Determination of hair loss (alopecia) cause and effective treatment in laboratory rabbits


1 Department of Research, Production & Breeding of Laboratory Animals, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

2 Department of Pathobiology, Razi Vaccine & Serum Research Institute, Karaj, Iran


In number (16 of 22) of infants in the Dutch laboratory rabbit breeding colony, in aged 45-65 days old, hair
loss (alopecia) seen at the top of the head and around a week after the hair fall, was created in a state of
complete alopecia. For determination of the cause of hair loss, after the observation and palpation the
alopecic area, there have not been any swelling, abscesses, tumors. In skin scrapings, has not revealed the
presence of any ectoparasite. Also in scratched skin samples, after lacto phenol cotton blue and specific
PAS staining, there was no evidence of fungal disease. The result of bacterial and fungal culture in specific
media was negative. On histopathological examination, no specific pathologic lesion was observed. For
fungal dermatitis, there were no specific signs in histological sections. In autopsies of animal, certain
pathological lesions were not observed in various organs and tissues. After being excluded infectious
agents, full analysis of rabbit food pellet done and was determined, the amount of food energy, the
percentage of food protein and crude fiber that showed a significant reduction for growing rabbits. The zinc
value and the other dietary factors, were in the normal range. Since lack of dietary factors, especially protein
and crude fiber cause hair loss in rabbits, accurate balancing the diet and the addition of protein, energy and
dietary fiber, the diet with a new formula prepared. The affected rabbits were divided in two separated cages
as two groups of seven animals each. The new diet was given in the first group of alopecic rabbits and the
other group as before, the previous diet was given. After 20 days in group 1 re-growing hair in the alopecic
area began and the hair covering was full after 10 days. but group 2, still remained alopecic. With effective
treatment in group 1, the same operation for group 2 had done which they were treated completely 20-30 days
later too. By the results of this research, for the prevention of various disorders, including alopecia, the new
formula as a food supplier for the growth stage was introduced to the laboratory rabbit breeding colony.