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An approach to canine focal and multifocal alopecia

image of An approach to canine focal and multifocal alopecia
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Abstract

Alopecia is the loss or absence of hair from an area of the body where hair should normally be present. Hair is important in dogs not only for cosmetic reasons but it also functions to communicate emotions (e.g. hair stands up on the back of a dog that is angry) and protects the animal from environmental factors such as heat, cold, bacteria and fungi. Because of these important properties of hair, pet owners become concerned when their dog develops alopecia. The veterinary surgeon needs to be familiar with the types of alopecia and the possible differential diagnoses so that the underlying cause can be identified, managed and/or treated. Alopecia can be focal or multifocal. Focal alopecia is usually limited to one area or spot on the body. Multifocal implies that more than one area of the body is affected. Multifocal alopecia can be symmetrical (present on both sides and in a similar location) or asymmetrical (not in a uniform pattern and not located in a similar location on both sides).The chapter considers the following topics: Differential diagnosis; Clinical approach; and Normal alopecia.

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Figures

Image of Injection site alopecia on the dorsal neck. (Courtesy of R Marsella)
Injection site alopecia on the dorsal neck. (Courtesy of R Marsella) Injection site alopecia on the dorsal neck. (Courtesy of R Marsella)
Image of 12.1
12.1 Canine X-linked ectodermal dysplasia. (Courtesy of H Jackson)
Image of Canine familial dermatomyositis.
Canine familial dermatomyositis. Canine familial dermatomyositis.
Image of 12.2
12.2 Clinical approach to focal alopecia.
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12.3 Clinical approach to multifocal alopecia.
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12.4 Multifocal self-induced alopecia in a dog with atopic dermatitis.
Image of 12.5
12.5 Multifocal alopecia in a dog with bacterial folliculitis. Dermatophytosis () in a Greyhound. Generalized demodicosis. (b,c Courtesy of H Jackson)

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