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The Case of Guru the Chimp and Animal Alopecia


Animal AlopeciaNational newspapers and internet sources alike have recently been reporting on an unusual case of hair loss in southern India, that of Guru the chimpanzee.

A 20-year old male chimp at Mysore Zoo, Guru has lost practically all of his body-hair, and is undergoing continuing treatment in an attempt to cure the condition, so far without success. Vets at the zoo say that the condition first afflicted him at some point before he was three years old, when he was rescued from a circus.

Dr Suresh Kumar, a zoo vet, said, “He came to us with alopecia, so we don’t know how he got it originally. However, with chimpanzees being so much like humans, we think it could have been caused by factors in Guru’s life such as stress or trauma, which can induce alopecia in humans.”

Guru is experiencing total body-hair loss. In humans this is known as Alopecia Universalis.

Dr Kumar went on to say that so far no medicines the zoo has tried have been successful in treating Guru. As a last resort they are planning on consulting a human skin specialist.

The large degree of interest from both the tabloids and the broadsheets is perhaps mainly due to the supposed human-like appearance of the great ape. But the story also highlights the fact that alopecia and other forms of hair loss are not limited to human beings.

Animal Hair Loss at Leipzig Zoo

Bald Spectacled BearsLast year the media reported on another case of hair loss in animals – the mysterious baldness of three female spectacled bears in Leipzig zoo, Germany.  No conclusive cause for the hair loss was found, but some vets speculated that it might be due to the stress of being taken from their natural habitat and placed in a zoo with a wholly different climate.

Alopecia is not unusual in domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, and though the causes for such hair loss can be due to parasites or fleas, in many cases a vet may identify it as being caused by exposure to stressful situations and environments.

News stories about Guru the chimpanzee and other cases of animal hair loss are perhaps a telling reminder that alopecia, far from being a rarity, is common throughout many living things.

Treatments for Alopecia

Fortunately, for humans, there are a number of effective treatments available to combat various forms of hair loss. Belgravia uses a combination of treatments to not only prevent further hair loss but also reverse the process and promote the re-growth of new hair.

Two of the primary medications used in alopecia treatment are scientifically proven, licensed by the MHRA in the UK, and approved by the FDA in the USA for the treatment of genetic hair loss. For alopecia areata in its early stages various treatments can be highly effective at growing hair back too, you can see the proof on our Alopecia Regrowth Page.

Used in conjunction with hair growth boosters and expert trichological monitoring, real progress is achievable in the struggle against many forms of hair loss. Contact the Belgravia Centre for a free consultation today or fill in an online diagnosis form from a home use treatment programme.

Online Consultation

Submit an instant online consultation so that one of Belgravia’s hair loss specialists can diagnose your condition and recommend an effective course of treatment, wherever you live.