Background: Trichoscopy, in combination with image analysis software, is a readily available, efficient diagnostic tool for assessing hair follicle parameters of people in vivo. Systems designed for use in human dermatology must be evaluated and validated with animal skin/hair before they can be used for veterinary applications. Objectives: To evaluate the use of a commercial software package for image analysis of canine hair follicles and to define hair follicle parameters. Animals: Thirteen client-owned healthy dogs. Methods: Trichoscopic images at x20 magnification were obtained from three shaved body sites (left dorsal head, left thorax, left flank) over a five day period, then analyzed by the software. Results: The image analysis software was able to identify microscopic changes in hair length on a daily basis, calculating a mean hair growth rate of 0.065 mm/day. Each of the three body sites had consistent hair growth rates across all days. Anagen and telogen percentages were consistent at each body site by Day 2 (48 h post-clipping). Data for mean hair thickness, and primary and secondary hair percentages also are reported. Conclusions: Although it provides less useful data for canine hair coats than for human scalp hair, the system evaluated provides an easy, noninvasive, rapid means for assessing several important canine hair follicle parameters: daily hair growth rates, anagen and telogen percentages, primary and secondary hair percentages, and mean hair thickness. This diagnostic tool could serve to establish breed-specific hair coat standards, evaluating hair follicle changes in various canine alopecic conditions and monitoring coat-promoting treatments in dogs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas