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Old December 26th, 2005, 07:16 PM
BreBrash BreBrash is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New Hampshire
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Dog has thinning fur - Answered by Dr. Slome

I have a 7 year old English Springer Spaniel. Recently she has been getting a very dry, brittle coat on her back that is thinning. She eats Purina Pro Plan 25-8 and gets left over meat scraps on a regular basis. We also give her Brewers Yeast as a dietary supplement. What else could she be missing from her diet that would help with her brittle coat?
Any Suggestions would be fantastic
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Old December 26th, 2005, 08:36 PM
joeysmama joeysmama is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: northeast
Posts: 1,343
Hi BreBrash and welcome. From what I have learned here in the past few weeks Purina is not the best choice. Check out the dog and cat food forum. There is a lot of good information there regarding dog food. I don't know if this has anything to do with your dog's thinning coat but I think you should definitley check it out.

Prin (one of the more experienced members here) helped me with a recommendation of dog food for my little guy. I was very impressed with the ingredient list. Hopefully she'll be along soon and give you more info than I can.

You can also do a search and turn up information that way.
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Old December 26th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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BMDLuver BMDLuver is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oxford Mills, Ontario
Posts: 3,996
Welcome to the board. Most likely it is the high corn content in your dogs diet, although, as your dog is seven it could also be due to needing a different type of diet, meaning specifically senior designed. To help the coat be less dry and brittle, I would suggest supplementing with Omega 3. Brewers yeast is generally used as an appetite encourager in case you weren't aware of that. I would suggest having your dog checked by the vet as well as any change in coat could very well mean something else going on as well.
"For every animal that dies in a shelter, there is someone somewhere responsible for its death".
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Old December 26th, 2005, 10:10 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 28,492
Along with what BMD said, I would also switch to a more fishy food (if there is nothing serious with her health first). Here are a couple:
Natural Balance Fish and Sweet Potato
Solid Gold Wolf King (what I feed)
Wellness Fish and Sweet Potato
Timberwolf Organics' Ocean Blue formula is quite fishy, but it is very hard to find: Timberwolf Organics
This one isn't my favorite, but it's still better than Purina:Eagle Pack Fish and Oatmeal

Personally, unless a doggy has a specific problem or is much less active than s/he once was, I'd stick to the regular food, but feed a bit less. It's just my opinion, of course, and a lot of people do believe in senior foods.

Oh, ya, remember if you switch, always switch very gradually. Purina is much easier to digest (there are things in there to help) than more natural foods, so the doggy's body might need time to adjust to working harder.

Last edited by Prin; December 26th, 2005 at 10:12 PM.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:35 AM
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coppperbelle coppperbelle is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Montreal
Posts: 1,806
Thinning fur

I would agree with Prin on the food recommendations. I also feed a regular formula to my dogs as they age and don't bother with senior formulas. For overweight dogs I also feed a regular formula but in order to aid in weight loss will feed less.
My dogs eat Solid Gold supplemented with Seameal and Omega 3. I also add things like sardines on occasion. They all have beautiful coats.
It might be a good idea to have her tested for thyroid problems. It is a simple blood test.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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petdr petdr is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 262
There are 2 very important medical aspects that need to be addressed: Firstly the nutritional aspect she needs to be put on a good quality food that is fully balanced and is recommended by a veterinary professional. What you put in is what you get out and the skin is the first organ of the body to suffer with poor nutrition.

Adding brewers yeast is not going to help and also adds to medical imbalances and will likely lead to some other complications long term including kidney problems. Most people that do not have their pets on professionally recommended food by your veterinarian either have not been told by their veterinarian which food is best for their dog ( in which case I suggest you switch to a more proactive veterinarian) or the client either doesnt follow the recommendation for a variety of their own reasons that they feel is justified.

Secondly, your pet may have developed a hormonal disease with age, most commonly a thyroid deficiency which can easily be diagnosed with a blood test and easily treated.

This is obviously only touching the surface of what could be happening but these are the 2 conditions most commonly seen in my practice causing the symptoms you mention.

I hope the solution is simple either way. Please be aware that skin conditions take a month or 2 two before you see things starting to improve, so be patient.

Martin Slome DVM
Centre Street Animal Hospital
7700 Bathurst Street Units 40-42
Thornhill, Ont.
L4J 7Y3
Tel. (905) 771-9855
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 03:17 PM
Nephelocentaur Nephelocentaur is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
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I also have a dog with thinning fur but I am afraid that it may be symptomatic of a deeper problem. I would like some advice as to whether it does pinpoint a deeper problem or if it is most likely a coincidence.

Pete is a 17 year old blind chihuahua. About a month ago he started becoming ambivalent about eating. He acted as if he wanted the food but then he couldn't bring himself to eat it. This coincided with thinning of the fur on his back and the skin taking on a maroon color. He'd had problems with a fungus infection there about a year ago but I don't remember it looking quite like this.

Two weeks ago his appetite had decreased to the point that I decided to take him to the vet.

The vet said that his heart sounded good. I was offered two options: $300 worth of tests on liver and kidneys or "something to make him feel better." I said, I think if you could just give something to stimulate his appetite and we could get some good nutrition into him, he might be okay. The vet gave him a steroid and antibiotic shot, and some Hill's Prescription Diet a/d.

I asked him about the thinned, discolored area on his back. I told him that when he'd had a problem there a year ago I had used anti-fungal shampoo on it. (I had hoped to get a new bottle of it.) He advised me not to put any more of that on there; he suggested Neosporin.

Pete has recovered a lot of his strength and body-mass largely because I have been force-feeding him what they gave me.

A few days ago I recollected that Pete had a lot of digestive noise and he'd had a lot of flatulence and a little vomiting. His stool was also very dark. I arrived at the hopeful theory that maybe his problem was an ulcer.

I started giving him a daily dose of live-culture yogurt. A couple of days later somebody suggested giving him milk of magnesia, which I did. The day after I started giving him the milk of magnesia he started eating again (at least one meal), but he will only eat Cesar, which I have to say, he devours as heartily as ever.

Now I am noticing a peculiar odor in his breath, though. It's rather like horse manure.

I still worry that it could still be a deeper problem than a stomach ulcer. I would appreciate any informed opinion. I have this suspicion that an experienced old-time veterinarian could probably just look at him and smell his breath and tell what the problem is without $300 of tests.

(The vets' office has wasted some of my money already on pointless tests. When I asked if they could test for an ulcer they offered to do a stool test, which gave no relevant result. When I complained that I had wanted to know if he had an ulcer they tried to sell me a blood test. When I asked if that would show an ulcer I got a very vague response. Again, they were trying to waste my money.)

I would like advice on what to feed him as well. I had him on vitamin E until a few months ago and I have started giving him that again. The only things I've found that he eats eagerly are Cesar and ground turkey. He doesn't seem to dislike yogurt too much; it's easier to get him to eat that than the Hill's Prescription food.

Last edited by Nephelocentaur; July 22nd, 2010 at 03:30 PM.
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