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Ask the Veterinarian/border collie shedding

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Question
hi..we have a border collie, and she is about ten years old. for some reason, she is losing hair, and it comes out in clumbs. this has never happened, in particular this time of year, and i am wondering what might be causing it. besides that, she is acting pretty normal. she eats pedigree or purina, in case that might be an issue. thank you!

Answer
Abnormal shedding int he fall can be a sign of something to worry about.  You should have her looked at by her vet.  At her age, her thyroid gland may not be putting out enough hormone to maintain the undercoat and it falls out.  Other diseases like Cushing's disease can cause the hair to fall out abnormally, too.  You can try adding some Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) to her diet for a month or two to see if that might help stop some of the shedding.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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