Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA)

Hair loss related to dilute coat color is a recognized condition in dogs and may affect any dilutely pigmented dog, regardless of coat color. The condition is a form of follicular dysplasia (FD) and is common in Blue Doberman Pinschers and other blue hair coats; however, it is not limited to either blue dogs or Dobermans. The term congenital means present at birth, but CDA affected dogs are born with normal hair coats.

CDA is characterized by loss of hair from dilutely pigmented areas. Onset of hair loss usually begins between six months and three years of age. Usually starting along the dorsal midline (middle of the back) and often spares the head, tail and limbs. The pattern seems to vary from breed to breed. It has been suggested that daker coloured dogs are less severely affected or may start to lose their hair later in life. The hair loss may be total or partial. The skin in the affected areas is usually scaly and may occasionally develop bacterial infections.

Despite the thin coat, the dog will remain healthy. It is almost always only a cosmetic problem resulting in a varying degree of hair loss.

Additional Information

Note: This section of Canada's Guide to Dogs is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.