View Full Version : Hair Loss in middle of winter?

13th January 2011, 08:51 PM
Hello, I have an almost 4 year old cavalier.
A few months ago I started noticing lots of hair loss to a point where she went to a puppy coat look. The shedding came too early in the summer to be normal.
There was hair everywhere in the house!! I noticed a few balding spots on her, Right before I was gonna hit a dermatologist, her winter hair grew back in and the shedding stopped. I did start giving her salmon oil, and she shortly before went on a medication called omeprazole , but my vet said it had nothing to do with the hairloss.

Now, the hairloss came back 2 weeks ago . She lost almost her whole wintercoat and has a puppy coat on again. I did stop giving the salmon oil since she is getting spayed in 3 weeks and it is a bloodthinner.
I also noticed a lot of dandruff on her skin, though it's not moving. ( I know of those mites). It just looks like flaky, dry , skin.

Anybody has any thoughts? the shedding is driving everyone in the house crazy and I am also worried about her. thanks!

14th January 2011, 04:59 PM
Have you changed her diet at all? It sounds like some sort of allergy!

14th January 2011, 05:18 PM
Nicola, No diet changes. She eats cooked chicken with carrots or peas or sprouts and rice + vitamins and joint support supplements... Once in a while chicken becomes steak or tilapia...
Except for the switching in vegetables her diet it hasn't changed...
How can I find out if it's an allergy? Would a blood test help?

14th January 2011, 05:52 PM
When did you stop giving her the salmon oil? Could it be the salmon oil?

15th January 2011, 12:57 AM
I started giving the salmon oil last time she shed that much and it stopped! It could potentially have something to do with why the shedding is back... But still.
In that case I guess it would be a symptom reducer. the underlying problem is still there...

Cathy Moon
15th January 2011, 01:58 AM
It sounds like you're feeding her a home cooked diet. If so, was her diet prescribed by a nutritionist? Just wondering if her diet meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for 'all life stages'?

15th January 2011, 03:01 AM
She's a very difficult eater. In her first 2 years of her life I tried 10 different kinds of top dogfood, ( Ivo, Innova and other vet recommended brands) that I also researched on dogfoodanalysis.com
No matter what I tried, she picked at her food, being underweight, only eating some dryfood every 3 days and not eating the wet food at all.
When I was little my aunt had 8 dogs and fed them people food (not spicy , but just homecooked stuff like chicken and rice, spaghetti etc...) and they lived to be 13 and one of the dogs even became 18 years old.
Anyways, I switched her to that and all of a sudden she became excited about eating again. She has now been eating twice a day. I try to keep it somewhat varied, avoiding spices ofourse, raisins , macademia nuts , onions, avocados, and all the poisenous stuff.
Initially, when feeding the new "diet" I saw a significant improvement in her energy, coat and she gained a couple of pounds.
However, now you raise this question, I wonder if I should get her blood checked out for possible deficiencies and adjust diet? (I hope insurance will cover that...)
I will have to keep her on human food or she wont eat anything at all.
What do you advise?

Cathy Moon
15th January 2011, 04:00 AM
I don't know that a blood test would help, but I'd get some help from a professional dietician immediately if your dog won't eat a commercial diet.

Monica Segal is a trusted dietician for dogs. Here is her site. I'd either get one of her books or have her plan a diet.

15th January 2011, 04:46 AM
Cathy. Thanks! I will contact her. Will let you know what happens!!!

15th January 2011, 04:49 AM
Few,she has a 5 week waiting list!!!!!!

15th January 2011, 05:11 AM
A well balanced alternative is to get commercially prepared raw food (the honest kitchen, addiction, or one of the frozen options). I fed the honest kitchen's vegetable diet for several months: you add your own meat, I used ground turkey and just add water to the veggie/fruit mix. These foods are designed to meet the AAFCO standards so they are completely balanced without you having to do the work of getting all the ratios right.

Cathy Moon
15th January 2011, 12:41 PM
Few,she has a 5 week waiting list!!!!!!

You might want to get this pamphlet from her site - at least you'd be able to make her diet more balanced. (I haven't used this, but she is well-known and trusted):
or her book:

Or Soushiruiuma's advice on switching to a raw diet is also a good idea. I have fed the Nature's Variety frozen raw medallions (only lamb & venison). You thaw them, cut up with a fork to make sure there are no sharp bones, and my dogs loved them.

15th January 2011, 04:22 PM
Here's a list of potential causes of hair loss in dogs:


Unfortunately a few cavaliers have been known to get Cushings disease so I suppose that might be one to consider. I think Nicki has dealt with this. Also diabetes is more common in cavaliers than some other breeds. Maybe test bloods for this?

I wouldn't think a varied home-cooked diet would be too likely to cause severe hair loss but guess it would depend on what is in the diet, and the dog -- Monica's pamphlets do tell you how to make sure the right mix of nutrients are in meals and are very handy!

15th January 2011, 11:07 PM
I will look into those frozen raw food options. Do you guys know were can I get those? (Honest kitchen and/or Natures Variety?)
Thanks for that info Karlin. I looked up Cushings but she has none off the other symptoms as far as I can tell( frequent urination, lots of drinking, energy loss, potbelly, change in appetite (overeating most frequently) etc...)
The kind of hair loss looking at pics of cushings patients also looks different.
However, I think a general blood work to check all glands and hormones is probably a good idea. Checking for diabetes too...
However, looking up the symptoms I cant find similarities either.
"the signs of early diabetes are frequent urination, drinking lots of water, a large appetite, and unexplained loss of weight. The laboratory findings are high glucose levels in the blood and urine"
She has always sorta been skinny and a picky eater since 6 months olds but their hasnt been any weigthloss....
I'm going in to LIVS in 3 weeks for a follow up MRi and a spay. (aaaaaahhhh, a bit nervous about all that.. :(...) May as well tag that on as well while were at it... :thmbsup:

16th January 2011, 05:25 AM
If you go to website for any brand they'll probably have a link to find retailers near you. It doesn't matter which brand's website you choose, the store they refer you to will have probably stock the other brands too.

16th January 2011, 05:41 AM
Here is the link for Natures Variety to find a store:

I feed a variety of there Instinct & Prairie dry kibble. I was really happy with the results. I'm sure the raw diet is just a good. Also if you sign up for the newsletter you get occasionally coupons. I end up with a buy 1 get 1 free ever now and then.