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Hair Loss in boxers
An_221419 posted:
Our family has a 6 year female boxer. She has been a god send to us all and she is as much part of the family as anyone. Recently she has began losing her hair down both sides of her ribs in about a 3 inch band and it is slowly arching over her back towards her tail and has basically completed a half oval shape about a foot long. She has also in the last week been having a difficult time keeping food down and has been coughing and ultimately will end up vomiting. A friend was at our house last night and said the pattern of hair loss was indicative of cancer. I am aware that Boxers are prone to cancer, but is there any factual basis for this? She has an appointment for the vet already, but we are getting really concerned.
tallvetgirl responded:
As far as the hair loss is concerned, it sounds like a common Boxer problem called apolecia. They lose their hair typically down both sides of their body. This is usually not a concern as it will come and go. There can other issues that cause hair loss in dogs of all breeds though- parasites, thyroid issues, skin infections, allergies, etc. Your vet can properly diagnosis her through an exam. The symptoms of more concern are the cough and the inability to keep her food down. Is your dog on a heartworm preventative? This is an important part of preventative care for dogs that live in an area that has mosquitoes. Heartworm prev. should be used yearround as they also treat many intestinal parasites depending on the product your vet has recommended. Coughing can be a symptom of heartworm infection and your vet can test her through a blood test. I'm glad she has an appt to see her vet as vomiting can be a sign of more a more serious problem. Good Luck to you!
Ponyrun2 responded:
Symmetrical hairloss can be indictive of a thryroid problem... it can be diagnosed by a simple blood test... treatment is a simple pill taken daily....

I have never heard of hair loss being indictive of cancer in any breed...

When I first got my Boxer at 18 months he started losing patches of hair about the size of a nickel... vet couldn't find anything wrong... we finally decided it was because he was now an indoor dog with a/c and artificial lighting... but cancer was never brought up...


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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