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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 29792
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Brushing today I had an enormous amount of hair. There has

Customer Question

Brushing today I had an enormous amount of hair. There has never been so much previously. I did not want to continue to brush. What could be the cause?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
The most likely cause of the excessive shedding is that a preponderance of Tigre's haircoat was in the telogen (non-growing) phase of the hair cycle. This isn't a pathology but, instead, a normal variation seen in growing cycles. It's consistent with the increasing warmth at this time of the year and assists in ridding the coat of unnecessary hair. Here's a synopsis of excessive shedding for you - most of which isn't pertinent to our discussion but you'll get a good idea of the things that concern us... Shedding is a normal phenomenon in dogs and cats, but some animals shed more than others - a common owner complaint. Some animals shed more in spring and fall and others shed excessively year round. In spite of continual hair loss, no alopecia or skin abnormalities are associated. Although hairs epilate easily, focal areas of alopecia can't be created. Top differentials that Tigre's vet might consider include superficial pyoderma (a staph infection usually/uncommon in cats), adult onset demodicosis (a mange mite/rare in cats), anagen or telogen defluxion (excess shedding due to changes in the growing cycle and the most likely cause in Tigre) and causes of endocrine (hormonal) alopecia such as hypothyroidism (not in cats) and hyposomatotropism (low levels of growth hormone) and Cushing's disease - both rare in cats; hair cycle arrest should be considered as well. Treatment includes grooming every day to remove shed hairs before they fall off. The diet should be balanced. Dietary fatty acid supplementation may be helpful. Because of the unique nature of each commercially available product, see the actual label recommendations of that product for specific dosage recommendations. Sometimes outdoor animals improve when brought indoors and vice versa. The prognosis is good. Although excessive shedding is annoying to owners, affected animals are usually otherwise healthy. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.