PLEASE READ! (Sorry; I know it's long)...
I'm actually going to write a new post with this information because I really think it might help other people who have blue/fawns suffering from severe hair loss. *Please be advised that I am in no way, shape, or form an expert on Blue Dobermans or their various skin conditions, but I DO have lots of personal experience with CDA (a.k.a. Blue Doberman Syndrome) with my current dog.*
Background to this: I bought a blue Doberman puppy about 4 years ago, before I was ever aware of this very common skin condition that many of them suffer from. I had done research on the breed in general, but I didn't suspect that the color would have any significance to anything. Of course, there are many reasons that all breeds of dogs can experience thinning coats or total hair loss (including the already mentioned thyroid problems, etc) but when I took my dog to the vet for his shots, coincidentally this veterinarian had EXTENSIVE experience with blue/fawn dobermans and used to breed them. He informed me of all the problems that I may start noticing as my dog ages and he recommended bringing him if I notice him getting itchy dry patches, losing hair, red bumpy pustules on his body, etc...well sure enough, my poor dog had all of the above. CONSTANT itchy dry skin...losing hair at a pretty slow rate, but it was still noticeably getting thinner and thinner. My vet ran all the tests on him to exclude all other possible reasons for this, but he concluded it was just the genetic disorder...there was nothing I could do for him besides try to make the rest of his "doggy-days" as comfortable and itch-free as possible.
this was really upsetting to me because A) he was a beautiful dog, B) the food I had him on for his coat was really expensive, C) I'd just never had to deal with this much maintenance on one animal ever before, and it was turning out to be a LOT of additional work all to just slow the process of the inevitable. The extra cleaning, the special shampoos, the medicated sprays to help his itching, the bathing regimens, the special food, the supplements, the extra vet visits and Rx medicine I had to buy cause he was prone to skin infections (and he got a lot of them).
Eventually he lost ALL of his hair on his stomach, back, and hind-quarters. He was pretty much bald except for his head and legs. It became a regular thing to start putting sunscreen on him if he was going to be outside for a while because otherwise he would get a really bad sunburn. I'd have to put clothes on him when it got cold cause the poor guy had no hair to keep him kind of warm...he was a mess. So I started doing some really in depth research on just hair loss in general hoping to find some sort of new study that would give me some answers and him some relief. But I could find nothing that was specific to blue Dobermans or anything like that. But here's what I found that I decided to try, and HERE'S WHAT CAME OF IT!
FINALLY FOR THE GOOD PART:
I read that melatonin is used in all sorts of hair loss in people and animals and it is proven to be affective in regrowing hair! (There was a study done on dogs with CDA but the study did not have great results)...but I decided to try it anyway. It couldn't hurt! The things I have done differently within the last 2 months are:
I still use his regular oatmeal shampoo and I also started using Mane & Tail Conditioner. I wash him once a week, twice with shampoo and once with the conditioner. I also bought a large soft-bristled brush that I scrub him down with during his baths to really get all the dirt out of his skin and remaining fur. (You'd be surprised how much dirt is still on a hairless dog even after a regular hand wash)...THEN, (y'all are going to think I'm crazy, but someone told me to do this and it seems to make his skin retain moisture MUCH better) I swipe the water off his back and spray it with a little bit of WD-40 (yes...like the stuff for squeaky hinges)...I thought it was crazy too but someone assured me it would not hurt my dog and to test it on a small area to make sure he wasn't allergic or something. And I use the large brush to then kind of spread that around on the areas with no fur, and finish it up with a good rinsing. His skin is SO MUCH softer and not NEAR as dry. It stays pretty well moisturizer until about the 5th day. Then I can start seeing it dry out again.
FOR HIS FOOD:
I have him on just Purina One for right now because the place I used to get his special food is no longer there. But for about 4 months he's been on Purina and he's doing fine. Anyway, I mix in a couple 3mg tablets of Melatonin supplements in the dry food, and poke holes in 2 fish oil capsules and squeeze that all over the top. He loves it, and for whatever reason, his hair is finally actually growing back!! I can't believe it! I have included before and after pictures. I honestly think it the melatonin that is helping but I'm not 100%. I'm not researcher or specialist but I just hope that if anyone else has had these problems with their blue dobey, maybe this will make a difference is y'alls life too.
People who had seen him bald are amazed at how much better he looks now. My neighbor's have commented on it, my parents, friends, etc. it really is a HUGE difference. So I'm going to keep doing exactly what I've been doing and keep my fingers crossed that the progress continues.
I hope I didn't put you to sleep through all of that lol!