Hyperestrogenism is an excessive production of female sexual hormones. The condition especially affects the skin and the coat of a dog. The condition may also occur in male dogs, as they produce small amounts of estrogen inside the adrenal gland and the testicles.
Symptoms are mostly shown by the condition of dog’s the skin and coat. It is mostly seen in middle-aged female dogs. Usually, symmetrical hair loss may develops in the area around the groin known as the inguinal area. This hair loss centered around the groin often extends to the abdomen. Usually balding is severe, and only small amounts of hair remain, and even this hair easily pulls out. Another sign is that lost hair does not grow back. The affected skin sags, and there are an increased number of folds due to a decrease in tension. Additionally, the skin around the vulva or preputium (the “foreskin” that surrounds the clitoris) may appear swollen. The condition is more readily seen in female dogs of middle age.
Excessive estrogen production can be triggered by cysts, or, by tumors of the ovaries, the adrenal glands, or the testicles. Certain drugs can also be an underlying cause. Also, in male dogs undescended testicles (cryptorchids) are prone to develop tumors in the later stages of the dog’s life, and contribute to an altered hormone pattern that results in the above-mentioned symptoms related to hyperestrogenism.
In case you notice any of the symptoms indicated before with your dog, you should consult a veterinarian at next opportunity. Not only for therapeutic reasons it is recommended to sterilize she-dogs prior to the first heat provided puppies are not desired. Hormonal dysfunctions may be prevented this way. In case of male dogs, during growth phase it should be ensured that both testicles descended into the scrotum. If that did not happen, the testicles held back should regularly be controlled by a veterinarian. If conspicuous alterations evolve, the cryptorchid testicle needs to be removed surgically.