1st September 2011, 06:02 PM
Coat changes after neutering ?
I have read on here about the previously soft silky coats of puppies, changing after neutering to become coarse and curly. Is this the case and is it the same for males and females after neutering ?
1st September 2011, 06:05 PM
I think for some dogs it is, others don't change at all. I've also heard of the coats becoming much thicker after neutering. Coco is not spayed and has a very fine, straight, silky coat.
1st September 2011, 06:24 PM
There are many past threads on this topic which might be good to search. First -- all puppies lose their soft puppy coats (often they come out all at once -- 'blowing' their coat is the phrase -- and can look pretty ratty til the adult coat comes in!) so the issue of neutering is separate to that.
In general -- some dogs are affected, some are not. The change at any rate, even when it does happen in some dogs, is a very minor cosmetic element and most people would not even know the difference. I think most people mistake normal changes from puppy coat to adult coat for a neuter coat, myself, when it is simply due to the age of the dog and the fact it coincides with when people often neuter -- most puppies lose their really soft fine coat for a coarser adult coat around 9-18 months. Some dogs genetically have a coarse, drier and/or curlier coat as well. Some colours -- tris and B&Ts with black -- often have thicker, coarser, heavier coats. Extra weight or trimming the dog often produces these kinds of coat changes. MOST cavalier I see are overweight and I have seen lots of unspayed females in particular that have dry curly coats likely due to being overweight. Diet can affect coat. Genes play the dominant role.
Many -- me included -- would argue the health, behaviour and related benefits of neutering outweigh leaving them intact, for reasons noted under a thread in the Library section. This is especially true for females, which run a very significant risk of mammary cancer over their lifetime if left unspayed (1 in 4 chance) but even more of a concern perhaps in this breed -- statistically around a 40% risk of the often fatal, expensive to treat uterine infection pyometra, which is often not spotted until it is too late for the dog to be saved and is extremely distressing for the dog (and owner). Cavaliers have amongst the highest rate of any breed for this infection and its risk is one of the key reasons vets argue for spaying.
Of the five cavaliers I have owned, all neutered, only Lily has a poor cottony coat and she already had that when I got her from the pound; Kept neatly trimmed, she hardly looks any different from the others or any of the intact females around my area (I bought a handy thinning shears for her coat and funny thing is, many people think she is the cutest in part BECAUSE of her fluffy coat! ). The intact tri female up the street had a far curlier and coarser coat than any of the other four have ever had as did two rubies owned by someone who kept both (M and F) intact to show. My males have very straight, silky coats and both were neutered before 12 months. Genetically their lines are known for straight, not very heavy coats. Lucy (blenheim) had a very thick, wavy coat and she had that before she was spayed (as a mature adult). Tansy (B&T) has a long and heavy coat, that is no different really from before she was spayed (again as an adult). Lots of cavaliers naturally have wavy or curly coats -- it makes not one jot of difference unless you are showing the dog in which case you can dry them out to be straighter but IMHO it is a bit of a stupid element of the breed standard as probably most cavaliers are at least wavy coated to some degree. I think wavy coats look lovely and full.
In general simply using a conditioner that has a form of silicone (any ingredient ending in '-one') in it will give a nice shine and finish to a dog's coat. Finishing conditioners that you spray on and do not wash out and also help the coat repel dirt.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
1st September 2011, 06:34 PM
A very full and detailed reply thank you Karlin. My query bears no relation to whether to neuter or not. I made the decision to neuter before even buying my dog. I just wondered if this was the case and whether it might happen to males as well as females. I have a male.
1st September 2011, 06:35 PM
Toby already has a bit rougher patch along his spine from the middle of his back on to the back of him. Its not not like needles just feels a bit different from the rest of him. But its also thicker than the rest of him too. Using conditioner has made a huge difference in how it feels back there. Of course he feels so soft overall. I wonder what he will be like after the snip.
1st September 2011, 06:47 PM
1st September 2011, 07:09 PM
The furminator brush is also a really good tool for helping thin out those thicker coats! I was a dog groomer for about 3 years and the furminator was one of my favorite brushes.
1st September 2011, 07:57 PM
I would second what Karlin says about thinning shears - they're a cross between scissors and combs and very easy to use. Aled (neutered Blenheim) had a terrible coat when I got him - thick and cottony. After a long course of flax oil and a twice-weekly raw egg, plus good food, some lost weight and plenty of fresh air and exercise, most of his coat is beautifully silky and his tail is a spectacular plume; still a bit long and cottony on his hind legs, but the thinning scissors keep that under control.
Oliver (unneutered) on the other hand has the most peculiar coat I've ever seen! Gorgeous colour but quite short (except for ears and feathering) and very dense - it's almost waterproof, as if he's got a thick undercoat. Takes ages to get him wet through for a bath, but useful when caught in a heavy shower - he rarely gets soaked to the skin! So coats seem to be the luck of the draw...
Kate, Oliver and Aled