KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

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bluediamond
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KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:33 pm

The vet called today to let me know some of the results of his skin biopsy. Though she just got them in, she still has to speak with the pathologist tomorrow morning to see how to treat my puppy. They found his hair follicular atrophy, which means, I think, he is no longer growing hair. The other diagnosis is post-clipping alopecia. (Is this treatable)? I think when they shaved him down for surgery; they shaved too too close to the skin. The alopecia was diagnosed from one of the lesions. They also said it could be endocrine. But his thyroid test just tweaked to normal. They are going to talk about thyroid supplements, though it can be hormonal, she is reluctant to give growth hormone medications or injections. It would harm the dog. So I am waiting for them to get back to me tomorrow. Any feedback on this?

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby kiwani » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:16 am

In previous threads we discussed that the hair follicles are like communication centers, containing light receptors which synchronize the chemical clockwork of the body with the circadian rhythms of the seasons, length of day. The follicles operate in cycles of growing/resting/shedding phases and work in harmony with the cycles/rhythms of nature.

When fur is shaved too close to the skin, in northern breed dogs especially, this disrupts the chemistry in the communication centers of the follicles. Imagine that instead of operating in harmony with the rest of the body and with the circadian rhythm of nature, the chemical switches in the shaved follicles get shut off, and the hair-growth phase is put 'on hold', until the next *major* coat turnover takes place in the body. This may be referred to as follicle atrophy (failure to grow).

Imagine that there is a 'womb' a 'master hub' deep in the hair follicle, where hair gets 'born'. This womb is called the papilla. It is connected to a blood supply and so is able to communicate with the body chemistry. This 'womb' is active during growth phases, providing the keratin building blocks needed to create hair. During resting and shedding phases, this 'womb' activity changes and chemistry shifts. As already mentioned, shaving too close to the skin can disrupt the chemical communication switches of phases. Once this 'womb' is able to synchronize itself with the next overall growth phase of the coat, the growth switches can get 'turned on' again. It can takes months and some research shows that it can take as long as two years.


The latest research shows that the follicles are really like 'mini-organs' able to create their own hormones, as well as being able to communicate with the hormones of the body through the blood. The key seems to be the phase of the follicle "womb", the papilla, which is the master communication center. Some dogs are helped to 'shift phase' with the melatonin supplement which your doctor already tried, and some dogs are helped with the vitamin A retinoids, which we discussed previously. Overall, it seems that most dogs are helped by just waiting it out.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:34 am

Thanks for the post Kiwani. The shaving too close to the skin is exactly what my puppy is going through now with the post clipping alopecia. And he has the endocrine problem which is not too bad according to the specialist. What you wrote makes a lot of sense in terms of what my puppy has. And the specialist did say that it could takes months and months for the hair to grow back. She's getting back to me today with a regiment for my puppy - one possibly being thyroid supplements along with whatever else she and my vet chooses. I'll keep you posted.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby Red Dragon » Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:41 pm

You might want to be careful about the thyroid supplimenting, once you start that they tend to not produce thyroid on their own, so it will be a lifetime deal. I have done alot of thyroid testing in these dogs, they tend to be on the low end of the T3 scale, the Free T4 and T4 levels tend to run on the low end to middle of the scale, and many of them have a Free T3 that is below normal. These dogs all function normally and do not have skin and coat problems. Just some words of wisdom about the breed.
Sam

Keeper of the furry things...Master of the kibble....Scooper of the poo!

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby kiwani » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:27 pm

bluediamond wrote:And he has the endocrine problem which is not too bad according to the specialist.


Test results can get skewed by stress, recent medications, time of
day, diet, etc. Your Chow has had the stress of the recent surgery and all
the meds, in addition to all his previous stress etc. Stress alone can pull down the thyroid.

I was interested in knowing whether they found out if the white bumps we discussed last time were keratin. That follicle 'womb' expands when active and retracts when in a resting stage. I was wondering whether the 'communication disruption' was causing the keratin to build up under the skin instead of forming a hair shaft.

I'll be watching for your updates.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:55 pm

The bumps aren't really white, they start to form underneath the skin and then somehow burst, or he may scratch at it if he can reach it and it will crust over. When that phase is accomplished, hair grows out of that particular area. Very strange. I can literally pick an area that has crusted over and clean it and within a week hair will grow out of that spot.
I will be speaking with the specialist sometime this week to specifically ask about the bump. She even took one of those bump out for pathology. I'll let you know her answer(s). I just want to start making my puppy feel better. I am sure he has to have some kind of pain, itch etc. I cannot tell. Today, I discovered he had licked a raw sore on his front paw. I put some aloe vera on it. I didn't know what else to do.

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KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:11 am

I spoke with the Vet this morning and here's additional info. The growth hormone is an exclusion. We will not go there. However, the lil bumps, according to the Pathologist, are extra mucus that forms from the hair follicles that are deep within the skin. These type lil bumps seems to appear where the hair has been shaven down too closely and get irritated, inflamed and spread elsewhere as well as being itchy. The biopsy showed no bacteria at all. The Pathologist also indicated that if the puppy has been neutered post surgery, the hair will likely grow back within four months, as the testosterone (a hormone) would have dissipated from his body. That kind of makes sense because my lil puppy will have been neutered two months this coming Sunday and already showing signs of hair growth (not much). So we will wait out the other two months and see what happens. If nothing, Plan B will fall into place which is a two hour testing in the Specialist office for blood work to be sent to the University of Tennessee for further hormonal testings (not that this will happen). They'll inject some medication to stimulate the adrenal glands - wait and then draw the blood. This all sounds so complicated to me and also seems to be a waste of time and money. I feel this is all experimental making me think twice about all of this. However, my Vet will put the puppy on chlorpheniramine (for the itching) along with some derm fatty acids to help him from scratching. I'll just have to wait this one out.

On another note, I do notice that hair is growing back in some places where I thought hair would not come back. The hair is black and it made me happy. So perhaps there is hope - with time. I don't want to put this puppy through anymore experiments or cause him any further damage. Does all of this makes sense? Do you think this Specialist knows what she is doing? Åt least does it appear that way? Right now it's damn if you do and damn if you don't. Take care everyone who is/was concerned.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby kiwani » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:19 pm

bluediamond wrote:...the lil bumps, according to the Pathologist, are extra mucus that forms from the hair follicles that are deep within the skin. These type lil bumps seems to appear where the hair has been shaven down too closely and get irritated, inflamed and spread elsewhere as well as being itchy.

On another note, I do notice that hair is growing back in some places where I thought hair would not come back. The hair is black and it made me happy. So perhaps there is hope - with time. I don't want to put this puppy through anymore experiments or cause him any further damage. Does all of this makes sense? Do you think this Specialist knows what she is doing? Åt least does it appear that way?


What you're reporting pretty much matches the trail of dermatology research I read last night. I last mentioned that there were chemical changes in the follicle when a 'growth phase' is triggered, and it seems part of those changes involve increased *pressure* inside the follicle. It seems as though the increased pressure sets the stage for a follicle renewal, and an 'unplugging' of the follicle fluid which contains keratin building
blocks; any trapped hair shaft sections can cause inflammation. We know that the time-keepers in each follicle operate independently during a phase, and I agree with you, I would let nature take its course. As long as you are seeing the beginnings of a coat *renewal* the chemical body clock is busy setting things right again. The body knows best how to heal itself.

I wouldn't put my Chow through any more stress either, and I think you're ready to relax now too. The adrenal test and the hormone treatments would be something I'd put on the back burner too. Your pup has been through a lot of stress these past months, and it takes time to recover just from that alone. I'd just recommend that you keep boosting the immune system because of all the recent antibiotics, etc.

I have had to spend time elsewhere the last few days, but I did check-in for your updates, and continue to be very interested in your pup's progress. Whatever information you share will go on to help the next Chow.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:20 pm

Thanks again for your post. I think the next chow that may have a similar situation may gain from these posts. Yes, I am beginning to relax a bit because i want my puppy to just be a normal puppy. AND I am bathing him every 6- 8 weeks now. If that. Any recommendation on a light shampoo? The specialist say I don't have to use any special kind as long as it is gentle. Thanks again.

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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby kiwani » Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:04 pm

bluediamond wrote:Any recommendation on a light shampoo? The specialist say I don't have to use any special kind as long as it is gentle. Thanks again.


One of my favorite brands is DermaPet. In addition to the dye-free vinegar/boric acid based formulas for problem skin such as keratin disorders and yeast infections, they also have a dye-free oatmeal shampoo, soap-free and dye-free moisturizing formula, and vinegar based "wet wipes" for problem areas. Their vinegar/boric acid based ear-cleanser also doubles as a skin cleanser.

Excerpt:

"All DermaPet products are designed by an internationally known expert in veterinary skin care, are functionally therapeutic and use all natural ingredients as often as possible. They are cruelty-free, biodegradable, non-polluting, environmentally sensitive and packaged in recyclable containers"

http://www.dermapet.com/


Biogroom makes a "So Gentle" shampoo - the formula is hypoallergenic, soap-free, perfume-free, dye-free, made for sensitive skin. This brand is also widely available.

bluediamond
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Re: KIWANI - Follow-up to my chow chow's skin condition

Postby bluediamond » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:17 am

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll hop on it.


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