Bulldog alopecia means hair loss, or baldness. English Bulldog, French Bulldog, and American Bulldog Flank alopecia is also known as bulldog seasonal baldness. Bulldog flank alopecia is associated with a shorter period of sunlight due to the changing of the seasons. The reduced sunlight exposure affects your English bulldog puppy’s hair follicles, thus slowing or stopping your bulldog’s hair growth. This seasonal effect is thought to be influenced by melatonin and prolactin hormone production, which may also be associated with follicular hormone receptors localized in your bulldog’s flank area.
Bulldog flank alopecia is more of a cosmetic skin condition and is not generally associated with a medical problem. Thus, I don’t advise therapeutic action but, for owners of bulldogs who opt to treat this condition, I suggest exposure to light (similar to the type of light used for humans with seasonal mood disorders). If you are compelled to do something, you can give a melatonin supplementation ; it’s harmless. In general, I instruct clients to ignore it; it’s a cosmetic, not a medical problem. Most of the time, it will improve and the hair will grow with the changing of the season.
Not every bulldog flank baldness case is seasonal or cyclical. Some bulldogs will stay bald indefinitely, regardless of the season and light exposure, and some bulldogs may only have partial regrowth. Bulldog puppies rarely are effected by flank alopecia while most bulldogs develop this baldness pattern at adulthood and mid-age. In contrast to bulldog allergies and bulldog pyoderma, bulldog flank alopecia is usually not itchy. Most bulldog seasonal baldness results in hyperpigmented black or dark coat color and, typically, irregular in appearance. These patterns present on both flanks with similar appearances.
Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Flank Alopecia Baldness Tip #1: In most cases, this diagnosis can be made based on breed predisposition, appearance and history. Biopsy, blood tests, skin scrapeing, DTM (fungal culture) and cytology might be necessary in some cases.
Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Flank Alopecia Baldness Tip #2: Melatonin is a hormone that affects photoperiodic functions and can sometimes be effective in preventing bulldog seasonal baldness. Oral melatonin is safe and inexpensive; 6 mg twice daily is advised for an average sized bulldog, usually until hair grows back. This regrowth may take a few months.
Dr. Kaemer’s Bulldog Flank Alopecia Baldness Tip #3: In most bulldogs, the hair will regrow with sunlight exposure; however, in some bulldogs and french bulldogs, the hair regrowth might skip a year and sometimes the hair never completely regrow.
Dr. Kraemer’s Bulldog Flank Alopecia Baldness Warning #1: Other common causes of hair baldness in bulldogs and other breeds are demodicosis, food allergies, atopic dermatitis and ringworm. Some other non-itching bilateral symmetrical alopecia can mimic bulldog flank alopecia seasonal baldness. The aforementioned conditions should be be ruled out by conducting a skin scraping, blood test, thyroid level check and/or fungal culture, to name few.