Fur is dull and falling out - Help please

Since I adopted Kiya in September she has always had the softest most beautiful coat. Though we believe she is 7 years old her coat has always been puppy soft, everyone who met her commented on it. Well over the past 2 months it has started to change. It is now much coarser than it used to be. In addition she is shedding a lot more than she ever did before. This is the first summer I've owned her, so I suppose it could be seasonal shedding, but our other basenji isn't shedding and I didn't think it was normal for basenjis to blow their coats. We feed her Solid Gold Hund N Flocken and she's been on that diet since January. I have a vet appointment for Friday, but I would love to go in with some ideas from more experienced basenji owners. Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks,
Karen

Karen,

I would have a full thyroid panel run. She is at the typical age on onset of hypothyroid, and a changing coat is a very typical symptom. Some other typical symptoms are difficulty staying at a healthy weight, despite reduction in calories, increased irritiablity.

Make sure that your vet runs a full panel, not just the T4 level.

Good luck, and I hope you get some answers soon.

Andrea Walters
Quercus Basenjis

And, I should add…basenjis DO blow coat at least once a year...mine usually do twice. And they can look really, really ragged when they do. But usually it is just a change in the way the coat looks, rather than texture.

Again, good luck!

Andrea Walters
Quercus Basenjis

Thank you Andrea. It's good to know that basenjis do blow their coats. But Kiya's has definately changed in texture too. She does seem to be more irritable too, if you ask Sam. She's never grumpy with her humans, but she's giving her B brother some extra attitude. The good news is she is just as spunky as always, she hasn't lost her energy at all. Hopefully, its nothing, but I will feel much better once I get this checked out. It's too bad my vet is on vacation for 2 weeks and I have to go with one of his associate vets at his office, I hope he's just as good.

I agree with Andrea that a full thyroid panel is in order. In the meantime, one way to help Kiya look and feel better is a good bath. Lather her up with a good dog shampoo and use a Zoom Groom or soft rubber horse curry and gently scrub her coat. The scrubbing will release most of the loose hair and then will rinse off easily. Make sure you rinse thoroughly.

Solid Gold is an excellent brand of food but her body may need more fatty acids. Adding fish oil or flax oil in the appropriate dose to her food may be beneficial overall.

Please let us know how Kiya's thyroid panel comes out.

Hey there Kiya Mom! I'm a Kiya mom too! My Kiya "White Wind Anpu's Lil Secret" eats Solid Gold as well, but MMillenium Beef and Barley. Right now she's going through her…dead coat and that happens ever summer. We did a Thyroid panel on her and she was normal. So she may just be going through that and some older lady hormonal problems LOL

But seriously, do the panel...I'm sure she's fine 🙂 (is staying optimistic for ya!)

We're back from the vet. The vet ran the thyroid panel and we should hear back on the results Monday. Additionally, the gave me fish oil supplements and a special non-soap based dog shampoo that should alleviate the dryness in her skin and hopefully help in the meantime. Kiya also had a small bump on her left shoulder which we had checked out. I'm relieved to report it was just a cyst and nothing to be concerned about. So now we're playing the waiting game. Thanks for all of your advice. The vet also said she is the best behaved dog they ever work with and all of the vet techs always want her room. So Kiya is doing good PR work for the breed, which is nice since I know there is another family of 2 basenjis that goes to the same vet and their dogs are always very upset and snarly at the vet.

Update…Kiya's thyroid came back completely normal. That's good news. At this point the vet suggests giving the fish oil and time to see if her coat resolves itself, as she suspects it could just be a natural change in her coat. If it gets worse or doesn't improve within a month or so she said we could do a skin biopsy. I really don't want to put Kiya through that though, unless it really becomes necessary. Since it doesn't seem to be bothering her I'll just keep monitoring it and hope its just seasonal shedding.

Good news! I hope the fish oil does the trick!

Sometimes the dog isn't getting enough oil in the diet if it eats only dry food. Most basenjis don't shed much but mine is a terrible shedder, so I added fish oil to dry food and it helps.

Zahra is losing hair, I need to make her an appointment with the vet because it has me concerned. I read this post and I would like to try the fish oil for her, I am feeding her Eagle Pack Holistic Chicken, I just switched her from the Eagle Pack Fish and Oatmeal. Is this normal for puppies to lose their fur? 😕

Basenji Mix

I just read "Fur is dull and falling…" I don't know if my experience will be helpful . . . When we got Duke (12 wks old) he was in bad shape. Along with kennel cough, he had some bare spots on his elbows and ears and he was scratching!! The vet scraped both and looked for mites under a microscope - didn't see any. Three weeks later and another round of vaccinations and another scraping, there was no improvement. So the vet gave him a shot for mites anyway, and it cleared up in a couple weeks! He stopped itching, his fur grew back in the bare spots - finally I felt he was healthy puppy!!

Also, in regards to puppy's fur loss. I would think they would loose their soft puppy fur anyway as it is replaced by a coarser adult coat. Does that make sense? Just this summer (6 mo. old then), while bathing Duke, a whole lot of fur came out in the tub. I mean alot of fur. Would that be normal for an older puppy? He's got a soft full coat, but it's not the "fluffy soft" fur as it was when he was 12 weeks.

I thought I would give everyone an update on Kiya's condition. Her coat has recovered 100%. I think she just went through a summer shedding, and since this was our first summer with her I didn't know what it was. She now has her super soft puppy like fur back and seems to be doing great. Thanks for all of the advice, and now I know what to expect next summer.

I was just about to add a post, when I had to leave and pick the kids up from school - saying that my Basenji did a similar thing. It started with her normally soft fur getting really coarse along her backbone. While I didn't notice any more than the usual tiny bit of shedding in the late summer months, it is now back to it's normal "super soft puppy like fur" too! Great news!

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