Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Skin: hyposomatotropism

Contributor(s): David Scarff


  • Poorly understood condition - may overlap with others, eg castration-responsive alopecia, adrenal sex-hormone imbalance.
  • Cause: Many hormones affect the skin including thyroid hormones, glucocorticoids, estrogens, androgens, progesterone and growth hormone.
  • Signs: endocrine dermatoses usually present with non-pruritic bilaterally symmetrical alopecia.
  • Alopecia is confined to distinct regions of the body; head and limbs are usually spared.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs, histopathology, biochemistry, hematology, specific hormone assay, rule out other endocrinopathies, response to treatment.
  • Treatment: none may be required.
  • Prognosis: generally good.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Cerundolo R (1999) Symmetrical alopecia in the dog. In Practice 21 (7), 350-359 VetMedResource.
  • Schmeitzel L P (1990) Sex hormone related and growth hormone related alopecias. Vet Clin North Am 20 (6), 1579-601 PubMed.
  • Schmeitzel L P and Lothrop C D (1990) Sex hormones and skin disease. Vet Med Report 2 (1), 28-41 VetMedResource.
  • Medleau L (1989) Sex hormone associated endocrine alopecias in dogs. JAAHA 25 (6), 689-94 VetMedResource.
  • Scott D W (1982) Histologic findings in the endocrine skin disorders of the dog. JAAHA 18 (1), 173-83 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Ferguson E A (1993)Symmetrical alopecia in the dog.In:Manual of Small Animal Dermatology.Eds: Locke, P H, Harvey R G & Mason I S. Cheltenham: British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 101-113. (Excellent systematic approach leading to definitive diagnosis.)
  • Grant D I (1991)Skin diseases in the Dog and Cat.2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Sceintific Publications. pp 67-85. (Concise for quick reference.)
  • Grant D I, Herrtage M E & Thoday K L (1990)Differential diagnosis of alopecia. The adrenal glands. The thyroid gland.In:Manual of Small Animal Endocrinology.Ed: Hutchison M. Cheltenham: British Small Animal Veterinary Association.(Good differential diagnosis.)
  • Griffin C E, Kwochka K W & MacDonald J M (1993)Current veterinary deramatology - the science and art of therapy.In:Handbook of Small Animal Dermatology.Eds: Morrelo K A & Mason I S. Oxford: Pergamon Press, pp 75-91. (Excellent problem-oriented approaches and diagnostic plans.)
  • Muller G Het al(eds) (1995)Small Animal Dermatology.5th edn. Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 627-719. (Detailed dermatology text book for in-depth reading.)