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Ask the Veterinarian/Cocker spaniel, shedding


My 5 year old cocker spaniel sheds a lot. I feed her blue buffalo food and have her groomed every 6 weeks. She has beautiful white and tan and grows the longest eye lashes I have ever seen on a dog. Her fur and snout looks more like an English cocker than an American cocker but her records indicate she is an American c spaniel. I have another cocker, black male, who sheds very little. I vacuum and sweep and brush her hair but her white fur is everywhere. She is a light tan and white parti mix and I adore her but my husband is allergic and is very sensitive to her fur. Is there anything I can do to get her to shed less? She has had lymes and she always gets flees even when I put advantix and use capstar. I have two other dogs that don't get fleas.

I'm confused. She has Lyme disease or has been vaccinated for it? And if she is getting fleas when the other dogs are not, then her immune system is not up to par.

She may not be tolerating the Blue Buffalo as well as the other dogs. It is pretty high in protein so her system might not be handling it well.

You might want to switch all the dogs to Sentinel for both their heartworm and flea problem. Sentinel sterilizes all the fleas so that pretty soon you don't have a flea on the premise. I have used it for over 16 years and it works amazing. Even with wildlife on my property my cats don't have a flea on them. It's not cheap, but in the long run it is cheaper than constantly using something that isn't working.
It is extremely safe for the dog which the others are not.

You might want to switch this dog to a more allergenic food to help with her shedding. I know that when our clients put their labs on Science Diet the big white flakes and tons of hair that they shed stops in about a month or so.

Science diet and Hills prescription diets have some products just for dogs with skin and coat problems.

There are also superficial products you can buy for shedding but they are just a band-aid to the problem. The usual culprit is the food the dog eats, so that's where I would start.

It takes a good month or so to see a change in coat and shedding problems so be patient with any changes you make.

I have had huge success with this food with one of my cats, but in the feline formula of course:

and there is a grain free diet as well:

I know there are a lot of dog foods out there Lauren, but the one thing my clients have never complained about after switching to SD is their dog shedding too much. In almost all cases, this food has reversed that issue.

It's worth trying. Where ever you buy it Hills has a 100% empty bag guarantee. If you don't see a difference, take it back and get your money back.

Please let me know how it goes with her in about a month.  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.


Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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