I feel obligated to spill my guts about this issue, because we have battled it. We adopted her from BCARN rescue group in September 2012. Not certain of her age but at the time we estimate she was about 1 1/2. When we got her she was eating (allegedly) Victor salmon and sweet potato. She wasn't keen on it though, and we took her to the vet and eventually switched to purina salmon & potato. Bella started losing her hair on one side just like Lucy, and the skin underneath turned black. During this time we also learned that she has low thyroid, and she also had some mange on her tummy. Apparently the mange is a mite and is susceptible to the same chemical in those white, powdery tick collars (if a dog eats it she will die without surgery, though, so make sure it's secure!) That took care of the mange. But I digress.
Bella's bald patch grew and it started on the other side. The symmetry is indicative of it being attributable to thyroid, according to our vet. So we very, very slowly messed with and increased her dose over the course of a year and got it just right, but the patches only got worse. They were very ugly. Then she tore her ACL (partially) and couldn't use stairs or be on hard wood floors for two months, which was a living nightmare. By this time she had three inch tall, six-seven lunch black bald spots on either side. The vet suggested changing her food to a new type and suggested a new type, but I decided to get her back on what she was eating when we got her and she wasn't balding. Lo and behold, the hair started to grow back and within six weeks all she has is a golf-ball sized hairless patch on each side. During this time, her belly turned from pink to black and became much more hairy. Given how quickly we started seeing results after having the issue for a year, I am 99.9% certain it was dietary. We also tried catch of the wild back in mid-2013 in between using purina pro plan salmon when we were having the problem. So while she wasn't keen on the victor salmon when we got her, it obviously has something that she needs. Her coat was much more dull and she shed a lot more when she was off the Victor, too. I'll have to wait another year or two to be 100% it's not seasonal or cyclical, I suppose. But I'd bet the bank it's the food and we won't have this problem again. I hope this helps somebody. I had never heard about the melatonin or that disease/illness that it is used to treat, but I do know that the pictures I see are exactly, 200% six ways to Sunday exactly what Bella's side(s) looked like. Also, when we got her switched back to Victor (we did it over a month-long period; 10% every few days) her hair started growing back quickly and it felt spiked and like beard stubble around the edges as the hair began to grow again, so if or when you feel that, you'll know you are on the right track. I will say that I have no interest in Victor and to the best of my knowledge and belief do not know any person who has an interest in Victor. Trust me, I wish a cheaper food had done the trick! Good luck!!
We didn't document as well as I now wish we had (we took many more videos than pictures during this period). But hopefully this demonstrates that we went from dealing with no balding to serious balding on both sides and now the spots haves hunk considerably. I bet within 4 weeks they are fully filled in. I'll try to remember to post with an update when that is the case. I'll be happy to try to answer any questions. I know I did not set out the important information clearly and concisely. I just hope our experiences help someone who reads about them, and of course hope that somebody's own precious bullie becomes as beautiful as she or he can be and should be sooner than might otherwise have been the case. Again, I bid you good luck. And thank all the posters whose information I have relied on when dealing with our Bella over the last year and a half. Proud to be owners of a delightful, imperfect, precious rescued bullie!!!
Great determination... Bella looks great, she is a very pretty girl and lucky to have you.
There is a part of your heart not alive until a bulldog has entered your life.
Nitschke (2004-2011) and Banks (2005-2014) -- My angels
Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings
Great sharing Bella is beautiful<3 Rescue bullies are the best
You were born with the ability to change someone's life, don't ever waste it.
she's so pretty!!
Its so hard being the queen!!!
This looks like what my dog, Cupcake, is getting. She was eating Merricks puppy food and we just switched her to Taste of the Wild Salmon. Right after the switch is when we noticed the patches starting to appear. Is this what you are explaining here? That it turned out to be the food? I hope you respond, I see this post is a couple of years old.