Has anyone heard of giving

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bluediamond
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Has anyone heard of giving

Postby bluediamond » Fri Mar 28, 2008 4:18 pm

dogs Melatonin to help with hair growth? I am guessing it helps with the stress so that the dog can be a lot calmer, not sure. I am very curious to know if this works.

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sengeoz
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Re: Has anyone heard of giving

Postby sengeoz » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:51 pm

Yes, this has been suggested in the past on various Chow lists; but to date, I've not seen any evidence that it actually works.

Coat length and density in a healthy animal is usually genetic, so trying to grow more or grow it faster would generally result in only a temporary change.

Cheers,
Judith-Ann
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kiwani
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Re: Has anyone heard of giving

Postby kiwani » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:32 am

bluediamond wrote:dogs Melatonin to help with hair growth? I am guessing it helps with the stress so that the dog can be a lot calmer, not sure. I am very curious to know if this works.


There are melatonin receptors in the hair follicles. Imagine these acting as one of the light sensors for the body-clock in the brain, coordinating the chemical clockwork of the body with day/night cycles, and with changes in seasons. There are archived threads about coat shed-cycles being triggered by certain UV rays, and timed in relationship to rising sap in late winter, autumn seed formation, etc. The melatonin receptors in the follicles are also involved in the growing, resting, and shedding phases of the coat.

There are a variety of factors affecting melatonin production, including stress and nutrition. Melatonin is closely partnered with the calming brain chemical serotonin. Daytime serotonin clicks-off to form night-time melatonin, and the reverse. Whatever affects serotonin availability by day, will affect melatonin's availability, and stress has a strong negative effect on both.

If there are coat problems related to hormonal imbalances/stress/prolonged resting phase of coat, etc., then increasing melatonin in those cases may help the chemical body clock.

It also takes a great amount of hormone power to grow and maintain a long double coat, an optimal diet with high quality *proteins*, B-complex vitamins, zinc, sulfur, are also important building blocks overall.

bluediamond
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Exactly what I wanted to know

Postby bluediamond » Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:43 am

and exactly what I thought was going on with my pup. The additional melatonin will definitely help him down the road. His vet put him on it. His hair from is first surgery is not growing back (from the shaved area) as fast as the vet would like to see it so that is why we are taking this route. He has been stressed from - a) surgery and b) being obedient trained for three weeks away from home. He will undergo one more stressful surgery this coming Tuesday, being neutered. I understand this is simple but for him it will be stressful. After that, it will be all uphill I hope. His diet, I think, is fine. He loves he Merricks dog food and will eat all of it when fed. Should I be giving him additional vitamins along with this food?

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kiwani
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Re: Exactly what I wanted to know

Postby kiwani » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:20 am

bluediamond wrote:His diet, I think, is fine. He loves he Merricks dog food and will eat all of it when fed. Should I be giving him additional vitamins along with this food?


I would be boosting his diet with the B-complex, zinc, etc., and with an optimal diet to help prime him before surgery; strengthen his immune function/healing; and help detox from all the surgery meds.

A diet needs to be tailored to match the health concerns and challenges of the individual dog. Canned Merrick wouldn't be my choice in this case, though. You have my very best wishes for his upcoming surgery, and for a quick recovery.

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Thanks for your reply

Postby bluediamond » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:23 am

and wishes. I give him Merrick's dry kibbles and can. I've tried all the others and he either doesn't like them or is allergic to them. This seems to work well. I will get the B-complex, zinc etc.

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kiwani
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Re: Thanks for your reply

Postby kiwani » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:46 am

bluediamond wrote:I've tried all the others and he either doesn't like them or is allergic to them. This seems to work well. I will get the B-complex, zinc etc.


If there are food allergies, the 'gut immune system' might not be well developed and that would negatively affect his own B-vitamin factory in the gut. The B-vitamins are an important building block of hormones, including building serotonin/melatonin. (There's a thread about Probiotics and its role in the gut immune system/digestion.)

If he isn't able to assimilate certain foods because of allergies, poor digestion, his mineral balances could be skewed, and that could affect his supply of other important building blocks. Zinc is another important building block of serotonin, but it can be easily lost.

Hope things improve for him quickly. Will look for your surgery day update..

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Surgery date is 4-2-08

Postby bluediamond » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:04 pm

BTW, I give him probiotics everyday in one of his meals. The FortiFlora. Any other good ones for dogs?

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Re: Surgery date is 4-2-08

Postby kiwani » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:55 pm

bluediamond wrote: Any other good ones for dogs?


I've been recommending the human-grade probiotics brands, kept refrigerated in health shops, for better potency. The average potency is about 5 billion CFU (colony forming units)

It takes time to build the gut flora/gut immune system, so introduce any new foods slowly. Once you establish a flourishing colony, it becomes easier switching foods, etc.

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Learn yesterday that

Postby bluediamond » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:14 am

if I start to give my puppy "missing link" his hair would most likely start to grow. Has anyone heard of this? It's a food supplement.

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kiwani
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Re: Learn yesterday that

Postby kiwani » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:32 am

bluediamond wrote:if I start to give my puppy "missing link" his hair would most likely start to grow. Has anyone heard of this? It's a food supplement.


If it is a stress related/hormonal bodyclock problem, you might get there sooner by supplementing with high potency building blocks targeting the problem, rather than using a one-size-fits-all dog tonic.

You would need to know the potency of the B-complex, zinc, probiotics, kelp, etc., in the 'missing link' formula, as compared to human-grade 'therapeutic potency' supplements. Animal-grade supplements are less potent and often a lower quality.

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sengeoz
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Re: Has anyone heard of giving

Postby sengeoz » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:04 pm

To add an Amen to Kiwani, there are a number of reasons that you've already mentioned that will probably have contributed to the hair loss - the most likely are surgeries and antibiotics and the stress related thereto.

Furthermore, coat loss is also seasonal. At this time, it is a transitional period in which the length of daylight is starting to lengthen (Kiwani addressed this in an earlier post). It is about now that all dogs in the Northern Hemisphere will start to undergo coat changes from winter coats to summer coats.

Rather than filling your pup with lots and lots of supplements, why not simply use Vitamin C (in the form of calcium ascorbate) at about 4000 mgs per day (split this into to 2 or 3 dosages) as a flush for all the anaesthesia and whatnot in his system, ensure you are feeding a high quality food and let nature take its course with regard to the coat. This is the perfect time (transitional season) and if you will have patience you should see a decent coat regrowth within about six weeks.
Judith-Ann

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