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Husky coat question

September 24th, 2007, 01:16 PM
Hi - we have a 6 year old Siberian husky cross and she sheds a lot! I think this is normal. She is pretty much a constant shedder but Spring and Summer are especially bad when she sheds her undercoat.

She is now shedding a lot of the outer hair (guard hairs?)

Just wondering if this is normal? Should they shed their outer coats every year as well as the undercoat? I've just never noticed her top coat coming out this much in past years.

I feed her the Orijen fishy food. She aslo gets other foods like sardines, eggs, veggies, tripe. I think she is getting enough Omega 3's so I would think her coat would be thick and shiny but right now it seems dull.

September 24th, 2007, 11:08 PM
It has been several years since my Sibes passed but Yes it is definately normal for them to "blow" their coats in spring/summer - that is when the majority of their winter coats come out in little clumps :D Because they do build up a heavy winter coat they will shed from spring through the fall, shedding of the guard hairs is normal - though not as obvious as the undercoat :D.

Though since you are in Winnipeg (where it is usually really cold in winter eh?) she should have her winter coat coming in fairly soon. This could be a cause (but not the only possiblity) of a dull coat right now - the shedding of dead hair before the new winter coat has fully come in. Does the coat feel greasy? Dry? or is it just not looking up to snuff? Try a really good brushing this will help to remove the dead hairs & stimulate new growth, sometimes that is all that you need.

Are you giving Omega 3 as a separate supplement or just what is already present in the food? If it is still concerning to you, you can always check the label on a bottle of Omega3 supplements available @ your vet to see the level your dog should have for their weight & compare to what's in the food, then maybe think about supplementing - but remember not to over do the fatty acids that can lead to other problems, not just of the skin.

I would also suggest since your dog is 6 years to think about having a full blood panel run on the next vet visit just to check to make sure everything is functioning properly - the older animals seem to be able to hide things well.

Living on the coast closer to the water the winter here was not always very cold & I would notice the winter coat sometimes not as full in the fall - good gauge for how cold (or not) the winter was going to be :D They seem to know if it will be a really cold winter & the coat grows accordingly.

Would love to see pictures of your dogs too. :)

September 25th, 2007, 01:47 PM
Thanks for your reply!

Were your Siberians pure breed? I'm sorry they have passed - they live such short lives really! Do you mind me asking how old yours were?

Our girl is from the humane society and they had her down as a "looks like Siberian" They would not release her until she was spayed because they didn't want to take a chance that someone would adopt her just to breed. She is not as fluffy as the pure breeds (her head especially seems thinner) so I am sure there is something else in her.

She gets the Orijen fish and I occasionally throw in a 1000mg fish oil capsule but not everyday. Other days I may give some sardines or tripe. I'll have to figure out how much is in the food I'm feeding. I like the idea of giving the fresh oil because I wonder about how these oils are really maintained in a dry kibble once cooked.

Her coat feels soft, not dry or greasy. She does have a small amount of dandruff but not excessive. It just seems dull and thin - she is still loosing undercoat in her legs as well as the top coat.

I have a picture of her in the summer with her big fluffy tail. The next picture from today does not really show it but her tail is much thinner - I brushed an entire safeway bag from her tail just last week - that mostly seemed like undercoat.

This season has been especially bad for her shedding so maybe that is a sign of a colder winter to come as you suggested :eek:

Thank you for the advice - I am off to the dog park so we will try another good brush out there and see if that helps.

You are lucky to live in BC. Looking forward to taking my husband to Victoria and the coast (Pacific Rim) as he has never been there!

September 25th, 2007, 07:58 PM
Sounds like she might not be finished shedding the current coat yet, so it may be abit dull, my cats' coat is like that sometimes - a good bath is all she needed. I would suggest if you want to try bathing her to take inside to do it this time of year, summer can be done outside no problem, just make sure she is fully dry before letting her out. I think her winter coat coming in will resolve itself without needing a bath though, if it is going to be a warmer winter her coat won't be as thick as usual.

Have fun on your West Coast trip :)

Yes my girls were purebreds Nikki & Nisku were both 15 years old when they passed but 2 years apart, Nikki in 1995 Nisku in 1993. Nikki we got as a 9 month old pup spayed as a pet - she was 3/4 inch too short for breed standard - she went all the way from BC to ON to another breeder then back to the original when it was evident she didn't make height. Nisku (a Canadian Champion) was Nikkis' mother - we adopted spayed a few years later, after her breeding days were over. The first pic is Nikki, the second is Nisku :D

September 25th, 2007, 09:20 PM
Do you use an undercoat rake Wanda? Declan sheds hair like a mountain sheds an avalanche :rolleyes: I was amazed at the amount of undercoat it brings out that a regular brush doesn't get to. Perhaps her shedding seems to be of greater volume simply because it is taking longer to get all the hair out.

September 25th, 2007, 11:28 PM
SuperWanda, I think that's the first time you've posted pics of your girl. She is very pretty. :lovestruck: Have you had a blood panel done recently? You mentioned a dull, thin coat which is a sign of hypothyroidism. :pawprint:

September 26th, 2007, 06:07 PM
Growler: Nikki and Nisku were beautiful dogs - I hope mine will live to be 15! They sure love the snow! That is the only reason I am looking forward to winter here because it makes Timber so happy!

mum: I recently invested in a grooming tool called the furminator which has helped a lot. I don't have a rake but I have heard others talking about the rake as it is especially for undercoat removal. I find I can get a lot out with a fine toothed comb as well.

rainbow: I have posted pictures a few times but not recently. I have two dogs - the second (Shiloh) is a husky/hound cross. I have never had a blood panel done with either dogs but if her coat continues to look dull I will certainly look into that. The thyroid thing also crossed my mind - especially with all the hair loss from the tail but she seems healthy otherwise. Hopefully the new coat will start to grow in now that the seasons are changing and that will put my mind at rest.

A couple more pictures of my girls :D