RachelLara avatar image

UPDATE: SFA ...Melatonin??

Update: So we took our girl Bailey to the vet for the missing fur on her sides. Its been this way since about May (she turned 1 last december), weve tried missing link and first mate grain free food but no changes. I have strong reason to believe it is seasonal flank alopecia but wanted to confirm with the vet. When we first got there he said we were probably right and melatonin wont hurt, but then he went on to say he wants to rule out dermatitis and other issues and would like to do a biopsy and bloodwork and keep her overnight. Which would mean she would need stitches and to be put out (poor bailey has been through alot in her 2 years of life...cherry eye ...etc). The areas are NOT bothering her or hot to touch (im only concerned cosmetically and people are always asking whats wrong with her) So i said to the vet that i would like to try melatonin first before we got the ivasive route and after that when i asked him how much melatonin to give her he wouldnt give me any information... i felt like he was doing it for the money, especially when at first he said were probably right, im not putting my dog through surgery if she doesnt need it. Im going to the health food store tomorrow to get some melatonin. im wondering how much to give her (shes 60 pounds) when to give it to her...with or without food...how many times a day. has anyone had this expericnce before and used melatonin to treat it? Could you please help....any information would be great!!! Thanks!!!

Deb and MacKenzie and Ester's picture


Your vet is an idiot.  Why the hell would he put a dog under for a biopsy on Alopecia.  Sorry I'm shaking my head.  I don't know the amount to give...but I would find another vet. 

Maybe Rick can help with Gizmo, as I think he tried Melatonin at one time.

Dont waste $$$$ on Biopsy or scrap, it will come back negitive

IF its on her flanks, and with Gizmo's case, both flanks, its Alopecia - yes it does look ugly, and its cosmetic - you said you tried the Missing Link? how long did you have her on it?  Gizmo is 50lbs and we had her on 2 Teaspoons a day, and after 1 bag we saw considerable improvement - now she's in more of a 'holding pattern'

We havent tried Melatonin - So I dont know that amount to give her :(

Alopecia seems to be different in each animal - what works for Gizmo might not work for your Girl, but what works for her might work for someone else.

I'm sorry you are going through this, however, its MINOR compared to alot of bully issues.


Last steps taken May 26, 2014 -- Been rolling along ever since . . . . 

RachelLara's picture

Thanks...missing link

I had her on missing link for about 2 months...there was no difference at all.It is on both flanks and no where else on her body which is why i said SFA, i am seriously thinging about changing vets. Im going to try a regimin of cod liver oil pills with melatonin and see if that makes a difference. I read online to give her 3mg of melatonin so ill try that slowly. Thanks everyone for all your help. I know its minor compared to most bully problems...in which we have dealt with some already (cherry eye, chin acne, licking the air, rashes, allergies)... this one seems to be the most frustrating so fa, thank goodness its not harmfull.

RachelLara's picture

Melatonin SAFE?

I read online somewhere that giving them a human verson of melatonin could be dangerous for dogs??? is that true???

if you want to compare SFA pictures . . .

www.flickr.com/rettinger    you will see pictures of Gizmo  'Before - During and more During' with Missing Link added to Yogart once a day.

Look at the dates of the pictures and you can tell when we started etc :)  Good luck !


Last steps taken May 26, 2014 -- Been rolling along ever since . . . . 

Farley had horrible SFA...

nothing helped Melatonin and Missing Link did nothing for him.  The only thing that worked was us moving from WA to TX where he lays in the sun everyday.  We have been here for 2 months and he's completely filled in.  (Our Boxer too!) 

While SFA is ugly..and it's a pain to have to explain to people..it does not hurt them.

Maggie Porkchop and Bubba's picture


Our Bubba was diagnosed with SFA when he was about 2 years old. It was a tiny little spot on his flank but I was very concern as he had demodex mange when a pup. Our vet did a skin scrape and said no mange. He felt it was SFA but recommended a Thyroid test in case Bubba had hypothyroidism which we agreed to have done. Thyroid was fine. Bubba is 7 years old now. His flanks and the top of mid back become pretty bald during the fall/winter and start to regrow really well in the spring and then summer ends. We've tried Melatonin and other supplements without sucess. SFA is cosmetic only! Sure people ask what's wrong with him. We explain. Big deal.

I would be very concerned about a vet who wants to do a skin biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. What comes to my mind is the vet is either very inexperienced (especially with bulldogs), over cautious because of past mistakes, or money hungry. Maybe all of the above??


Maggie Porkchop and Bubba

alisonjmorgan's picture

Check thyroid levels?

Simple blood test. Bulldogs are know to have thyroid problems. Symptoms, include hair loss, skin infections, ear problems, ect., It's a simple blood work up. If thyroid is low, pup will be put on thyroid med. and will continue taking it for entire life.


Alison and my little girl Matilda

onslowsmom's picture

I would find another vet

hope the melatonin helps.