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Intermediate steroid hormone levels in dogs with Alopecia X
Alopecia X remains a skin disease with an unclear pathogenesis. Evaluation of several hormon blood levels have been not very diagnostic in the past. This interesting study compares the interemdiate steroid levels before and during different therapies.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate intermediate adrenal steroid hormones (ISH) in neutered dogs with hair cycle arrest (Alopecia X) during treatment with melatonin, and to see if hair re-growth is associated with sex hormone concentrations within the normal ranges.

Twenty-nine neutered, euthyroid, and normo-cortisolemic dogs were enrolled in the study (23 Pomeranians, three keeshonds, two miniature poodles, and one Siberian husky).

Coat assessment and an ACTH stimulation test were performed pre-treatment and approximately every 4 months for a year post treatment.

Melatonin was administered initially at 3-6 mg, every 12 h. Based on clinical progression, each dog was continued on the current dose of melatonin, given an increased dose of melatonin or changed to mitotane.

Partial to complete hair re-growth occurred in 14/23 Pomeranians, and partial re-growth in 3/3 keeshond and 1/2 poodle dogs. A Siberian husky dog failed to re-grow hair. Fifteen dogs had partial hair re-growth at the first re-evaluation.

Melatonin dosage was increased in eight dogs but only one had improved hair re-growth.

On mitotane treatment, partial to complete hair re-growth was seen in 4/6 dogs and no re-growth in 2/6 dogs.

No significant decrease in sex hormone concentrations were seen during melatonin or mitotane treatment.

Concentrations of ISH in dogs with hair re-growth did not differ significantly from pre-treatment values. At the completion of the study, androstenedione, progesterone and 17-hydroxyprogesterone were still above reference ranges in 21, 64 and 36%, respectively, of dogs with partial to complete hair re-growth.

In conclusion, 62% of dogs had partial to complete hair re-growth. However, not all dogs with hair re-growth had concentrations of ISH within the normal range.


Source: Frank LA, Hnilica KA, Oliver JW. (2004):
Adrenal steroid hormone concentrations in dogs with hair cycle arrest (Alopecia X) before and during treatment with melatonin and mitotane. In: Vet Dermatol. 2004 Oct;15(5):278-84.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

In vivo confocal microscopy for diagnosis and therapy control of canine fungal keratitis
Is in vivo confocal microscopy a reliable method to perform a minimal invasive diagnosis and monitor the therapeutic response? A fascinating idea! This recently online published study describes in vivo corneal confocal microscopy of dogs during the clinical course of fungal keratitis and correlates findings with clinical evaluations and an ex vivo experimental canine fungal keratitis model. Seven dogs with naturally acquired fungal keratitis and ex vivo canine corneas experimentally infected with clinical fungal isolates were enrolled.

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