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Clinical Trials

Schipperke Hair Coat Disorder Study Information

Principal Investigator:

Elizabeth R. May, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Dermatology
Iowa State University
Veterinary Medical Center
1600 S. 16th Street
Ames, IA 50011-1250

Schipperke Hair Coat Disorder 1 Schipperke Hair Coat Disorder 2 Schipperke Hair Coat Disorder 3

We are seeking 6 healthy Schipperkes and 11 Schipperkes with hair loss affecting the body.  In affected dogs, the hair coat initially turns a lighter color (usually from black to reddish brown) followed by progressive hair loss affecting the body; the coat of the head and legs is typically normal in color and appearance.  All causes of inflammatory hair loss (bacterial skin infections, fungal skin infections, parasitic infestations, auto-immune skin conditions) must be ruled out as causes for hair loss before the patient may be considered a candidate for the study.  A questionnaire will be sent to all potential participants to determine which animals qualify for participation in the project.

Test procedures included as part of the study: The purpose of this study is to investigate and describe a particular hair coat disorder in Schipperkes.  It is not a treatment study, thus the information gathered will be used to determine potential causes and treatments for this condition to be examined in the future.

Testing includes:        

  1. Screening lab work (complete blood count, serum chemistry panel, urinalysis)
  2. Screening test for Cushing’s disease (urine cortisol:creatinine ratio)
  3. Testing for hypothyroidism (total T4, TSH, free T4 by equilibrium dialysis)
  4. Sex hormone and cortisol hormone evaluation (performed at the University of Tennessee)
  5. Skin biopsy for histopathology (evaluation of the skin and hair follicle structures)

How to get involved:

  1. Evaluation by Dr. May at the ISU Veterinary Medical Center in Ames, IA.  
    This is the preferred route for enrollment but many affected Schipperkes live quite a distance from Ames.  If it is not possible for your dog to be examined in Iowa we will work with your regular veterinarian in order to obtain the necessary blood and tissue samples.
  2. Contact your general veterinarian to discuss participation in the study.  We will need to work with your veterinarian in order to ensure your dog is eligible for participation.  All samples would need to be collected by your veterinarian and sent to Dr. May at Iowa State University.  The contact information is listed above.