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We recently got our newest puppy, a 10 week old blue bitch. We didn't actually set out to purchase a blue, but desperately wanted a bitch by Index Vom Hellerwald and out of 3 bitches in the litter 2 were blue and the black was already sold! Being in Australia, Index pups are rarely produced so we decided we would take the blue and be prepared to deal with potentially a bald dog eventually... anyway

When we picked her up from the airport on Tuesday it was evident that she already has a significant amount of thinning fur, and the fur she does have is short and fuzzy. I took her to the vet this morning and he suggested lack of decent nutrition and skin care was probably the cause, but he also had never heard of CDA (blue dobermanns are few and far between in Australia). She is also rather skinny (6.5kg as opposed to our black male who was 12.5kg at the same age).
So I guess my question, after that long-winded story is- could she be showing signs of CDA at 10 weeks old or is the vet correct and she'll grow a decent coat once I've got her on a decent diet?
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CDA isn't something you'd see in a puppy. Her coat condition is most likely due to either an underlying skin condition (did your vet check for things like staph?), or, it's a result of not getting what she needs nutritionally. Blue (and fawn) puppies from good breeders here in the US have nice coats, just like their siblings. I would make sure she's on good food, be sure she doesn't have any skin conditions like staph going on, and with good care she should start to look better.

Hopefully your vet will research CDA.
 

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Read up on nutrition for fur and skin such as raw feeding and fish oil. Keep your eyes peeled for bumps and things like that that should be treated before they spread. Our Loki is a fawn and we hope that by diligence and good nutrition his fur will stay nice. When we got him at 10 months it was smelly, thinner, rough and had bumps in certain places. Now it is much much better, but I don't think he will ever have "winter fur" or anything like that!
Good Luck! She is so cute!
 

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I doubt that what is going on is actually CDA. In general most puppies who are fawn or blue (the dilute colors) have nice coats as puppies--CDA shows up in older puppies and often not until the dilute dogs are 2 or 3 and some never show CDA at all.

Generally what is going on with puppies whose coats look like your bitch (motheaten) have a superficial skin infection. They may also smell--and a lot of vets want you to bathe them frequently and scrub them which will only make that kind of problem worse.

Dobe puppies of any color are rather susceptible to staph infections too--and sometimes that requires an extended period of antibiotics to clear up the underlying problem.

About the coat in a dilute dog (and blues have more problems than fawns) when bathing, use cool to cold water--dog skin doesn't like warm water and it opens the follicles and if the puppy isn't rinsed very thoroughly the irritation can lead to a case of folliculitis (infection of the follicle)--this can do two things--cause hair loss, cause the dog to smell (because of the infection) may cause vets who don't have a clue about maintenance of dilute coats to tell you to bathe the dog frequently with medicated shampoos and scrub them. Dilute hair is more fragile than red or black hair because the hair shaft does not have melinin (the thing that gives the hair it's color) evenly distributed--because it is not the shaft tends to break at the places where the melinin is located. Rubbing the hair backwards (by scratching the dog--don't do that and don't let other people do that) tends to break it and if it's wet it's even more of a problem. So when you bathe the puppy (or any dilute dog) thin the shampoo (whatever you are using) wet the dog thoroughly and apply the shampoo with a clean sponge or cloth with the direction of the coat--use only your fingertips to lather and rinse thoroughly with lots of cool to cold water. And for a final rinse add a cup of ordinary white vinegar to a gallon of water and pour it over the dog--wipe the excess water off the dog with your hands and wipe down (in the direction of the lay of the coat with a towel and let the dog air dry. The dog will stop smelling like a salad as soon as the he dries and the vinegar leaves the skin at the proper pH for dog skin.

Don't use shampoos made for people. One of the most effective sampoos I used (on all my dogs actually) on the fawn dog was a 2% or 4% chlorhexadine shampoo. Some are prescription but there are some that are OTC.

Avoid very freguent bathing that will dry the skin. I used a leave in conditioner on my fawn dog but I thinned it way down (about 1 to 25 parts of condition to parts of water) put it in a spray bottle and after the dog was rinsed and before he was dry I'd spray him with that.

My fawn dog retained a good coat all of his long life (14 years) but since hypothyroidism is so common in Dobermans be careful and if you see a patterned of thyroid issue hair loss don't let your vet write it off as totally related to possible CDA. Test his thyroid levels first. My fawn was hypothyroid by the time he was around 4 but once he was tested and properly medicated his coat grew back.

You can only go so far in maintaining good coats on the dilute dogs since it is in part heredity that controls it but you can help maintain a coat properly which will make a lot of difference.

Have your vet check for staph or any other kind of skin condition which at her age is more likely the problem rather than CDA.

Good luck with her. I'm just being curious here--are fawn and blue allowed colors for the breed in Australia? Or do you use the German standard that now disallows both fawn (never allowed in Germany) and blue?

dobebug
 

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Thank you all for your input! You've put my mind at ease :) and given me a lot of great info!

The vet did check for staph but said there was no sign of infection, and he was reluctant to put her on antibiotics without first getting her to a good point nutrition wise, to see if that resolved the problem.

He did suggest chlorhex and a dilute spray on conditioner as you have dobebug, so I'll go out and get some tomorrow.

We have another appointment on the 20th to see if she is improving, and we will go from there. I had a quick look for animal dermatologists but the closest to us is a 15hr drive :-( so our vet will have to do.

Thanks again everyone 😁
 

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Have you talked with the breeder? I hope you are prepared to have a pretty intense puppy! I have a friend with a dog sired by him and he is a ton of dog!
Haha yeah she's already a crazy little thing 😂 although quite timid which I was surprised by... hopefully with some time we will also be able to fix that to an extent.
 

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I doubt that what is going on is actually CDA. In general most puppies who are fawn or blue (the dilute colors) have nice coats as puppies--CDA shows up in older puppies and often not until the dilute dogs are 2 or 3 and some never show CDA at all.

Generally what is going on with puppies whose coats look like your bitch (motheaten) have a superficial skin infection. They may also smell--and a lot of vets want you to bathe them frequently and scrub them which will only make that kind of problem worse.

Dobe puppies of any color are rather susceptible to staph infections too--and sometimes that requires an extended period of antibiotics to clear up the underlying problem.

About the coat in a dilute dog (and blues have more problems than fawns) when bathing, use cool to cold water--dog skin doesn't like warm water and it opens the follicles and if the puppy isn't rinsed very thoroughly the irritation can lead to a case of folliculitis (infection of the follicle)--this can do two things--cause hair loss, cause the dog to smell (because of the infection) may cause vets who don't have a clue about maintenance of dilute coats to tell you to bathe the dog frequently with medicated shampoos and scrub them. Dilute hair is more fragile than red or black hair because the hair shaft does not have melinin (the thing that gives the hair it's color) evenly distributed--because it is not the shaft tends to break at the places where the melinin is located. Rubbing the hair backwards (by scratching the dog--don't do that and don't let other people do that) tends to break it and if it's wet it's even more of a problem. So when you bathe the puppy (or any dilute dog) thin the shampoo (whatever you are using) wet the dog thoroughly and apply the shampoo with a clean sponge or cloth with the direction of the coat--use only your fingertips to lather and rinse thoroughly with lots of cool to cold water. And for a final rinse add a cup of ordinary white vinegar to a gallon of water and pour it over the dog--wipe the excess water off the dog with your hands and wipe down (in the direction of the lay of the coat with a towel and let the dog air dry. The dog will stop smelling like a salad as soon as the he dries and the vinegar leaves the skin at the proper pH for dog skin.

Don't use shampoos made for people. One of the most effective sampoos I used (on all my dogs actually) on the fawn dog was a 2% or 4% chlorhexadine shampoo. Some are prescription but there are some that are OTC.

Avoid very freguent bathing that will dry the skin. I used a leave in conditioner on my fawn dog but I thinned it way down (about 1 to 25 parts of condition to parts of water) put it in a spray bottle and after the dog was rinsed and before he was dry I'd spray him with that.

My fawn dog retained a good coat all of his long life (14 years) but since hypothyroidism is so common in Dobermans be careful and if you see a patterned of thyroid issue hair loss don't let your vet write it off as totally related to possible CDA. Test his thyroid levels first. My fawn was hypothyroid by the time he was around 4 but once he was tested and properly medicated his coat grew back.

You can only go so far in maintaining good coats on the dilute dogs since it is in part heredity that controls it but you can help maintain a coat properly which will make a lot of difference.

Have your vet check for staph or any other kind of skin condition which at her age is more likely the problem rather than CDA.

Good luck with her. I'm just being curious here--are fawn and blue allowed colors for the breed in Australia? Or do you use the German standard that now disallows both fawn (never allowed in Germany) and blue?

dobebug
Dilutes are allowed in Aus yes, but very few breeders produce them.
 

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She is adorable!

I guess in rare cases, such as ours, puppies can have CDA. When we got ours, she was 12 weeks old. We treated for staph, mites, did tests and had to come to the conclusion that it was CDA. I started giving her fish oil and skin and coat supplements in addition to alternating organic soap from Natural Dog Co and medicated shampoo from the vet. She is not completely bald, but you can see her skin especially on her back. She is about to turn 2. She is the smartest, cuddliest dog we have ever had.
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She is adorable!

I guess in rare cases, such as ours, puppies can have CDA. When we got ours, she was 12 weeks old. We treated for staph, mites, did tests and had to come to the conclusion that it was CDA. I started giving her fish oil and skin and coat supplements in addition to alternating organic soap from Natural Dog Co and medicated shampoo from the vet. She is not completely bald, but you can see her skin especially on her back. She is about to turn 2. She is the smartest, cuddliest dog we have ever had.
View attachment 138200
I think unfortunately this is the case with our girl too, we've treated for everything and it hasn't really improved. We still tell her she's beautiful, even if she is going bald 😥.
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I think unfortunately this is the case with our girl too, we've treated for everything and it hasn't really improved. We still tell her she's beautiful, even if she is going bald 😥. View attachment 138216
At least they don't know they are bald. :D
My Freya doesn't like the sun at all. She will go out of her way to stay in the shade. I bought her a cooling, sun-shirt with a UPF 50 for the summer, or sunny days. And lots of warm coats for the winter.
 

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I think unfortunately this is the case with our girl too, we've treated for everything and it hasn't really improved. We still tell her she's beautiful, even if she is going bald 😥. View attachment 138216
Don't give up on your puppy and her coat yet. Her hair loss actually looks more like the results of a case of puppy staph--the they don't always find the staph with the skin scrapes. But I've been dealing (ears) with another blue puppy who looked like a malnutrition case when his owner got him--his coat looked a lot like your bitch. Four month down the line getting him a decent diet and up to his correct weight his coat, which was thin and patchy is filling in everywhere.

He was nearly bald on his back and now has hair which continues to fill in.

It really takes months for missing hair to grow back and even when a dog was shaved for some reason (like surgery) owners are often very surprised at how long it takes for the shaved area to grow all the hair back.

Another thing that will help the skin on a dog with a patchy looking coat is to take a spray bottle and mix a solution of plain old white vinegar and water. one part vinegar to 3 parts of water. Spray the dogs coat in the areas where hair is missing (they only smell like a salad while this solution is wet--when they dry it doesn't smell) but what it does is it will leave the dogs skin at the proper pH--and it can to some degree act as a disinfectant--folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle itself often gets missed when trying to check on a possible infection. You can do this daily. It certainly won't do any harm and it may improve things.

And when your girl grow up--be aware (especially since you are in an area which doesn't see many dilute Dobermans) that a lot of Dobes end up with hypothyroidism--it's common. That hair loss is generally patterns--behind the ears, inside the hind legs, across the loin, down the neck and under the chest. Doesn't always happen everywhere but those are the common places--and it is pattered and is bilateral and a whole lot of vets will just shrug it off and say it's CDA--do a thyroid panel and make sure it isn't because the dog is hypothyroid.

My fawn male (who retained a full coat until his death at 14 years) became hypothyroid somewhere around 4, 5, 6 (can't remember--too long ago) started loosing hair--I worked for a vet clinic at the time and they really didn't think I was right but we did a full panel and he was indeed very low thyroid--medicated he grew all the coat he'd lost back in about 5 months. Just a bit of information to hang on to for the future.

Good luck with your lil' blue girl--she's very cute.

dobebug
 

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Don't give up on your puppy and her coat yet. Her hair loss actually looks more like the results of a case of puppy staph--the they don't always find the staph with the skin scrapes. But I've been dealing (ears) with another blue puppy who looked like a malnutrition case when his owner got him--his coat looked a lot like your bitch. Four month down the line getting him a decent diet and up to his correct weight his coat, which was thin and patchy is filling in everywhere.

He was nearly bald on his back and now has hair which continues to fill in.

It really takes months for missing hair to grow back and even when a dog was shaved for some reason (like surgery) owners are often very surprised at how long it takes for the shaved area to grow all the hair back.

Another thing that will help the skin on a dog with a patchy looking coat is to take a spray bottle and mix a solution of plain old white vinegar and water. one part vinegar to 3 parts of water. Spray the dogs coat in the areas where hair is missing (they only smell like a salad while this solution is wet--when they dry it doesn't smell) but what it does is it will leave the dogs skin at the proper pH--and it can to some degree act as a disinfectant--folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle itself often gets missed when trying to check on a possible infection. You can do this daily. It certainly won't do any harm and it may improve things.

And when your girl grow up--be aware (especially since you are in an area which doesn't see many dilute Dobermans) that a lot of Dobes end up with hypothyroidism--it's common. That hair loss is generally patterns--behind the ears, inside the hind legs, across the loin, down the neck and under the chest. Doesn't always happen everywhere but those are the common places--and it is pattered and is bilateral and a whole lot of vets will just shrug it off and say it's CDA--do a thyroid panel and make sure it isn't because the dog is hypothyroid.

My fawn male (who retained a full coat until his death at 14 years) became hypothyroid somewhere around 4, 5, 6 (can't remember--too long ago) started loosing hair--I worked for a vet clinic at the time and they really didn't think I was right but we did a full panel and he was indeed very low thyroid--medicated he grew all the coat he'd lost back in about 5 months. Just a bit of information to hang on to for the future.

Good luck with your lil' blue girl--she's very cute.

dobebug

Hi! Do you have any thoughts on melatonin as treatment for alopecia? I think I am going to discuss with my vet on our next visit... but would love your opinion.
 

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Hi! Do you have any thoughts on melatonin as treatment for alopecia? I think I am going to discuss with my vet on our next visit... but would love your opinion.
Yeah I do. Because a number of owners of dilute dogs who used melatonin (people I actually knew) felt that it did help to help to retain a decent coat. I opted to give my fawn dog melatonin at 3 mg per meal (two meals a day for a total of 6mg per day. I started at 6 months (because that's when I got him.) I know dermatologists who have prescribed huge doses and it did nothing more than my 3 mg BID did but I knew the breeder and the breeding and generally my dog came from lines that tended to retain at least some reasonable semblance of a good coat if taken care of.

And I'll warn you that since fairly recently melatonin has hit the "natural remedy " for this and that market for people it's gotten harder to find 3mg melatonin and be forewarned you need to read the ingredient lable because I found that some of the newer manufacturers were making it with xylatol added--that's the stuff they use in sugarless gums which happens to be poisonous for dogs. Look for the very cheapest melatonin you can find. It doesn't have to be a bunch ot things that just make it more expensive. It doesn't need to be in capsule form--pills are cheaper and aren't large and I never had to do anything except toss them in his food. It doesn't have be guaranteed free from GMO (she said rolling her eyes)--there are some other things it doesn't have to be oh--guaranteed vegitarian--I had occasion to look at something that a man with a blue puppy was going to order from Amazon--he found something that was guaranteed to contain nothing detrimental 3 mg in capsule form--60 capsules for about $13--I went back the the page in Amazon he'd found and looked for the kind of melatonin I'd used for all 14 years of my fawn dogs life. Here it happened to be by Nature Made--it contained 3 mg of melatonin and enough non active stuff to make pills that didn't fall apart in the bottle--it was $7.69 for 260 pills I think. I used to get it from any of the big pharmacies and could usually find it a 2 bottles for the price of one (which usually gave me 300 or 400 pills for around $6.

At any rate, my fawn dog had a full coat the day he died--and I figured since the stuff was cheap and at the rate of 6mg per day if it didn't help it also didn't hurt.

Yeah, talk it over with your vet--you are welcome to tell him or show him what I said.

dobebug
 

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I didn't know some formulations of melatonin have xylitol...

To emphasize what Bug said:
"Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs." VCA Animal Hospitals

There are a number of products you can sometimes find xylitol in that dogs might be tempted to get into--
Sugar-free chewing gum
Sugar-free candy-- including mints and chocolate bars
Breath mints
Baked goods
Cough syrup
Children’s and adult chewable vitamins
Mouthwash
Toothpaste
Some peanut and nut butters
Over-the-counter medicines
Dietary supplements
Sugar-free desserts, including "skinny" ice cream

Dosages of xylitol over 50 mg/lb have been associated with hypoglycemia in dogs, severe enough for them to be hospitalized for about 24 hours for sugar admin and blood sugar monitoring. Some dogs ingesting xylitol at dosages >500 mg/kg (227 mg/lb) may develop severe hepatic insufficiency or failure, the mechanism of which is unknown.

Some sugar-free gums may contain 1 gram of xylitol per piece. So a 70 pound dog would only have to eat 3-4 pieces to get sick!

50 mg/lb X 70 pounds = 3500 mg = 3.5 grams

Don't induce vomiting--if the dog is already headed into hypoglycemia, that might make him worse. Get to a vet fast.
There is no antidote, only things like dextrose admin and IVs, liver protectants and other support treatments are available, all given at the vet's during the dog's stay.

 

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Yeah I do. Because a number of owners of dilute dogs who used melatonin (people I actually knew) felt that it did help to help to retain a decent coat. I opted to give my fawn dog melatonin at 3 mg per meal (two meals a day for a total of 6mg per day. I started at 6 months (because that's when I got him.) I know dermatologists who have prescribed huge doses and it did nothing more than my 3 mg BID did but I knew the breeder and the breeding and generally my dog came from lines that tended to retain at least some reasonable semblance of a good coat if taken care of.

And I'll warn you that since fairly recently melatonin has hit the "natural remedy " for this and that market for people it's gotten harder to find 3mg melatonin and be forewarned you need to read the ingredient lable because I found that some of the newer manufacturers were making it with xylatol added--that's the stuff they use in sugarless gums which happens to be poisonous for dogs. Look for the very cheapest melatonin you can find. It doesn't have to be a bunch ot things that just make it more expensive. It doesn't need to be in capsule form--pills are cheaper and aren't large and I never had to do anything except toss them in his food. It doesn't have be guaranteed free from GMO (she said rolling her eyes)--there are some other things it doesn't have to be oh--guaranteed vegitarian--I had occasion to look at something that a man with a blue puppy was going to order from Amazon--he found something that was guaranteed to contain nothing detrimental 3 mg in capsule form--60 capsules for about $13--I went back the the page in Amazon he'd found and looked for the kind of melatonin I'd used for all 14 years of my fawn dogs life. Here it happened to be by Nature Made--it contained 3 mg of melatonin and enough non active stuff to make pills that didn't fall apart in the bottle--it was $7.69 for 260 pills I think. I used to get it from any of the big pharmacies and could usually find it a 2 bottles for the price of one (which usually gave me 300 or 400 pills for around $6.

At any rate, my fawn dog had a full coat the day he died--and I figured since the stuff was cheap and at the rate of 6mg per day if it didn't help it also didn't hurt.

Yeah, talk it over with your vet--you are welcome to tell him or show him what I said.

dobebug
[/Q
Thank you for your detailed response!
 

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You're welcome Kat F.

Mel, thanks bunches for expanding on my note about looking for xylitol in melatonin--I had been buying what I used from Costco for years--and one day they had none on the shelf--asked about it and someone said they thought it had been discontinued as a stock item by Costco--new brand on the shelf--and they told me where it was. I went and looked and there was only 5 mg (I wasn't happy about increasing the amount but I was dead out so bought a bottle and went home)--opened the bottle that night and was standing there reading the label with the cap in my hand when I saw the xylitol listing. I went the next day to a RiteAide and found some 3 mg in their cheapest brand, on sale--BOGO--bought that and returned the 5mg w/zylitol to Costco.

Since then I've been very careful to check ingredients in anything that I feed to the dogs.

dobebug
 

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Xylitol... Yeah, the one product on Mel's list that has always stood out to me is peanut butter. One always hears about folks treating their dogs with pb. It is frequently commented on as something to put into kongs and the like. Yet, very rarely does anyone make a disclaimer to the effect that Xylitol is a common sweetener in peanut butter. It is sometimes found in products with the claim: "No Sugar Added". Also, Xylitol can be listed as a "Natural" ingredient.

Fortunately, these days there are only 5-6 brands on the US market that use Xylitol and they are not the most common brands such Jiff or Skippy. Still... The only way to be sure, is to read the ingredients. In my case, the peanut butter that I buy has only one ingredient listed. Peanuts.

John Lichtwardt
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