From Cow
Hypotrichosis in a cow
Hypotrichosis in a calf, with normal hair appearing in the ears

Hypotrichosis is an X-linked incompletely dominant genetic skin disease of beef and dairy cattle worldwide[1].

This disease is characterised by partial or complete absence of hair follicles, with or without associated developmental defects such as color dilution[2], congenital hypotrichosis and anodontia (HAD), and congenital hypotrichosis and incisor anodontia (HID)[3][4][5].

Affected cattle show abnormalities in hair follicles, keratinocytes, sweat glands, and teeth. However, a hypo-trichotic Holstein bull has presented with respiratory lesions, suggesting that deficiencies in epithelial mucosal secretions may be associated with this disease[6][7].

Hypotrichosis needs to be distinguished from other diseases which cause alopecia such as ectodermal dysplasia, alopecia areata[8] and ichthyosis[9].


  1. Saperstein G (2002) Congenital defects and hereditary disorders in ruminants. In: Smith BP, ed. Large Animal Internal Medicine, 3rd ed. St. Louis: Mosby, pp:1465–1491
  2. Jolly RD et al (2008) Coat-colour dilution and hypotrichosis in Hereford crossbred calves. N Z Vet J 56(2):74-77
  3. Scott DW (1988) Large Animal Dermatology. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, pp:334–337
  4. Ayers JR (1988) Congenital skin defects in cattle [PhD dissertation]. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State Univ
  5. Barlund CS et al (2007) Congenital hypotrichosis and partial anodontia in a crossbred beef calf. Can Vet J 48(6):612-614
  6. Drögemüller C et al (2001) Partial deletion of the bovine ED1 gene causes anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia in cattle. Genome Res 11:1699–1705
  7. Seeliger F et al (2005) Ectodysplasin-1 deficiency in a German Holstein bull associated with loss of respiratory mucous glands and chronic rhinotracheitis. J Comp Pathol 132:346–349
  8. Valentine BA et al (2012) Alopecia areata in two black Angus cows. J Vet Diagn Invest 24(2):405-407
  9. Testoni S et al (2006) Ichthyosis in two Chianina calves. Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr 113(9):351-354