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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15908
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 12 year old Pomeranian had an operation in February, cruciate

Resolved Question:

My 12 year old Pomeranian had an operation in February, cruciate ligament. Her leg was shaved and she recovered well, but her fur has not grown back . she has a slight covering but nothing like her original length. She needs to be trimmed but I have been waiting for the new growth to come so that the trim would be consistent all over. Is there some deficiency somewhere?
Mary
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about your pup's coat not growing back after being shaved for surgery.
There are several reasons for hair not to regrow.
If she has been spayed and seems normal otherwise the most likely cause of her lack of regrowth is post-clipping alopecia. With this dogs seem to have trouble regrowing hair after being clipped for reasons that aren't clear, but in most cases the hair eventually regrows although it may take up to 2 years. There isn't anything that can be done to speed this up, you just need to be patient.
If your girl isn't spayed hormonal changes, most commonly related to sex hormone imbalances, cause poor hair growth. In most cases spaying leads to normal hair growth.
If she seemed unwell otherwise, eating or drinking more or less then usual, with weight loss or gain, then metabolic or endocrine imbalances may be the root problem. Skin and hair are the last to receive blood supply and nutrients when the body is under stress and as such the haircoat is often poor and hair regrowth will be very slow.
Blood tests such as a complete blood profile and a complete thyroid hormone profile can be checked. I do not recommend using thyroid hormone supplementation without measuring levels first. This is often ineffective as we don't know whether we are giving enough, or even if thyroid hormones are needed. If the body is stressed by other disease processes then increasing thyroid hormone levels may only stress the body further and not be of benefit.
Rarely growth hormone or adrenal sex hormone levels are lower then they should be. Testing for this is a bit difficult due to specialized sample handling and the condition is quite rare. I mention it to be complete however. In some cases these dogs do respond to Melatonin given at 3mg to 12mg orally every 12 to 24 hours. Melatonin is a natural hormone in the body that regulates sleep/wake cycles and shedding and hair regrowth. If she seems normal otherwise sometimes giving this hormone jump starts hair regrowth. This hormone has very few side effects other than slightly reduced fertility in breeding dogs, which is not likely to be a concern with your girl at her age any way.
Hyperadrenocorticism or Cushings Disease is an overproduction of steroid hormones usually due to a pituitary tumor stimulating high levels of cortisol hormone production. These dogs will usually have an excellent appetite, increased water consumption and urination, and as time goes on poor hair regrowth, especially on the flanks and abdomen as well as poor muscle strength and secondary infections. Diagnosis is via blood testing and treatment and control with medication can lead to a normal lifespan and hair regrowth.
If her hair regrowth troubles were only on his flanks (the sides of the body just in front of the rear legs) then seasonal flank alopecia could be the cause and in those cases hair regrowth normally happens in response to increasing daylight hours in the late spring/early summer. No other treatment need happen. This doesn't sound like your girl, but it is a reason for poor hair growth.
Best of luck with your girl, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15908
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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