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Vet Dermatol. 2005 Feb;16(1):39-46.

Adult-onset hair loss in Chesapeake Bay retrievers: a clinical and histological study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Ten Chesapeake Bay retriever (CBRS) dogs with hair loss were recruited in collaboration with the American Chesapeake Club. All dogs had nonpruritic, noninflammatory, regionalized hair loss affecting the same areas of the body in male and female dogs. Hormonal investigations showed increased adrenal and sex steroid concentration in seven cases. Histopathology revealed follicular hyperkeratosis and plugging, follicular atrophy, and occasional melanin clumping with malformed hair shafts. This study suggests that hair loss in CBRS is a breed syndrome in which young adult dogs have hair loss characterized by unusual histological features and abnormal steroid production. A familial predisposition seems likely and selective breeding might reduce the occurrence of this condition.

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