View Full Version : Advice for our first Cav! Dry Fur and Pant (Sortof!)

24th March 2011, 05:33 PM
Hey, this is our first post! have been onlooking for ages from afar and know this site has some great advice so here we are!

Little Roxy is now just over 6 months old, and is coming along nicely, so affectionate, obedient, and generally an absolute gem of a pup!

There are a couple of recent things which we have discussed with our vet since we have got had but I thought asking for advice would not hurt.

The first thing is that since we got her she has always had a fairly dry coat, dry skin leading to dandruff here and there and she doesn't seem to be developing that lovely silky coat I have seen on other Cavs of a similar age. Our vet has always commented on this and a few weeks ago we started a medicated shampoo treatment, Malaseb, which always makes her coat look great for a few days but then goes again. The first main thing we tried was to change her to a good puppy food almost as soon as we got her from the breeder, JWB which improved it, regular grooming also has improved it, but we were wondering if anyone had any good experience with any supplements for the coat, or particular foods etc, or anything really. Her fur on her belly and sides which have came along later in life are lovely and soft but the stubborn hair on her back and particular rear back is fairly dry and corse! I have read a lot about the "furminator" and wondered if this used gently may get rid of some of the older fur better..

Next question! As of a couple of weeks ago Roxy started having her mouth open regularly on walks or when excited etc. Whilst I would consider this completely normal behaviour for dogs it was just odd for us to see it in her as she did not show any signs of a pant for weeks and weeks until recently. Over the past few weeks there has been more tongue in there rather than just mouth open!

We are by no means tiring her out or over exercising her, she just seems to occasionally have it open and having not seen it before it almost looks odd!? If this seems like normal behaviour to you guys it would be great to hear your thoughts..

Sorry for the rant! She's our first Cav and for me my first Dog so whilst we have read plenty of books theres nothing that replaces experience in my opinion hence why I am asking you guys.. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

p.s Hope my profile picture worked! (shes a cutey!)

26th March 2011, 01:43 PM

Just a thought, know it sounds too obvious but could the panting merely be to do with the fact that it's been getting significantly warmer lately? As for the dry skin, if the vet has ruled out anything major, you could try salmon oil (sold by Fish4Dogs), I recently started using this for Rosie my own Cavalier who has always had dry skin, and have already seen a difference. It is often used for dogs at work as well, with obvious success.

Hope this may be of some use.

2nd April 2011, 06:34 PM
Thanks for your advice, appreciate it. The Salmon Oil is just the thing we were looking for, so thanks for the information. I will give it a go with her and see how she gets on.

As for the panting, I think you are right! Since the weather has got a little cooler the last week, and we had a few days up north where its cooler I haven't seen her do it once :o


3rd April 2011, 05:26 PM
We got a three year old rescue Dotty who suffered terribly with dry skin, coat and dandruff. She had little fur underneath and her skin was like leather from all the puppies she had, in fact I thought she needed a bra when I first got her :p

We put her on Yumega plus, her coat and skin are now really silky. My vet was very suprised to see how quickly she improved.
Oily Fish once per week would also help.

Yumega has Salmon and Starflower Oil plus Omega 3 & 6.


All three I brush daily and every fortnight or so I use Furminator Waterless and deshedding shampoo and conditioner, I personally would not use a furminator tool.


3rd April 2011, 08:19 PM
Rose is our first Cav/puppy too (but we have had other breeds/adult dogs before). I *think* the coarser hair on the back is typical for some puppies, Rose and her sister had it, but as she approaches 1 year, it's about gone now.
And the panting- Rose seemed to never really pant either, which struck me as a bit odd too, haha, and then when she did, her little tongue curled up to the roof of her mouth or front teeth when she did:o and you really couldn't see it unless you were on her level. We're used to bigger dogs (we had a Cardi corgi and then a boxer- talk about a tongue! haha), so this was something I wondered about too. Our friends have a papillon, and I got to thinking about it and remembered that he pants in a similar way. Now that she's older, her tongue "hangs out" more when she panting, but it's still so little (comparatively) and she's so darn cute when she does it, it tickles me to see her do it, lol.

Jasper and Holly
3rd April 2011, 10:08 PM
Welcome to the world of Cavaliers! They are the best dogs.
Like said before fish oil is great, be it omega three or Salmon oil, I also feed my two fresh sardines which they love and another one is sardines in oil mixed with grated carrot they love that too. I drain some of the oil off. As soon as their snoods come out they know they are getting fish! Jasper shakes with excitement lol.
look forward to seeing some photos.

4th April 2011, 12:12 AM
I have noticed an improvement in Jack's coat since giving him salmon oil and a tablespoon of plain yogurt daily.

4th April 2011, 01:02 AM
I will have to agree on the omega oils. Love it for making the hair shiny. When we started to feed my dogs raw egg I was impressed by how great their coats looked, I have switched to a daily supplement but still give raw egg for special treats.

4th April 2011, 10:18 PM
Thanks guys, we have ordered some of the Salmon Oils to try, hopefully they will arrive tomorrow! Just so you know who I am talking about here is a snap of her - This was taken a few days ago, so at around 6.5 Months! Enjoy!

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5110/5589688467_f8531b5e4f.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61401187@N02/5589688467/)
P1020235 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61401187@N02/5589688467/) by richyinsouthampton (http://www.flickr.com/people/61401187@N02/), on Flickr


Jasper and Holly
5th April 2011, 02:26 AM
Awww she's SO cute.

7th April 2011, 01:41 PM
Roxy is adorable!

Roxy's coat looks very coarse and that is what is concerning me - it might just be the photo, it's very hard to tell from a small photo.

I can't see her whiskers in the photo - does she have some or have they been removed?

Can you describe them? Are they straight or do they look crimped - like they've been held to close to heat?

How are her pads and nails?

How are her eyes? Does she hold them wide open or scrunched up some of the time - making her look sleepy? Do they produce stringy white mucus?

There is a condition called Dry Eye/ Curly Coat exclusive to Cavaliers, fortunately it's very rare these days but does still occur. There's more information about it here http://cavalierhealth.org/dry_eye.htm

There's a bit about a cavalier called Flossie on the Animal Health Trust website


I was honoured to meet Flossie some years ago - she is very fortunate to have a fantastic guardian who takes exceptional care of her, as it can be very difficult to manage. Strangely once the dog gets to about 3 years of age they seem to get better.

You can see the coarse fur better in this photo


it's more like a terrier coat.

Please keep us posted and I really hope that Roxy is ok and it is just a matter of dietary supplements

7th April 2011, 11:15 PM
Hey thanks for your reply.. Not going to lie to you I have read about this condition before and have wondered a couple of times whether little Roxy could have this... Obviously hoping for the best and not wanting to believe that she could be that unlucky I have always convinced myself I was over analysing any problems.... you seem to be very experienced so any advice would be great, but as I write this it is obviously fairly worrying, but I will explain all with her so far:

She has whiskers, but they are fairly wavey and short I would say, fairly brittle and uneven so yes, your likeness to being exposed to a flame is probably a good anaology

Pads and nails seem ok, all nails still there and none have fallen out or anything.

Eyes. Well, and this is what really worries me. She is 7 months now and she has had a couple of eye "issues" shall we say. The first time the vet thought there was a small prick on one of her eyes as if a bush maybe had caught it, drops prescribed, cleared up in a few days.. around 2 weeks later another eye infection .. drops, anti inflams and antibiotics.. cleared up (Both time clearing up quickly I would say, almost within a couple of days, but course finished/drops continued for 5 days or so) - Most recently we noticed her eye looking a bit sore again, so took her in,drops, and referred to a specialist as she has had it a few times..

Now we never made the specialist as the drops cleared it up within 2 days again, so we agreed that if it flares up again we will go straight to the specialist.. She also had a blood test on visit 2 which showed no underlying issues according to our vet.

Her eyes I would never consider to be "dry" - they always seem to be moist, I don't know if I am over simplfying the "dry eye" factor of the condition but, in terms of what I call 'gloop" she produces what I would say was a ordinary amount.. we wipe them pretty much every day at some point with a cotton bud to keep her eyes clear, but I guess most people do?

Onto the coat, when she was a little pup she was a little fluffy thing, curly? I don't know.. perhaps... But I just don't know.. Her fur and skin have always looked to be improving to me not worsening, so I really don't know what to say.

Let me know what you think, we are open to advice, obviously she is our little girl and I can't even imagine how we would feel if it did look like she had something so serious.. let me know your thoughts.... :(

In good news, her salmon oils arrived today and she loved them!!



7th April 2011, 11:22 PM
Hmm, just read through this:


Not feeling too good right now.. Alot of that sounds very familiar.

25th April 2011, 09:33 PM
I'm really sorry for missing this - how are things going with Roxy?

That was a good link although it is upsetting to read - none of us like to think that anything is wrong with our beloved companions.

I think if I was concerned I would visit an ophthalmologist and ask them to examine her - it is something that needs to be properly investigated. Is Roxy insured?

Dry eye/curly coat exclusively affects Cavaliers - so you may need to say that to the ophthalmologist.

It sounds like Roxy isn't severely affected, if it is that, so that is good news. Sadly though all the supplements in the world won't change her coat texture :(

Take care and keep us posted - it's not a condition I have personal experience with but there have been several board members who do have, although I'm not too sure they are still around...

27th April 2011, 01:57 PM
Hey thanks for looking back, I have been meaning to reply with an update if anyone had been reading.

One of her eyes looked a bit sore a few weeks back so we made that appointment with the eye specialist and she ruled out dry eye as her tear production was good. She was given more drops and her eyes have looked good for a while.. Fur is also improving we think with daily grooming and she is eating alot better now which will be helping her getting all those nutrients from a good food (also partly because she loves the salmon oils as long as she doesnt get too much as then she gets the runs!!)

Unfortunately the eye specialist after lots of tests couldnt think what it could be at this stage so she said the next option if it came back would be to put her under and have a good look round in the eye - She talked about a potential ingrown hair back there that may irritate it. Another thing we considered was her infections may have been very close to when we have washed her bedding so maybe she has an allergy or the powder irritates her eyes, not sure.

Gladly we do have insurance who have covered her various problems :) - Maybe she does have a strain of this I am not sure, but I am happier now we have seen the specialist thats for sure. Will keep you posted, anyone who would like to comment please feel free..

I also have thought about running the DNA test that recently came available to see if she does have anything :)

Anyways, we love her to bits so will do all we can to get her right!


p.s. see piccy below of Roxy enjoying a rare British heat wave!

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5145/5661255244_cbe69a2536.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61401187@N02/5661255244/)
P1020249 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61401187@N02/5661255244/) by richyinsouthampton (http://www.flickr.com/people/61401187@N02/), on Flickr

27th April 2011, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the update Richy, that sounds good news :)

Cavaliers do suffer from distachia - hairs which irritate the eye, so maybe that is the problem?

I'm so pleased she's insured :) that saves a lot of worry.

It's difficult with the DNA test as she could be a carrier and not infected, I don't know, something to think about maybe? At least if it came back negative you would know that that is not the problem.

Roxy looks really happy in the sunshine and her coat does look better. I would suggest daily grooming, preferably with a natural bristle brush to spread the oils. Avoid bathing as that dries the skin out - also no swimming :(

Keep us posted :thmbsup:

28th April 2011, 02:14 AM
Oh, thanks for the update. Glad that some things were ruled out. She looks very happy in the sun, and hoping she 'outgrows' what is going on.