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How to Treat Color Dilution Alopecia in Dogs

What the heck is Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA)?

In a nutshell, Color dilution alopecia (CDA) can occur in dogs with dilute coat color and leads to hair loss. I went through this with one of my toy breed dogs.  She’s a cocoa color with a pearl sheen to her coat, very rare, but beautiful!  Unfortunately, when she was around two years old, she started getting skin problems and lost most of her fur. She was not so pretty anymore.

Color Dilution Alopecia

Of course, the vets wanted to put her on antibiotics and steroids. It seems to be their answer for everything. I said “no way”! – These meds are so bad for our precious pups. Whenever possible, I only use natural remedies for my fur babies.

So the research into my dog’s CDA began

I scoured the internet and read a lot of books and found a solution for my sweet Lexi. She now has her beautiful coat back and looks great. We went through some bumps along the way trying different things, including Homeopathic remedies, Apple Cider Vinegar, Coconut Oil and I put her on a strict RAW Diet  

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None of these remedies worked and the ACV (apple cider vinegar) made her skin dry. Normally, the ACV is a cure-all for a lot of ailments. I did continue with the coconut oil.

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I put a quarter teaspoon in her food and also rubbed it into her skin.  It really helped with the flakes and dryness.

 

So what worked for my small dog’s CDA?

Something that I have been using for years. It helps with hair loss, stress, fear, phobias, sleep problems, canine Cushing’s disease and anxiety. From separation anxiety, fear at the groomers or vets to thunderstorms and fireworks, etc. It’s safe, non-toxic and something everyone already produces naturally.

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Toy Breed Dog Supplies
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Separation Anxiety - Dog Anxiety Remedies


So what is this miracle remedy for Color
Dilution Alopecia?

The solution is Melatonin.

K9 Choice Melatonin 1 mg 180 Capsules
  • K9 Choice Melatonin 5 mg
  • Specially Formulated for Dogs
  • 180 Capsules

Yep, this cured my dog’s alopecia. I know it works because after giving it to her for about 6 months, her hair grew back. Then I ran out of it!  I got lax and thought that since her fur was back, maybe she didn’t need it anymore. 

WRONG! She lost her hair again…I bought more, put her back on it and within only about 2 months this time, her fur started growing back. So I know the Melatonin works for this.

I will be sure to never run out of this alopecia miracle remedy again.  

Lexi with hair!

Lexi-hair-growth

This is Lexi with her fur!

Lexi-hair-growing

You’ll need to do some research on how much to give your dog. I give Lexi 1mg with her morning and night feedings.  Just mix it in with her food.  She doesn’t even know it’s there so it must be tasteless and odorless for the brand I use.  And don’t worry about your pooch being too tired.

They will adjust to the dosage within a couple of weeks. It hasn’t changed Lexi at all.  She’s still the energetic Terrier she’s always been.

If she is struggling with any other immune issues or health problems, sometimes I’ll mix it into some Bovine Colostrum AM and PM.

READ
The Benefits of Bovine Colostrum for Dogs [Review]

Bovine Colostrum is another product I highly recommend. It heals all sorts of ailments in dogs and humans.

 

More information on CDA in Dogs – Primarily affects blue and fawn coats

Alopecia is a term that refers to hair loss regardless of the cause. Color Dilution Alopecia is a condition where dogs develop a gradual thinning of hair on their bodies often progressing to widespread hair loss. This condition develops in some, but not all dogs that have been bred for unusual coat color, especially the “fawn” color (a dilution of a normal red or brown coat) or the “blue” color (a dilution of the normal black and tan coat).

Chihuahuas, Doberman Pinschers, Chows, Great Danes and Dachshunds are most affected by this condition, but it has been seen in other breeds bred for unusual coat colors, like some terriers.

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The Toy Rat Terrier Dog Breed

Color dilution alopecia is an inherited condition and the coat will appear normal at birth. Most dogs that are affected will show signs between 6 months and as late as 2 or 3 years of age (Lexi was 2 years old).

The first signs are hair loss and dry skin and possibly a recurring bacterial infection, generally on the back where small bumps will reveal infected hair follicles. Many dogs will have chronic, recurrent infections because of the abnormality of the hair follicles which results in an increased tendency to allow for bacterial colonization and infection.

What I use for infected hair follicles:

I won’t give my dogs antibiotics unless their life depends on it. They are so bad for our fur kids and with ongoing infections, she would need to be on them all the time, not good! When I see her back start to get bumps, I make a paste or cream out of Bovine Colostrum and rub it into the bumps 3 times a day until they are gone. This stuff works miracles inside and out!

I will also give her a teaspoon morning and night away from food. She loves it and it tastes great. It is boosting her immunity from the inside as well as healing her bumps with the cream on the outside. It works every time without the use of nasty antibiotics.

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Final Thoughts on Color Dilution Alopecia

Please be sure to always check with your Holistic vet or regular vet to make sure it really is CDA before trying this remedy. Although I believe, it is a safe supplement to give your dog and also works great for stress and anxiety.

READ
Separation Anxiety - Dog Anxiety Remedies

So this is my dog color dilute alopecia treatment.
This link will explain how the color dilution works and what breeds are affected.

K9 Choice Melatonin 1 mg 180 Capsules
  • K9 Choice Melatonin 5 mg
  • Specially Formulated for Dogs
  • 180 Capsules

Have you had any experiences with alopecia and your dog?  What worked for you and was it caused by CDA? Please share your stories below!

 

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Written by Johannes

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  1. Melatonin! This is fascinating. I wonder if it would work for my cat. She sometimes experiences stress hair loss and nothing else seems to work besides trying to figure out and remove the stress. Even then, she’s still a little patchy.

    • Hi Penelope, yes it should work for your cat also. It’s a safe supplement that helps with a lot of pet ailments. Give it a try!

  2. This is a great and useful article. must read by all dog owners. I never knew that dogs can suffer from alopacia as well, this is something new for me. I learned a lot fro your post, thank you sharing. Looking forward for more posts from your, great work, keep it up.

  3. Thank you so much for this! I just found out my chihuahua has color dilute alopecia. I couldn’t figure out why her hair started to fall out at 2 years old. She’s blue in color so this must be it. I’m going to buy the melatonin since the vet really didn’t have a remedy, other than chemical shampoo. Thanks again!!

    • Hi Amy, thank you for the comment and for visiting my site. Please do come back and share your results with the melatonin, thanks!

  4. This is exactly what I was looking for and it really works! My Pomeranian suffers from color dilution alopecia and I have tried EVERYTHING. Since purchasing the K9 Melatonin and Bovine Colostrum, I’ve seen a huge improvement in her fur growth and overall health. The colostrum really helps to heal the bumps from the hair follicles and all of the redness is gone. Thank you so much for writing about a “natural” treatment for CDA in dogs. 🙂 My Princess is living proof that it works!

    • Thank you for sharing with us, Cynthia! I’m so glad it’s working for your dog, that’s great! Please come back and keep us posted on the progress.

  5. This has not happened to my dog but I’ve seen a lot of stray dogs suffering from this, I didn’t know that this was the exact term for it! They were brought to the shelter by my friends and they were treated accordingly. I’m not sure what they used to treat them but thankfully I’m better informed about alopecia for dogs now, and should this (hopefully not!) ever come to my furry babies I am better prepared in handling it!

    • Hello Cheska, thank you for taking the time to read about Color Dilution Alopecia, CDA in Dogs. Glad you found it informative. 🙂

  6. how you calculate how much mg to use.?

    i got a stafford 4 years whit also cda tried almost evereything but with no succes
    he weights 37kg.

    hope this really works

    • Hello Marvin, thank you for contacting me. Your dog should have 3mg morning and night every day. Amazon also has 5mg of the K9 Melatonin. See this link K9 Melatonin

      I’ve also just discovered 2 more products that are working really well on my CDA Terrier: Theracoat and SynergyLabs Spray I started using these in the last month and her skin has really improved. No more flaking, redness, bumps or itching. So far so good. I will post about it after I see that it is continuing to work. She is still on the Melatonin morning and night.

      Hope this helps your fur kid! ??

    • The melatonin will make your dog sleepy at first. After a couple of weeks, they adjust to it and get back to their usual ways and personality. My dog never changed at all on it, but she’s super hyper anyway.

      The usual dosage of melatonin for dogs depends on size. Dogs that are less than 10 pounds should be given 1 mg. Dogs that are 10 to 25 pound are usually given 1.5 mg. For dogs 26 to 100 pounds, 3 mg is recommended. Dogs that weigh over 100 pounds may be given 3 to 6 mg. These dosages should not be given more than 3 times per day, I recommend morning and night to start.

      I only feed my dogs a RAW diet so I’m not familiar with Wellness Pet Food.

      Let us know how it goes for your pup. ?

      • well my vet recommended my 11 pound doxie 3 mg twice a day and after reading this I now know why he was zombified!!!! ;(

        • Hello Kelly, wow! 3 mg for an 11 lb pup seems like too much for sure. Poor thing, that means no energy for exercise or anything. I hope a lower dosage works for your baby. My Lexi is still doing great, lots of fur on her now. I still give her the colostrum with it too; just helps to keep up her immunity. Good luck and let us know if things improve. 🙂

  7. i really hope this works for my blue staffy i got him a year ago as a stray and after £400 of vet bills he was confirmed CDA, he’s always cold and has a good weatherbeeta coat but im always afraid its rubbing more of his fur off as well as keeping him warm, and as you mentioned stress/anxiety, he also can’t stand being away from me, i have a strict routine with him and he’s never home alone but no matter who baby sits he stresses until i get home:( and when i go to my mums he sits at the front door making sure that i don’t leave without him, i want him to relax and have a full beautiful blue coat!
    I’m going to ask my vet about this and hopefully try it out! thank you!

    • Hello Sophia, let us know how it goes and what your vet says. Have you tried Rescue Remedy for stress? It works really well on my dogs. I have an article that might help with the separation anxiety here. I understand your frustration; we just want our beloved pups to have a healthy, full coat of fur, but the genetics are in the way. The melatonin seems to be the only thing that works for my CDA dog, but every dog is different. The melatonin will help with the stress also…good luck with your fur kid!!

  8. Great article – I am trying this with my Blue Doberman! Wish us luck! He started to loose his coat at around 3.5years old, after we got him neutered. I will let you know in 6 months if I see a difference!

    • Hello Amanda, thanks for reading my article on CDA. Yep, pretty typical for the Blue colored dogs. I really hope it works for your Doberman. At least melatonin is really cheap so it can’t hurt to try; plus it will help with any anxiety. It has worked for many CDA dogs…Please do come back and let us know how it works for your fur baby. 🙂

  9. Hi,
    Just curious on an update and progress with the continued melatonin treatment? Lexi’s current day progress? Or anyone’s else update to trying? My little guy was diagnosed with CDA and highly considering this option for treatment. Hair loss is becoming increasingly noticeable on the top of head between ears and at the base of tail. No other symptoms, itching or redness noticeable. Doesn’t seem to bother him as much as it bothers me 😉

    • Hello, the melatonin is still working great for Lexi and others too. No guarantee it will work for all CDA dogs, but it works for most. Good luck with your pup and let us know how it goes or if you find another solution. I understand it bothers you more than him. I’m the same, just want her to always have a lot of pretty fur like most dogs… 🙂

  10. I have a blue Doberman pinscher who started losing patches of her hair when she was just over two years of age. I have been told she has a condition called color dilution alopecia, and that this is due to her breed and hair coat color.

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