Our Bulldog started developing a bilateral, alopecia on her sides, also known as flank alopecia.  It started as small spots that looked like pock marks, then they kept progressing until she had large, hairless patches on each of her sides.  We were told they were mostly likely seasonal and due to diminished amounts of sunlight but they would mostly self resolve after a few months.  The spots have, at times, started to appear to be resolving only to persist.  We changed her food to a healthier brand.  We are now changing her shampoo based off the recommendation of this site.  Could the alopecia be caused by some sort of skin infection or bacteria?  I am consider rubbing her sides with the malacetic wipes.  Any thoughts or advice are much appreciated.  Thank you!!!

4 Answers


I don’t have a bulldog but I have a boxer. This condition is common in certain breeds- boxers and bulldogs are two such breeds.  It typically occurs in the winter due to lack of sun.  Different dogs will have it to different degrees and the regrowth will be at different rates too.  My previous boxer didn’t develop it until he was older, around 5, and as he got older. 10-11, the hair never grew back. My current boxer is 2 and she starts it in Jan and it takes until mid summer for it all to be grown back.  If it’s truly this seasonal alopecia, your food choice won’t change the situation but my vet has told me time again that it doesn’t cause any discomfort for the dog. It just doesn’t look so great. 🙂

p.s. I’m a bulldog owner wannabe! Someday, someday.


Minnie started getting the spots at about 9 month, which was Decemeber 2012, so a little over a year ago. They started as small “pock marks” and grew into larger hairless patches that look a lot like the picture Dan posted. Her skin in the patches is also black like in Dan’s picture. Her hair started to grow back last July, but then stopped without the spots filling in completely. Then around the end of October, she started to get more spots and the problem has since worsened again.

We’ve tried changing her food. She was originally on eagle pack lamb and rice. But after some research, it seemed this wasn’t the best option and I thought she might be developing an allergy to it which was manifesting in the alopecia. We switched her to Blue Buffalo sensitive stomach salmon and potato but she had trouble adjusting and even after 3 bags her stool was soft, so then we switched her to Royal Canin Bulldog food which she is still on and doing very well on, so we are reluctant to switch her again.

We have been adding fish oil to her food, but I think the melatonin might be a good idea, because I’ve now heard that from a few sources.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to write back and offer your advice. It’s much appreciated!


How old is your bulldog and when how long has it been since she developed these spots. Also, wondering what food you were using before and what you use now. How long has she been on the new food? We don’t have much experience with Alopecia, but last year Cally developed some sort of allergic reaction to her food that caused her to loose hair in spots. The spots were about the size of a silver dollar and growing. Another weird thing is where her spots were the skin had turned black. Is this anything like you’re experiencing?

If you could submit the answer to those questions I asked, that would help myself and others on the forum with your question. I would also like to submit this to our Facebook Followers as well as my personal vet if needed.


downloadDoes it look like this at all? This is very much like what I was describing with Cally. We had her on Lamb and Rice dog food and switching her to the  chicken and rice formula did the trick.


Just wanted to add that one of our readers told me she believes she had the same problem and added 3mg of melatonin each night to alleviate the problem. It sounds like JFizz had some pretty good advice too. If we can get a few more people who had this same experience to share with us a remedy maybe we can find one that works for you.

Your Answer

12 Responses to Alopecia

  • Angie

    My British Bulldog had sessional flank alopecia.  After every test possible and everyone negative.  I changed his diet to raw meat and steamed vegetables with half a teaspoon of coconut oil and within weeks his coat has grown back ! May I also add thicker and softer . He’s a red & white Bulldog and where he had lost his hair it grown back slightly lighter

  • Tammy

    I have a English bull dog, with Flank Alopecia. He was tested everything sofar has came back neg.Still waiting on tyroid test. They said to give him melatonin. What is your advice on melatonin? how much? how often? and for how long? My bull dog is a big boy 112 lbs not fat or over weight. any advice .

    Thank you for your time

    • Dan Weese

      The administration of melatonin for alopecia is common and safe for bulldogs, but I don’t recall the correct dosage.

  • Catherine Ford

    I’ve tried melatonin for months and changed her diet but to no avail. My Dazy has alot of hair loss still on both of her sides. Have had skin scrapings and shes negative for parasites and fungal issues. Can a shot from the vet of vitamin A work? Someone told me they watched it on animal planet a horse with the same problem as Dazy. Could this really work?

  • Tanya Paxton

    We gave Mya melatonin & fish oil. It took quite awhile, but eventually, all of her hair grew back.

  • Good point Kathleen Coladonato. Thats worth mentioning as well.

  • Awesome Summer! I will definitely get that posted to the question. Thanks!

  • Summer Menges

    A change in food would help too

  • Kathleen Coladonato

    It’s ok. I can see the question but can’t reply

  • Summer Menges

    Start giving your dog melatonin 3 mg at bedtime

  • Kathleen Coladonato

    I can’t get the link from my phone. I would suggest the dog have thyroid checked.

  • Oh by the way, please message me if you run into any issues using the Q&A page. I would greatly appreciate it 🙂

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