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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 24518
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My 10yr old westie has suddenly over the last week, started

Customer Question

My 10yr old westie has suddenly over the last week, started to shedd his fur at an alarming rate,just stroking him brings handfulls of fur out..he is not scratchung or chewing, either his paws or any other part of his body..he has been groomed only 3wks ago..been on steriods for -shaking white dog sindrum..? But been off those stetiods for 4wks I need to take him to a vet Thank you Ms XXXXX

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.


Hair loss can be concerning but the key factor here is, are you seeing baldness where the hair is being lost?


Do the areas of hair loss feel rough like straw when you rub it back and forth? Or soft?


Any changes to the skin?

(ie redness, ulcers, pimples, scabs, crusts, scaling, etc)?


How is Gilbert's coat at the moment? Shiny and healthy? Dull and lackluster?


How is he otherwise in himself?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

gilberts hair is soft like lackness pretty shiny,no skin irritations noticable..

as said he has been diganoised with shaking white dog syndrum,what ever that is.,been on ling term steriid course 6mths,now off them..


hunting as normal,barking at everything going past the house as normal..just this server shedding..generally sratching itching,chewing...


Expert:  Dr. B. replied 5 years ago.
Thank you Patricia,

Now you didn't confirm whether you are seeing bald patches, therefore I assume you are not seeing these. And if there is no baldness here alongside a lack of skin changes, then we do get to breathe a wee sigh of relief for Gilbert. The reason is because the shedding would be less likely to be abnormal or due to skin/coat health issues and instead is more likely to another sign of the White Shaker Dog Syndrome (which just to note is thought to be a genetically influenced autoimmune condition). Not all dogs will shed with the condition but many do and some can even become bald. That said, the hair does regrow with time and often doesn't require intervention.

Just to touch on one thing that you can do to support Gilbert's skin and coat health in this time of mass shedding, you can treat him with essential fatty acids (EFA). EFA’s are the fats that are part of skin cell composition and play a role in their health and coat growth. And we often use these therapeutically in the management of a number of dog skin disorders. Typically, we can give this via fish oil supplementation (Omega 3 & 6; which we'd usually give a dose equal to 20mg per pound of their body weight. For example, a 10lb dog would want 200mg EPA + DHA). Otherwise, if Gilbert likes fish, you can provide these fish oils via offering a small volume of fresh salmon weekly. In either case, fish oils will help ensure optimal coat health. And just in case he isn't keen on fish, then there are alternatives that your vet can provide. Examples of oral EFA supplements include Viacutin (LINK) or Yumega (LINK). As well, there is a spot on preparation that gets around Gilbert even having to ingest these EFAs, called Allerderm (LINK).

Overall, we can see shedding related to White Shaker Dog Syndrome. And if Gilbert has no other signs, then this is quite likely the cause here. Therefore, as long as we don't have massive balding, it would just be a case of brushing, monitoring, and treating with EFAs to give his body all the support it needs to replenish its hair and settle.

All the best,

Dr. B.


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