Melatonin Treatment For Baldness
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. This hormone has been produced and marketed in pill form to help regulate sleep-wake cycles in patients with temporary sleep pattern problems.
From January to April 2003 a double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted at the Forenap Centre Hospitalier in Rouffach, France on eight healthy women to assess the clinical and biological tolerability of cosmetic melatonin. One group of this study were applied with a 0.0033% cosmetic melatonin solution once daily on their scalp each night before bedtime, while another group were treated with a placebo solution following the same protocol as the other group.
Within the duration of the study, all the participants were monitored every 14 days for any abnormal increase or decrease in their blood pressure and heart rate as well as any observable increase or decrease in their endogenous melatonin secretions. Based on the results of the electrocardiogram readings collected from all of the participants at the end of this study, showed no significant increase in blood pressure and heart rate for all the participants. But according to clinical laboratory tests for serum melatonin levels done on all participants, it was observed that a gradual increase in blood serum melatonin levels, which was vital for hair growth and restoration, was noted on the participants who were treated with the cosmetic melatonin solution.
What Are The Side Effects Of Melatonin In Dogs
Melatonin is a pretty safe medication to give to your dogs. There is a very wide safety margin meaning that if you accidentally give your dog too much they will usually be okay. While there are not many know side effects, but there are a few that can happen especially if your dog took too much.
- Changes infertility
If you notice any side effects, you should stop giving this medication and contact your vet. This medication does wear off very quickly. You should notice that this supplement is out of your dogs system in as little as 24 hours.
Main Benefits Of Melatonin For Dogs
The main benefits of giving your dog melatonin are:
- It can help control the sleeping pattern of your dog. Some older dogs may suffer from various sleep disorders where they cannot sleep or do not sleep at the correct time.
- The drug is quite beneficial for those dogs that suffer from anxiety issues such as separation anxiety.
- It helps in combating seasonal hair loss such as alopecia.
- Paw Melatonin is quite effective against all kinds of phobias.
- Paw The drug is effective for gaining weight as well, especially if your dog has lost weight due to surgery or disease.
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What Is Flank Alopecia
Canine flank alopecia is sometimes known as seasonal alopecia because it is a light responsive seasonal disorder. It causes partial or total hair loss on the dogs flank and back area. Lack of exposure to the sunlight in the months with shorter days seems to be connected to this disorder. It usually begins in late fall into early spring and lasts up to six months. Sometimes this condition recurs yearly, but not in all cases. About 20% of the time is will occur only once in the dogs life. This disorder is also called cyclic follicular dysplasia, and it is a non-inflammatory condition.
Canine flank alopecia is a syndrome usually occurring in the fall through spring months. It has no known cause and produces hair loss in the flank and back of the dog.
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What Are The Uses For Melatonin In Dogs
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, mood, and reproduction. While humans often take synthetic melatonin supplements to get more sleep at night or address jet lag, melatonin in dogs has a variety of other uses.
Like its use in humans, melatonin can be used to address sleep issues in dogs. Many dogs experience disruptions in their sleep-wake cycle as they age, caused by a condition known as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. These dogs often have trouble settling down at night and may pace throughout the overnight hours. In these dogs, a dose of melatonin before bedtime can help dogs get a better nights sleep, which allows the humans in the home to also get a better nights sleep!
Melatonin is also used to manage a number of skin and coat conditions. In dogs, there are a variety of conditions that cause hair loss and/or poor hair regrowth. Alopecia X, for example, is a poorly understood condition that causes hair loss in several fluffy-coated breeds, such as Pomeranians, Samoyeds, and Chow Chows. The mechanism of Alopecia X is not fully understood, but up to half of diagnosed cases respond to treatment with melatonin. Similarly, canine seasonal flank alopecia , pattern baldness, and post-clipping alopecia may also resolve with melatonin therapy. It is not fully understood why melatonin is effective in these conditions, but it is thought that melatonins effects on the dogs circadian rhythm may help promote hair regrowth.
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What Is Alopecia In Dogs
Alopecia isnt just one disease. Alopecia means abnormal hair loss in dogs. There are many reasons for it and many types of alopecia. The hair follicle becomes damaged by infection, inflammation, or other causes below the surface that arent apparent.
Alopecia can show itself as specific areas of hair loss, sporadic missing hair, or even hair loss on one side of the body or the other. Sometimes its cosmetic and doesnt affect your dogs health. But that isnt always the case. Hair loss is common in dogs, but bald spots in your dogs fur may be a warning sign of infection or disease.
How Much Melatonin Does My Dog Need
The exact amount will be based on your dogs body weight. Small dogs will need about 1mg were large dogs will need 3mgs. You can slowly work up to higher dosages if it does not seem to help your dog with its condition. You should not give Melatonin to your dog more than three times a day.
As you are increasing their dosage, it is best to monitor them for and GI side effects or lethargy. If you notice anything abnormal with your dog, it is best to stop this medication until your dog has improved.
Even though Melatonin is very safe, it is recommended to not give melatonin to puppies under 12 weeks of age. They are developing and growing at this time and there are no studies showing the safety of this medication at this age.
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Side Effects Of Melatonin For Dogs
The best part about the drug is that side effects are quite rare. Youll rarely find a dog reacting adversely to the drug. Also, the side effects are quite a few and mediocre. Still, as a pet owner, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on all kinds of adverse reactions your dog can have to the medicine.
It is especially important as your dog can accidentally overdose on the drug by chewing on the bottle. It is imperative that you recognize the warning signs immediately. This allows you to respond quicker which can often mean the difference between life and death.
The main side effects of melatonin for dogs are:
- Insulin resistance for dogs that suffer from diabetes
- Paw Upset stomach including vomiting and diarrhea
- Paw Loss of fertility
Another important thing to note is that you should always thoroughly check with the vet about which kind of melatonin to give your dog. Some supplements often have a compound called Xylitol mixed in them. This chemical is toxic to dogs and can result in severe complications.
Should I Be Concerned About My Dog Losing Hair
Its normal for your dog to shed and lose hair, but when they start to lose hair in excess, thats when it becomes a problem. There are many conditions that could cause hair loss in dogs. It could be due to something simple, like allergies, or it could be a result of a more serious health condition. So if you start to notice your dog is losing hair more than usual, consult your vet so you can get to the root of their hair loss.
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How Melatonin Benefits Dogs
Melatonin can help dogs that suffer from anxiety disorders. Thats right! Melatonin is a proven, natural alternative used successfully to relieve anxiety in dogs.
Studies have shown that 3 out of 4 dogs suffer from an anxiety disorder, and it is one of the leading concerns that owners discuss with their pets veterinarians.
Melatonin naturally provides a calming effect that helps to put anxious dogs more at ease with their surroundings or anxiety triggers. So, a dog that suffers from separation anxiety or dives under the couch during a thunderstorm may greatly benefit from melatonin.
Can I Give My Dog Melatonin For Hair Loss
To answer this question, lets begin by briefly reviewing the role melatonin plays. In addition to improving sleep-wake cycles, melatonin helps regulate seasonal shedding cycleswhere animals lose their winter coat in the spring and grow a thick coat in the winter.4
The mechanism by which melatonin is involved in regulating hair growth is not fully understood. However, it is believed that melatonin either works by directly stimulating the hair follicle or by stimulating other hormones within the brain that would affect fur growth.3,4
We know that melatonin levels increase with exposure to darkness. It makes sense, then, that we can see seasonal changes in systems that are affected by melatoninsuch as the skin and furwhen the days get shorter and longer.
In dogs, melatonin may be helpful in managing two conditions that cause hair loss: seasonal flank alopecia and alopecia X. In both cases, the condition is considered cosmeticthe dog either has a thinner fur coat than normal or the dog has lost fur entirely. Dogs with these conditions are typically not itchy.
However, there are other diseases where hair loss can occur such as hypothyroidism in dogs and Cushings disease in dogs. These conditions should both be ruled out prior to relying on melatonin as a primary treatment.2
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What Deficiency Causes Hair Loss In Dogs
Minerals play an important role in the quality of a dogs hair and skin. Copper deficiency can cause bald patches and loss of hair pigment. Zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, skin ulcers, and areas of skin thickening. If you improve your dogs nutrition and focus on feeding them a well-balanced diet, their hair should grow back.
Veterinarians And Pet Owners Alike Are Experiencing Success Using Melatonin Therapy For Alopecia In Dogs
The most common form of alopecia for dogs is seasonal alopecia, also called cyclic follicular dysplasia. This condition is denoted by hair loss on a dogs flanks and back. Hair loss can also occur on the base of the tail, nose, and ears. Usually, the skin becomes darker in the areas where the hair loss has occurred, and the dogs hair will become dry and coarse.
Some breeds of dogs are more likely to be affected by seasonal alopecia than others. Bulldogs, boxers, schnauzers, Airedales, labradors, Scottish terriers, Akitas and Doberman pinschers are more susceptible than many other breeds.
Canine seasonal alopecia usually starts in early spring or late fall and lasts for up to six months, with the dogs hair typically grows back in afterward. Sometimes the condition recurs year after year, and sometimes it only occurs once in the dogs lifetime. Because many dogs become affected with seasonal alopecia in the spring, researchers have concluded that lack of sunlight may be a cause.
Melatonin also helps dogs grow hair back more quickly after surgery. Its also an amazing supplement for helping dogs suffering from Cushings disease grow their hair back.
Recommended Dosage for Melatonin Treatment:
Research recommends not exceeding a dosage of 3 to 6 mg every 8 to 12 hours.
A general guideline for dosing melatonin is:
Note: If melatonin makes your dog excessively sleepy, give melatonin only at night.
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Melatonin Dosage For Dogs
Melatonin is available in tablets, capsules, powders, and liquid forms. It does not matter which form you use as long as it is convenient for you and acceptable for your dog. The Melatonin pill or liquid can be given with or without food/treats.
How much mg of Melatonin a dog needs depends on its body weight and the administration frequency on the underlying condition. These are the general Melatonin dosing guidelines:
- Small dogs need 1.5 mg every 8, 12, or 24 hours
- Medium to large dogs need 3 mg every 8, 12, or 24 hours
- Large dogs need 6 mg every 8, 12, or 24 hours
Adhering to the correct dosage is essential. If you suspect a melatonin overdose, immediately call your trusted veterinarian and follow the instructions.
What Causes Seasonal Alopecia In Dogs
It is difficult to pinpoint what causes alopecia in dogs, but research suggests that seasonal changes and a lack of light exposure is what causes hair to fall out. It is thought that a lack of sunlight poses an effect on the pineal gland, which is responsible for producing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Although there are no direct links, this condition appears to be more prevalent in areas with darker winters.
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Melatonin For Cushings Disease
Cushings disease is a result of an overproduction of adrenocorticotropic hormone , It affects both middle-aged and older dogs, regardless of breed.
Among the most common symptoms of Cushings disease in dogs are:
- Increased thirst and urination.
- Urinary incontinence.
Melatonin can help dogs with Cushings disease recover, although some dogs do not respond to melatonin treatment.Melatonin also helps with hair regrowth.
Melatonin For Sleep Issues In Dogs
Like their human counterparts, dogs need sleep for their health and well-being Trusted SourceNational Library of Medicine, Biotech InformationThe National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov . Changes in a dogâs sleep patterns may be a sign of an underlying medical issue, a symptom of a sleep disorder, or a response to changes in their surroundings. While more research is necessary, some experts believe that melatonin supplements may help to alleviate insomnia and other disruptions in a dogâs sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin may also be used in dogs that cannot tell when it is light or dark outside because of blindness or other problems with their vision. In humans, this condition is called non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder and is often treated with supplemental melatonin .
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Lignan Side Effects Warnings And Interactions
If using SDG flax hull lignans, stool frequency and occasional diarrhea may occur because of its fiber component.
According to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, no adverse effects on the use of SDG flax lignan have been reported based on their suggested dose of 1mg/lb of body weight daily.
UT report limited feedback on the use of HMR lignan, citing only human studies showing that single doses of 1,200 mg did not cause any side effects in humans and that a 13-week study in rodents at a dose of 2,600mg/kg of HMR lignan did not cause any toxic effects.
How To Manage Alopecia
Treating alopecia is challenging not because it is difficult to control but because there are so many types. Each condition needs to be evaluated independently depending on the cause.
- Most types of alopecia are treatable or manageable with natural methods like supportive supplements, a change in environment, a better diet and minimizing chemical and drug use.
- Using natural flea and parasite control minimizes hair loss from allergic reactions to bites.
- Alopecia that is due to a genetic or autoimmune disorder can be minimized by making healthy food choices and avoiding toxic chemicals in your dogs environment.
Some types of alopecia are cosmetic and dont affect your dogs health. Here are some things you can do to help your dogs alopecia, whatever the cause.
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When To Use Melatonin For Dogs
Despite the lack of FDA approval for use in canines, veterinarians often recommend melatonin products for managing various behavioral and medical conditions. But what is Melatonin? And how does it work in dogs?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland a small gland found just above the center of the brain. Melatonin is critical for determining the bodys circadian rhythms or, in simpler terms, regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
When it gets darker, the brain signals the pineal gland to produce Melatonin, thus promoting sleepiness. The reverse happens as it becomes lighter the brain tells the pineal gland it is time to decrease the production of Melatonin which results in waking up.
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When To Give Your Dog Melatonin
To address a dogâs anxiety or phobias, it may help to give a dose of melatonin prior to the trigger that can cause distress. A veterinarian may recommend providing a dose of melatonin between 30 minutes and 2 hours before the anticipated anxiety-provoking event in order to allow enough time for the supplement to take effect.
For helping a dog sleep, avoid giving melatonin during the day. Instead, wait until around 30 minutes before the desired sleep time. To help establish healthy sleep patterns, it is recommended to give melatonin as part of a bedtime routine. Components of evening routines for dogs can include keeping a consistent bedtime, turning off bright lights, limiting noise, and providing the same comfortable place to sleep each night.
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