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Slow hair growth after surgery

July 16th, 2007, 11:30 AM
Hi Everyone,
If you've followed any of Molly's adventures (9yr old Golden Retriever I adopted about 2 months ago) you've probably noticed the patch of sparse hair on her back and now that i'm looking at her "belly" pics on the photo challenge thread I notice how sparse her belly fur is too.

Molly had surgery just before I got her (about 3 months ago) - she had a lump removed from her back (where the patch of fur is not growing) and spay surgery as well (though it turned out she was already spayed).

All the wounds have healed quite well but i'm really starting to think the hair should have grown back by now. Her hair elsewhere seems OK but not really thick and full like most Goldens I know (I thought that was just due to stress of all the moving she did and summer weather). Now i'm wondering if she has some kind of "issue". The skin on her back where the fur isn't growing well has quite a black pigmentation (definitely not infection, fungus or anything like that, the skin is just blacker than elsewhere)

She's booked to go to the vet next Monday to get thyroid tested and i'll probably get a complete blood workup done to check liver, kidneys, blood count, etc. I'm just wondering if there are other things I should be on the look out for (symptoms) and/or other tests I should get done.

My Chloe (RIP) had really poor hair growth after she had surgery for a lump removal (in exactly the same spot as Molly!) too and it turned out she had liver problems that eventually lead to her death (maybe cancer-we were unable to determine without surgery which would have killed her anyways). Now i'm a bit paranoid.....

First pic is when I got Molly (May 21st)
Second pic is from yesterday (July15th)
Last pic is close up from today - you can see the scar from stitches and then the black pigment I mentioned

July 16th, 2007, 03:06 PM
Otter, I noticed the same thing with Chase. He got his first TPLO surgery on March7 /07. The hair on his leg came back fairly quickly but where they shaved him on his back for the pain patch it still is not back to normal. I started giving him salmon oil capsules abouth three weeks ago and it does seemed to have speeded up the process. :shrug:

July 16th, 2007, 08:28 PM
Thanks Rainbow
I'm thinking about trying a fishy food (orjen fish) if I can get it, but in the mean time i'll try some salmon oil (hopefully I can find it - stuff is pretty limited here in town, otherwise have to wait to go to the city next week)

Did your vet give any cause??

I got more worried cause I saw bendyfoot's post surgery pics and after only a week the hair was growing back... like I said, maybe i'm just paranoid :shrug:

July 17th, 2007, 01:25 AM
Sorry not much help here:

Cally also had a lump removed (from his flank) when he was 10yrs old, his fur grew back in fairly quickly. When I got him as a 6 yr old I put him on Omega-3 for dry skin, helped alot w/coat too. I tried searching fur regrowth re: lumpectomy didn't come up w/anything.:sad:

Not sure about the black-ish skin either the only time I've seen this was an ex-neighbours' Flea Infested Yellow Lab but I know Molly wouldn't have that problem:D

Good luck :grouphug: :fingerscr :goodvibes: @ the Vets', regular updates please:)

July 17th, 2007, 10:14 AM
My neighbor's had this same issue with their ~5yo Aussie x after her ACL surgery. It has taken a year for her fur to grow back, but it looks good now. She did have black skin in this bare spot...though I don't know if it is any darker than the rest of her. As far as I know she has no underlying health problems. They mentioned to me once the fur started growing when they switched her food, though I don't know what brand they had her on or what they changed it to (sorry). Anyway, I think sometimes this happens and it doesn't mean necessarily that there is something else wrong.

July 17th, 2007, 10:22 AM
Hey Otter,
just so you know the pic of Jaida shows her hair re-growth after about 2 1/2 weeks. If I read the dates on your post right, the second pic is Molly after three weeks? If you ask me, she's looking great. Jaida's hair is pretty well exactly where it was last week, only a teeny bit longer. The last time Jaida had fur shaved (for an IV on her arm), I could still see the outline of the shaved spot more than two months later. I think for dogs that don't have "hair", like poodles, it can take a really long time to get good re-growth. I wouldn't panic yet. But I'll try to take more pics of Jaida so we can compare notes, ok?

July 17th, 2007, 09:42 PM
Thanks Bendyfoot, panic level has lowered a bit :thumbs up
Jaida is looking sooooooooooooooooo good :D Smiley and everything!
I sure do look forward to having someone to compare notes with and saves my poor vet numerous calls asking "is this normal"?

Molly is at the 3 month mark now and the lack of hair is very noticeable still so, i'm still a weeee bit concerned. Seems there are a ton of nasty conditions for which diminished hair growth is a symptom, usually coupled with other things though. Since I know so little of Molly's past it's a bit frightening to go and get blood tests and stuff done, who knows what problems she may have had in her past (:fingerscr her only trouble was an uncaring previous owner). Of course, the more I read about things the more I worry:frustrated:

Maybe we need to try out some Rogaine?? :laughing: :laughing: Wait, maybe that only works for males? (don't worry, I wouldn't even consider it!)

July 17th, 2007, 10:07 PM
I've noticed very slow hair regrowth after a rather traumatic experience like surgery too. I just thought maybe it took their bodies a little longer to recover. With my cat, when his belly was shaved for his ultrasound and then his endoscopy, it was very traumatic for him. It took six months before his hiar finally all grew back and looked normal again vs the small shaved spot on his arm that took a good two months to look fully normal. He sported peach fuzz for quite a while and the skin in those areas was an awful shade of puckered white instead of healthy pink for a long time.

But it sounds like a good idea to get her checked out anyway. Good luck with sweet Molly!!!!!

July 18th, 2007, 11:32 AM
otter , I wouldn't worry. My Daisy had a lump remove on her shoulder and it did take a while for the fur to grow back (she was 9 yr old so maybe that's why)

I love the first pic :lovestruck:

July 18th, 2007, 06:29 PM
I've noticed a difference in hair re-growth rate in Ceili between her first TPLO (March 2005) and her second (June 2007). I put it down to older age as well as a difference in season. The skin colour is a little concerning though Otter ~ let us know what the Vet says ?

July 19th, 2007, 12:46 AM
Chase had his first TPLO surgery on March 7/07 when he was 20 months old. The hair on his leg has grown back but the hair on his back where he was shaved for the pain patch is only about half grown back.

And, now we get to go through it all again when he comes home tomorrow after the TPLO surgery on his other leg. :rolleyes:

I'll try to remember to ask my vet about hair regrowth. :o

July 19th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Hey Otter,

here's some closups from yesterday...this would be about 3 weeks post-op. I noticed that the lighter part of the skin/hair on her chest below the lower part of the incision has BARELY grown back. It's still practically naked. The darker fur on top seems to be growing faster. So, I guess fur re-growth can really vary, even on the same dog! You can see she still has a way to go to reach the full length of the fur on her back.