<P> eGroomer Journal April/June 2012 Copyright 2012 © Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved 37 A C L O S E R L O O K of hairs in the resting phase at any time. This type of coat is found on Nordic breeds (aka Spitz breeds), such as Huskies, Malamutes, Chows, and Pomeranians. The telogen phase for these dogs may be prolonged, even for years.5 Hair growth, as well as catagen transition and telogen phase is patterned and occurs in waves, often in relation to changes of light and temperature in the environment. Characteristic of these coats is that the secondary hairs are on a much faster cycle than the guard hairs. When coats of this type are shaved down, they sometimes present problems re-growing a new coat. Post Clipping Alopecia – Hair Cycle Arrest Post Clipping Alopecia simply means lack of hair growth after clipping. It is a medical category coined by veterinarians to identify cases where dogs were shaved for surgeries and had significant delay in growing hair at various sites. Post-grooming problems with hair growth are included in this category. Although most medical references will maintain that the hair will grow back within 12-24 months, some veteran groomers have witnessed extended or permanent failure of the coat to regrow, or situations where the coat itself is permanently altered, becomes wooly, thick, fuzzy, is lacking in guard hairs, or loses color. Dr. Linda Frank, a leading researcher in the study of canine hair and alopecia, considers post-clipping alopecia to be a condition of hair cycle arrest. Simply put, the hairs enter the telogen phase and eventually fall out, but new growth is not initiated.5 A similar condition exists among a group of disorders called Alopecia X, which include what Malamute breeders call Coat Funk and Pomeranian breeders call Black Skin Disease. Alopecia X disorder(s) are spontaneous, not related to clipping.6, 7 The incidence of post-clipping alopecia from grooming is unknown. Many cases go unreported and undiagnosed. About Alopecia X, the Pomeranian Charitable Trust notes that, The reports of cases that recoat using a particular method (and not having responded to other methods) tend to confirm the concept that we are looking at multiple causes which can produce similar results. The number of confirmed ‘Clipper Alopecia cases appears with greater frequency than thought previously. Commonly Example of Post Clipping Alopecia — Chow Chow these cases recoat spontaneously after two years. 8 In some cases of poor re-growth or hair loss, the dog has an underlying health problem such as hypothyroidism that has not yet been detected. The shave down just brings the condition to light. It is important that dogs with post-clipping alopecia be referred to a veterinarian to be tested for endocrine disorders. These diseases are treatable and have effects on the overall health of the animal. Alopecia X and post clipping alopecia have no established treatments. Does the clipping itself cause the arrest of the hair growth cycle? Inquiring minds want to know! The cause of poor re-growth or hair loss after clipping has not been determined. Dr. Frank says, The plush-coated breeds may have Alopecia X or simply have been shaved during the normal telogen phase of the hair cycle. 5 McKeever Veterinary Dermatology Clinic says, The exact mechanism is unknown, but one theory is that decreased perfusion of hair follicles, secondary to vasoconstriction due to cooling of the skin by removal of the hair, may lead to premature termination of the growing phase. Alternatively, it may simply reflect a very long resting period before the next hair growth cycle.6 It is not possible to determine if the dog that suffers from hair loss after a shave down has a pre-existing Alopecia X that may have manifested regardless of the grooming. Because these poor hair growth conditions are considered cosmetic and have no far reaching health concerns, they have low priority for study. The uncertainty about the cause of post-clipping alopecia has much to do with the fact that scientists have not yet been able to identify the precise trigger that sends a hair from telogen phase into anagen phase and the creation of a new hair shaft. 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