View Full Version : Has anyone's Cavalier shown premature greying?

8th August 2012, 07:03 PM
Looking for information please in response to recent contacts through the website [Cavalier Matters]

I realise that some dogs do just age faster than others - like people. I think stress and anxiety cause greying - again like people! - Rupert went very grey after we lost Fillipa [she was his beloved companion and "ears" after he went deaf]. Kayleigh is only 3 and has been going grey recently, with her I suspect it is her CM/SM and anxiety [not aware of any family members who have shown this]

From research I suspect it is probably a genetic problem - there are a few conditions that affect the coat, but more in terms of coat loss such as Cushings and Thyroid.

However has anyone come across this? We have of course recommended that they have a vet check just in case.

Kate H
8th August 2012, 07:49 PM
I would guess it is more obvious in whole colours - less easy to see greying on the white muzzle of a blenheim! But that's not to say it doesn't happen in all four colours. Like you I would think it's genetic - my mother's hair started going grey at 30, and mine wasn't much later than that. There's been some research done on how a very small number of genes produce such a wide variety of coat types in dogs - perhaps there's a greying gene as well. Oliver started going grey at around 7, and is now almost white on the front of his face, muzzle up to eyebrows, but of course it's very obvious on his ruby coat. Conversely, my B/T retained his red eyebrows all his life, even when his muzzle went a little bit grey when he got to 9. And with whole colours, it just seems to be their face that goes grey - not a grey hair anywhere else on Oliver, whereas elderly blenheims tend to have grey hairs among their chestnut all over their body. We need a geneticist here!

Kate, Oliver and Aled (whose chestnut and chestnut/white coats were shining in today's welcome sunshine)

8th August 2012, 09:38 PM
I'd say stress could be a contributor or basic cause for some dogs, but as with humans, a lot would be genetic. Jaspar (blenheim) went quite grey around the muzzle starting around age 6-7 whereas his half brother Leo has non at all! And Jaspar is extremely fit, no SM and almost no CM, clear heart now at 9, whereas Leo is the one with SM and moderate CM, also a heart murmur for 2-3 years now.

So almost certainly basic genetics there!

13th August 2012, 08:44 AM
Ellie blen is very grey now at 9 but her litter sister ezme tri has no grey at all and looks very good for her age. Though I would say ezme has a better diet ( ellie does not live with me)
One of our b/t charlies ( mismarked) went very grey at about 5 but lived to 15