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Loss of hair and dry skin
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Loss of hair and dry skin

We have a 7 year old female, spayed, doberman, red in color. Her hair has always been sparse on her back. One vet thought it was thyroid related, so she took some thyroid medicine. We have used oils and diet supplements with no postive results.
It seems to be getting worse, spreading to her shoulders. In addition, she has always had a weak bladder, sometimes urinating in bed (ours) while resting.
Please comment.


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Urinary incontinence is easily controlled in spayed female dogs with the use of PPA (phenylproanolamine) or hormonal therapy.  PPA is safe to use if your pet does not have hypertension.  I would also have your veterinarian do additional tests such as: analyse her urine to make sure that she doesn't have a urinary tract infection,or early kidney disease.  If early kidney disease shows up in the urinalysis I would also have a blood test performed to see if her Bun, and Creatinine are elevated which would determine if she has kidney insufficiency or kidney failure.

I have had several red female doberman patients who have gone completely bald and unfornuately we were never able to discover the cause.  They were very healthy in every other way, one did have hypothyroid and was placed on thyroid medication which helped her activity level and enabled her to lose weight but she did not regrow her hair.

So saying,  I would still have her evaluated for additional hormonal diseases such as hyperadrenocorticism, for example, and skin biopsy, and possibly even evaluation by a veterinary dermatologist.  

Good Luck!  
Dr. Cheng
It might be a form of color dilution alopecia.  This is common in blue dobes and fawns, less so in reds, doesn't seem to occur in black/tans.  Our red Dobe had much sparser hair than our black/tan Dobes, and it was always of a coarser texture.  He had fairly thin hair down the middle of his back, and over his flanks.  Normal thyroid and all other testing.  

We had some sucess believe it or not, with Melatonin and his coat condition.  We had him on 3 mg twice a day for about 4 or 5 months before noticing much improvement.  His hair had started to come in very nicely, and the texture improved.  Of course, this is simply anecdotal information and is certainly not something that is endorsed in mainstream circles. It worked for us, is all I can say.  
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