize vets need a clinical indicator to prescribe treatment but this is also one of those nebulous areas that sometimes requires a little thinking outside the box (or bun!). It also makes me very angry and sad that Indy suffered so much and for so long when the solution was sooooo simple. (Not to mention the THOUSANDS of dollars I spent). I second the Grrrrr!

 

Lindsay, I had to do some online detective work - which is what prompted me to circle back to the thyroid issue. There are a number of good articles about canine hypothyroidism online. I do recall reading there are, as you can imagine, several breeds more inclined to have thyroid issues, in addition to dogs around age 4 who have been spayed/neutered (which certainly could include a large number of dogs!) and all the possible bizarro symptoms are listed or described. I guess it's up to the owner to figure out which, if any, apply.

 

Good luck! I guess this exercise forced me to become Indy's advocate since he couldn't tell me what was wrong - but I could see it in his sad eyes (sadder than usual!).

 

Again, perhaps hypothyroidism is not Honey's problem, but please don't rule it out just yet. Good luck to you and pupper. :dogcookie

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I would not be afraid to try her on thyroid meds. You'll know in six weeks to two months if that's the ticket.

 

 

I think meds was the right decision for Indy because he was showing other symptoms. My dilemma with Honey is that she doesn't have any other symptoms.

 

 

Right, that was my point. Without true indication of thyroid issues, there's no point in just "trying" them to see if they will solve the hairloss issue. Because, in fact, most will grow hair back even if thyroid wasn't the cause.

 

I wasn't arguing whether or not Indy needed meds, because by most indications he probably did, just that the 'try and see' method doesn't do much good in cases that don't have clinical reasoning because you're not actually getting at the root of the problem. You've just now got a furry dog. :lol

 

 

With Buster Bloof (UCME Razorback 89B-51359) and Gingersnap Ginny (92D-59450). Missing Pepper, Berkeley, Ivy, Princess and Bauer at the bridge.

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lexie had some bald spots and i used barleans brand flax seed oil for animals. you have to get it at an organic store. her bald spots went away. Our vet dermatologist reccommened it. It costs 10 bucks a bottle and last like 2 months. It is a liquid u keep in the fridge. lexie has a sensitive stomach. I gave her 1 tbsp with each meal (2). I buy mine at mustard seed in ohio.

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Guest spider9174

So...Here is the deal on melatonin...

 

I have ferrets (who are prone to adrenal disease) and a Cushing dog (type of adrenal disease).

 

It is used to treat adrenal disease. It isn't a cure. It is thought that in the early stages of pituitary Cushings, it can be given to treat the disease. It is given to ferrets in the form of an implant or crushed tablet to slow down the adrenal disease. The mechanism isn't well understood (from my research), but they think it works on the brain. Melatonin is showing promise in early alzheimer's or to prevent dementia--although these are early studies and nothing confirmed. What researchers do agree on is that melatonin does work on the brain and does work on adrenal diseases. Note: at some point, a cushings dog will need other treatment, it does not cure it.

 

A side effect of adrenal disease in ferrets is loss of hair starting at the tail. So, if the melatonin works, the ferret will grow back hair.

 

In Cushing's dogs, sometimes the blood panel will show low thyroid--however when the Cushing's is treated the thyroid goes back to normal. A Cushing's dog will also lose hair on his/her butte.

 

It is also thought that the melatonin will help grow back some of the hair.

 

If your pup has lost hair and there is not underlying medical reason for it, there is no harm in trying melatonin. I feed 1 3mg tablet 2x/day with added Flaxseed oil with lignin at each meal. This is the recommended dose for her cushing's.

 

ETA...if you give flaxseed oil, it should be fresh and with lignin. I also feed fish oil as a source of omega 3s. Dog don't metabolize flaxseed oil as well as fish oil

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One melatonin (3mg) puts me right to sleep. I never thought to use it on pups. We have a thunderphobic girl, but I would be afraid it would make her too groggy. Interesting topic!

One of my friends has a grey and has a problem with thunder also. She gives the grey 3 mg. 2 pills and it does help calm the grey. Has not seen any side effects and she has had greys for over 20 years so she is experience with them.

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Guest BlackandBrindle

Spud's neck, belly, and inner thighs are completely bald in the summer. In the winter, he's got peach fuzz and actual hair there so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that she's just shedding her winter coat.

 

Spud's first shed with us had me thinking something was terribly wrong. :lol He lost so much hair I was convinced I was killing him :rolleyes:

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Lorelei came at 12 months and so fuzzy you could sink your fingers into her hair. She hit 16 months this month and she's shedding like it's going out of style. She has lost more hair than my mom's GSDs do! In some places you can see her pink skin. But, she is not going bald anywhere but her butt end...she sits all the time and twists around so I think she's rubbing it raw. It could be a crazy shed like hers. I may try melatonin on my naked butt and belly boys though.

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