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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32867
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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A friend of mine has an 11 year old yellow lab bitch. He is

Customer Question

A friend of mine has an 11 year old yellow lab bitch. He is worried because she has suddenly stopped shedding, there is not even very much fur coming out on her brush, most people would probably be pleased about this, but he is worried that as it has been so hot she should probably be shedding more not less. Also she has decided she doesn't want to go for her afternoon walk, she gets excited when my friend is getting ready to go out but will only go to the end of the path and then sits down, this may be to do with her age or maybe her hormones are changing as she ages. The other thing is he has recently changed her food to a senior variety, could this affect her coat and or behaviour?
She seems healthy otherwise and her coat is in good condition, we are just wondering if we should be concerned or if it is normal for a dog to slow down shedding as it gets older.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Hypothyroidism is my main concern in an 11 year old Lab who has demonstrated exercise intolerance and a change in her shedding cycle. Millie appears to be stuck in the resting stage of follicle growth called telogen. If I'm correct and thyroid hormone is supplemented, you're likely to see a telogen effluvium - shedding like there's no tomorrow.

Please encourage your friend to have Millie's vet perform a T4 (total thyroid) blood test. It's not a bad idea to have a senior/geriatric profile of blood/urine tests including the T4 performed at Millie's age. Normal hair growth and cycle can be adversely affected by many diseases and stresses.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.