No hair regrowth after surgery

Posted by: Chris Wild

No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/28/12 09:09 PM

A rather odd topic and I wasn't entirely sure where to put it, but it's sort of a health issue so here goes...

Back in early January Nara had to have surgery to remove some mammary tumors. While she was there we had the vet also remove a large fatty growth that she's had on her back for years. It was the size of a golfball, never bothered her and was completely benign, so we'd left it alone for several years as it wasn't worth putting her out to have it removed just because it was unsightly. But while she had to go under for the mammary tumors, we figured to go ahead and have that taken off too.

The problem is, here we are 6 or 7 weeks later and she still has a completely bald patch behind her shoulders. It's about 10 inches long, 8 inches wide. Pretty much more than half of the top of her back. We knew to expect it to take several months for the hair to fully grown in, but there is no sign of it doing so. Just bare skin with very short stubble, the same as it was when it was shaved for surgery. And frankly, it looks ridiculous. She's such a gorgeous dog with a beautiful fluffy coat and that bald patch is just horrible, and a whole lot more unsightly than her tumor was! Might have to start knitting her some sweaters to cover it up....

I've never seen or heard of this before. For it to take a while to grow back, sure. But never not growing back at all. When Kaiser had his leg amputated he had peach fuzz within a couple weeks and significant hair growth by this time after surgery.

I asked the vet and he didn't have any ideas of anything we could do to encourage hair growth. He said he'd never seen it before, but maybe it was due to her age (she's 12.5 years old).

So I figured if anyone had any ideas to stimulate some hair growth, folks here would.

Do they make Rogaine for dogs? eek
Posted by: Jane Jean

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/28/12 09:33 PM

Vitamin E as a topical? I wonder if the stress from surgery put the hair growth into a hibernation type stage? This link said melatonin will help grow back coat, not sure if it is legit:
http://www.akcchf.org/research/funded-research/0338.html

and another shows it may be normal to not grow back quickly...but suggests melatonin again
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/dailyvet/2009/december/15#.T02OsfGvKSo
Finally, I decided to take on the Web, like most of you do. I discovered that melatonin might make a big difference (thank you Veterinary Information Network). Administering this supplement three times daily, starting with once daily dosing in the evenings (because it makes them sleepy, especially at first) comes highly recommended.
(In case you're interested, the melatonin dose is 3 to 6 mg once to three times daily (3 for a small dog, 6 for a big one and somewhere in between for a medium dog.)

Since then, hair regrowth has been progressing nicely. After months and months of hearing "what should I do?" at last I had something to offer.
Posted by: MaxaLisa

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/28/12 09:37 PM

low thyroid maybe?
Posted by: JeanKBBMMMAAN

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/28/12 09:47 PM

When Mariele had her knee surgery, they shaved her like a chicken quarter. Even her butt floofies. Her hair grew back so slowly that I ended up taking her in and asking about thyroid. But her vet said that her surgery was in the spring, her recovery in sping/summer and I was seeing what hair growth looked like during that time normally, but they normally already have hair. smile So no Alpoecia X as I had suspected. wink

It's been bizzarely warm here and I see my dogs' coats don't seem to know what to do so perhaps that's the deal with her, too.

With an older girl I would be thinking of her Iron and B levels as well as the thyroid.

With Ava's liver and then lump removals last year, things grew back in different rates at different places. When she made a lick granuloma at one place on her back and she had to go in, I asked that vet what was going on because I was concerned with the bald patches. She said she would be worried if none of the areas were regrowing, but that since her previous neck and belly had grown in, and all but this bullseye on her back had, not to worry. She's all grown in now but it took a while for that one spot on her back.

???
Posted by: SLEACHY

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/28/12 09:55 PM

It is shedding season...maybe it will grow back after she sheds out her winter coat. Tooz was spayed and had a mammary tumor removed back in December and her hair has just now started to grow back as she is growing in her summer coat.

Another thought...A year or so ago, Tooz had a patch shaved on her neck for a blood draw and it didn't grow back until I stopped the K9 Super Fuel. Is Nara on any supplements or meds?
Posted by: Chris Wild

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/29/12 09:22 AM

Ok, good to know some others have seen this go really slow but still grow back. That makes me feel better.

It is indeed shedding/non-growth season and it did occur to me that once we're through that maybe it'll improve. Just wasn't sure if that was a hopeful grasping at straws or not.

She's always been low end of normal on thyroid, so could be running even lower at this age. Didn't occur to me it could be related to that... duh!

Sleachy, she's not on any meds. Just joint supplements (she has moderate HD in both hips) and regular general supplements: ester C, fish oil, vit E, Nupro.

Thanks for thoughts guys. I like the melatonin suggestion. Might try that. Certainly wouldn't hurt.
Posted by: Good_Karma

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/29/12 11:52 AM

When Rosa had her hip surgery, it took about seven or eight months for her fur to grow back most of the way, and probably ten months before it looked indistinguishable from the other side.
Posted by: PositiveDog

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/29/12 05:44 PM

I had a friend with a dog with chronic illness. After his last surgery it took over a year for his hair to start growing and even longer for his feathers to grow.

The vet said hair is often very late coming back since the body takes care of more important things first - organs, cells, etc. We cheered when we began to see hair because we figured health wise he must be finally doing good.
Posted by: Islandgsds

Re: No hair regrowth after surgery - 02/29/12 10:49 PM

Loki got a big 'hole' in his side from another of his unknown self inflicted wounds. By the time we noticed it and got him in it would have been a big deal to put him under and clean and unbride (?) the edges and stitch him up. So we kept it clean with an Antibiotic cream on it.

After if finally healed over I thought it would never grow hair again. I started rubbing on Bio oil and it seemed to help soften the skin and I noticed the hair started to finally grow back in. I haven't looked lately so I imagine the center were the original crater was might not have much in the way of hair, but you have to part the fur to see were it is.

Can you get some Bio oil?

Pssst It's also great for age spots, wrinkles, stretchmarks and scars. Not that any of us have any of that just saying. whistling