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Boxers skin turning black & loosing hair

Tom Patterson
May 5th, 2006, 10:39 AM
First time visitor here, so I hope I've done this right. I have a 4 year old female boxer, she is spayed and in otherwise good health. She has developed patches of hair loss and skin turning black. The vet did a complete blood test and determined her thyroid was a "little" off, so she has been on a thyroid drug for 2 months now and I see no improvement in her condition. About 3 weeks ago I switched her food to Pedigree with salmon and waiting to see if it makes a difference. I have been told that her condition may be a parasite and to try a product called "Revolution". Should I give the thyroid meds more time or do I try this Revolution? Im affraid if I wait too long Ill have a bald, black boxer.

Lucky Rescue
May 5th, 2006, 10:52 AM
HI and welcome to the board!:)

What tests has the vet done to determine the cause of the hairloss? Skin scrapings, etc..? The skin turning black doesn't mean anything - just a reaction to the lower temperature of the exposed skin.

Pedigree is NOT a good food for any dog, let alone one with skin problems. This is cheap food and the high corn content in it can cause or aggravate skin conditions and allergies, since many dogs cannot tolerate all this corn.

I have been told that her condition may be a parasite and to try a product called "Revolution".

Did the vet tell you this? I personally wouldn't use pesticides on my dog without knowing for sure that she has parasites, and I would put her on much better food.

Tom Patterson
May 5th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Regarding her diet. I have tried to change her food to a rice meal base by Neutro brand ( @ Petco) but she would vomit after eating and "yes" I did gradually change her over. It seems every dog food I look at has corn in it, to include all those pricier brands as well. Seems there is very few non-corn foods available, could you recommend a brand for me to look at?

May 5th, 2006, 12:37 PM
Look at the dog & cat food forum.

you'll find MANY recommendations & brand suggestions that do not contain corn, by products and other junk.

btw - I tried Nutro once and my dog puked also.

May 5th, 2006, 07:43 PM
My boxer eats Canidae. we've been really happy with it. Boxers have pretty sensitive systems often.

May 6th, 2006, 12:30 AM
Welcome to the board!

For corn free foods, I posted a list of good brands (with their websites) if you want to take a look here:
(toward the bottom of post #5)

With those foods though, the change-over has to be even more gradual as their much richer and have less digestive aids to "help" with digestion.:)

Good luck!

May 6th, 2006, 01:57 AM
With thyroid there is usually more telling symptoms than just the hairloss, hyperpigmentation, did your run a full thyroid panel or just check T4? and did he do a 6 week recheck.
For years the vets kept blaming the hairloss in racing greyhounds as being relate to thyroid ,just as a note in the 1700's a lord in England bred in some bulldog , the did six breeding with greyhounds before racing against other greys, that dog became the foundation for the current racing stock which is why you see the brindle coloring in greyhounds, if the boxer had bulldog bred in that may indicate a genetic link, with greyhound there is 2 main types of alopcia(hairloss) one is called pattern which results in permanent patches of hairloss which you can see on my bridge girl Callies butt this is the dog I was refering to who is in Callie's pedigree , Czarina born 1791 owned by Lord Orford she ran 47 races and was never beaten

Some people have tried the melatonin but the hair is different almost wiry and thin and will just fall out again, Callie was hypothyroid but I had her test due to other symptoms but it made no difference for her hairloss.

Then there is the seasonal alopecia in which they thin or loose hair hair seasonally on the flanks and belly, which is what my other 2 greyhound have they lose the hair in the summer months whereas it seems the boxers losses mostly in the winter months or if they don't get enough natural sunlight for example the owner works daylight hours

There can be different causes for hairloss
Cyclic (cicatrical) alopecia; seasonal flank alopecia Growth cycle of hair stops at certain times of the year Symmetrical hair loss with definite borders; usually on back and flanks; skin may become darker History, clinical signs, biopsy None

here is a chart about different types of hairloss and symptoms

From a boxer site if the hairloss is on the head and forelegs than may be mange

Non-Inflammatory Alopecia
Toshiroh Iwasaki, DVM, PhD
Department of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology
Tokyo, Japan

Non-color linked

1) Follicular dysplasia

Dog breeds: Siberian husky, Doberman pinscher, Miniature pinscher, Airedale terrier, Boxer, English bulldog

Onset age: Depend on a breed

3 to 4 months old; Siberian husky

1 to 4 years old; Doberman pinscher, Miniature pinscher

2 to 4 years old; Airedale terrier, Boxer, English bulldog

Clinical signs: Non-seasonal, non-color-related, symmetrical alopecia caused by follicular and/or hair dysplasia. SH: Primary hairs is lost and skin color changes to dark red.

DP, MP: Hair loss in trunk extending to the back. AT, Boxer, EB: Hair loss confined to the trunk.

Trichogram: Melanin clumping and breaking of the hair

Treatment: Melatonin at 3 to 6 mg/head

2) Seasonal flank alopecia

Dog breeds: Airedale terrier, English bulldog, Boxer, Scotch terrier

Clinical signs: Nonpruritic, well-demarcated, usually bilaterally symmetrical alopecia of flanks, sometimes of nose, base of tail and ears. The alopecic skin area is often deeply pigmented. Alopecia occurs seasonally, starting between November and March, and ending after three to eight months.

Histopathology: Dysplastic hair follicles containing keratin: melanin clumping and breaking of hair

Diagnosis: Breeds, history, clinical findings and histopathology

Treatment: Melatonin at 3 to 6 mg/head, bid