I am writing to you to see if you can help me with my Cocker Spaniel's coat. She is lemon roan in colour and is two years old.
She has been moulting on and off for two years and we do brush her every day but still the hairs are everywhere.
I would be very grateful if you can help me.
Mrs Kalits, Denbighshire
Alison Logan, vet, advises...
If your cocker spaniel is two years old and has been shedding excessively for the past two years, then you have been coping with this for all the time that you have had her! Lemon roan is such a pretty coat colour, but does mean that the hairs are really obvious on dark furnishings and clothing. Conversely, the hair from my black Labradors and cat collects on my hard kitchen floor against the walls and on the paler carpets, as well as showing up on light clothing (so I am usually to be found wearing boring dark colours!).When I am consulting, it is the white rabbits which leave my navy work top covered in fur.
A pet constantly shedding is a common complaint in the consulting room. A common explanation goes as follows. In today’s modern society, we strive to keep our homes at a temperature so that we can take off our outer clothing, even in the coldest of winters. The result can be a house running at a similar temperature all year round, without seasonal variation. I have been on visits where, on a cold December day, the owners open the door to me wearing no more than a tee shirt and trousers. Pets living in such conditions cannot change their coat as they go from inside the house to outside and end up confused, so to speak.
Generally, dogs kept in a kennel outside will not moult all the time but follow a more accepted seasonal pattern. They put on a thicker coat for the winter which is then shed in the spring in favour of a lighter weight coat for the hopefully warmer weather of the summer.
Provided your dog is not going bald but is actively re-growing hair then this should be a natural state of affairs, which is not great news for your carpets but good for your dog from a health perspective.. It is important to ensure she is being fed a balanced diet. There are food supplements which will help boost the condition of her coat.
It goes without saying that grooming on a regular, daily basis will help catch loose hairs before they land on your carpets and clothes. Just like walking our dogs should be a pleasure, so I would try to look on your dog’s daily grooming session as a chance for spending quality time together, rather than a chore.