Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Labrador sheds lots of hair

Reader E-mail - Uzi Writes:

Hi Fay,

I have adopted a dog that was abandoned during the last war with the Hizbula in Lebanon - she is apparently 3 years old - she is healthy - sprite - and has a very good appetite. She is it seems a Labrador mixed with (????) My problem is that she shears lots of hair - brushing does not seem to help - and i have to vacuum the carpets every day - is this normal - and if not do u have any suggestions? - many thanks


All About Labradors Answer:

Hi Uzi,

Thank you for writing and visiting the All About Labradors blog. I have a couple of questions I need you to answer in order for me to try to be of assistance to you.

First off, are you writing from Lebanon, or one of the surrounding areas ( Israel or Syria)? I have never received an e-mail from that far and I'm surprised that my blog is being read that far away.

When you say lots of hair, how much do you mean? Is it that she is getting bald patches or thinning.

Have you been bathing her, and if so, what do you use?

What do you use to brush her (soft bristle brush, dog comb, etc)?

How is her coat (full and shiny, dry, scaly, greasy, dull, etc)?

Does her coat have any smell to it (rancid, oily odor)?

Any excessive itching, scratching, biting?

Any other health problems with her?

What is her name :)

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to All About Labradors and/or Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. Always remember, you will still receive an answer to your questions, even if you don't send a photo.

Continue Reading...

Uzi, please get back to me with the answers to these questions at your earliest convenience. To make it easier for you, you can copy and paste the questions in your e-mail, and then put your answers next to the questions.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Readers E-mail - Uzi's Response:

Hi Fay,

Many thanks for the speedy reply.

I live in Israel - I happened to arrive at your blog via google - now for the doggy answers :

The dog is a young female mongrel apparently 1/2 Labrador - and she is about 3 years old. She was fairly well cared for by the shelter which cared for her prior to our adopting her.

I bathed her once only; I brush her with a two sided brush - one side soft hairs and the other a sort of metal wire hook brush; her coat seems to be normal.

She does not have excessive doggy odour and does not spend too much time scratching and biting.

Her name is Tika -meaning (as per my son who likes to visit India ) good. Anyway, I really have to vacuum the carpets in the lounge daily - as they are covered with her hair. By the way - I had a chow-alsatian mix dog for 15 years - and most vets were rather surprised that he lived that long. I am not a dog expert -but try to look after an animal in my care. Many thanks,


All About Labrador Blog Answer:

Hi Uzi,

Thanks for the response to my questions and for the great photo of Tika. She is beautiful.

The reason I asked the questions is to make sure that there are no other problems with Tika that can be causing excessive hair loss. Based on your answers, it sounds as though she is fine and just like all our other Labrador Retrievers.... shedding machines.

Believe me when I tell you Uzi, I myself have burned out a vacuum or two in keeping up with the shedding hairs. This is one of the top questions I receive. Unfortunately with the Labrador Retriever, this is something you are just going to have to deal with. There is no cure.

Our Labrador Retrievers shed year round and then twice a year they "Blow Coat", with hair coming out in CLUMPS.

As far as brushing your Labrador goes, I like to brush/groom mine about twice a week to help keep them clean. Successful tools are a slicker brush or shedding blade. I talk to many fellow Labrador owners who love and recommend a product called the Zoom Groom (it's a rubber brush with flexible rubber "fingers" that help to collect loose), made by Kong. I also like to use a regular bristle brush after the shedding blade.

I'm also experimenting with a tool called the Furminator which I've been using for a few weeks and like. I will post my thoughts on this tool in a few weeks on the blog. I wouldn't use it every time I brush though.

Other things that can be helpful:

Make sure your dog is on a good quality food and not a cheaper over-the-counter brand.

Supplementation with essential fatty acids.

I've never tried either of these two products but once again others tell me it helps with their Labs. Nutricoat Skin & Coat Supplement and SynergyLab Shed-X.

As for the bathing, I rarely bath my Labrador Retrievers, because I don't believe they need it. If you brush them two - three times a week, it will keep them clean. The only time I will bath them is if they absolutely need it and that may be if they rolled around in something or they smell horrible. Sometimes, it not even a full bath, it might just be a spot bath.

I hope this is of some help to you Uzi. Sorry there is no miracle cure for the shedding. If you need further instructions on this or have any further questions in regards to Tika, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Take care of yourself and Tika

Reader's Email - Uzi's Response:

Hi fay!

Many thanks for your answer - so we are going to learn how to live in our smallish flat with Labrador hairs decorating most of the lounge - and our vacuum cleaner (a kirby !) will be working overtime - fighting a losing - lost battle.

I do my best to give her quality food - no sweet stuff at all - i will start to brush her coat more often - and also look around for the rubber finger brush you recommended.

So - thanks again for your advice. Keep well - and i hope that many Labradors get better looking after as a result of your blog.


To have a look at this adorable Labrador Retriever click: Tika 8/10/07

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Categories: Grooming_ ReadersEmail_


drsfelix June 26, 2011 6:09 AM  

I have a labrador retriever with similar problem , changing his food to sensitive skin food , give sardines 3x a week and fish oil on the other days , brushing daily ... Problem solved ... Really !

drsfelix June 26, 2011 6:11 AM  

Daily supplement with fish oil , 3x wk sardines and food for sensitive skin , brushing daily .... Solved !!

Fay June 27, 2011 12:44 PM  

Thank you for the info drsfelix, I'm sure it it will be helpful to others!

Susan Kaelin July 29, 2011 3:22 PM  

drsfelix- I have the EXACT same problem with our Lab mix that we LOVE. She is a great dog! Loving, Smart, Obedient etc... BUT the shedding is just about driving my husband crazy. What kind of food exactly are you giving yours, and how many sardines and fish oil etc.? I am willing to try anything that might work to help the problem.

drsfelix July 31, 2011 11:34 PM  

Hi Susan ,

I brush him daily , give as dry food advance for sensitive skin , fish oil 1000 mg daily 4 days a week and the other 3 days ( sat to mon ) I give I tin of sardines with his dry food ( those days I don't give the fish oil ) . His shedding came down to 1/3 .
Oil fish is also good to prevent hip problems so common in labradors but also for dementia , also on the increase . Dry food , regardless if type is high in omega 6 , they need omega 3 to counterbalance .
Daily brushing is essential .
Good luck

Anonymous,  August 06, 2011 4:40 PM  

Hey. I have the same issue with my Lab as well. By the way, and off the subject - I think the correct pronounciation of Tika's name would be "Theek Hai" which translated to "Its good" or "Its all-right" I used to live in bangalore - which had a cool climate, but recently shifted to Chennai which is more like hell (hot and humid ;-)). I think my Lab isnt comfy with the weather here.

Wish all of you and your pets a good time.

Anonymous,  November 14, 2011 12:45 PM  

My son recently got a 6 mo lab who was headed for the pound. The dog is wonderful but the dog hair has me near INSANE! Thank you so much for your suggestions as I am near desperation!

Anonymous,  March 26, 2012 7:27 PM  

I do the fish oil as well but, had no idea we could give them sardines. Wow....that would be a treat for my piggy pants lab. Thanks for the information....I will be putting that on my grocery list weekly as the hair shedding is making my insane.

Anonymous,  April 27, 2012 12:35 AM  

Please suggest me good dog food brand for my 11/2 month puppy. I think his coat is dry. Even I bath him, the next day he gets a bit Smelly :( pls suggest some answers

drsfelix April 28, 2012 10:00 AM  

ADVANCE for sensitive skin , you can add fish oil as well as BREWERS YEAST ( very good source of complex B ) ... Daily combing essential with brush followed by thin toothed comb . Bath only with organic shampoo , minimize allergies as much as possible . They deserve it ! It sounds harder than it is . Good luck !!

Anonymous,  May 31, 2012 7:25 PM  

Hi, I am from India. I have Lab named cheeku, which is a fruit. Also for the name Tika. That,s something which is put on the head after worshiping our gods. Google it.. :-)

Anonymous,  January 08, 2013 1:32 PM  

2 yr old american white lad here that is a shedding machine, and a shredding machine if she gets the paper...thats for the heads up Dresfelix

drsfelix January 09, 2013 3:14 PM  

I have changed his food to PURINA ONE and add olive leaf extract , as well as fish oil and BREWERS YEAST ( 1 tea spoon with the food / tastes like Vegemite ) , combing daily and now he hardly sheds hair !

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