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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5222
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My 7 yr old black lab has been extremely healthy and has had

Customer Question

My 7 yr old black lab has been extremely healthy and has had shots etc. This past month he has developed alot of brown fur, especially over back legs/hips and sides. I have brushed enough hair off him to make another dog. He is not scratching or licking. Is this mange? Is this a dietary problem? What can I do to clear it up.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer! I'm a licensed veterinarian and will be happy to help you today.First of all, mange mites would be causing fur loss and bald patches. So if your dog doesn't have any skin lesions or bald patches, then I wouldn't be concerned about mange.Diet can definitely affect the skin and fur shedding. What food does he get?This brownish fur is old fur that your dog hasn't shed yet this year, and this could be a sign of systemic illness or even intestinal parasites. Please let me ask a few questions. First, as I asked above, what food are you feeding him? Is your dog eating well? Is your dog drinking normal amounts of water, or has this increased? Is your dog urinating normal amounts? Are his stools normal?Thanks for your answers,Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Duke is on Beneful weight control food, 2 cups twice a day. He eats very well and drinking normally. He doesn't seem to have any change in urine or stools, but I will check more carefully. We have a very large yard, I don't always see his stools. He seems a little less energetic of late, but it could also be the heat. He does not have any bare spots except a little front of neck, no sores there. The hair seems to be coming off pretty uniformly, he does not flinch when I brush vigorously. thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Duke weighs about 88 pounds, he is the biggest lab I have ever seen, tall and beautifully shaped.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry, please reply, but I have to take my husband to the emergency room right now. will reply to your answer when I return. thanks
Expert:  Dr. Barbara replied 2 years ago.
Hi, and thanks for your reply. I hope that your husband is OK. I'm sorry for my delay. I'm here now temporarily, but will be more consistently on line tomorrow.Weight control food has lowered calorie count because it is lower in fat. Duke's browning fur and poor shedding (I am assuming from the description of his fur) could be secondary to not enough short chain fatty acids in his food. I'd like to see how he responds to an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (fish oil). Your vet will have a veterinary formula, or you could use a human formula. His recommended dose would ultimately be 1000mg twice daily, but I would start with 1000mg per day for 1 week and then if Duke's stools remain normal, move up to 1000mg twice daily.I also recommend combing or brushing him daily to remove the brownish fur. At the moment he's not shedding well and brushing will help that. With the increased fatty acids he should begin to shed normally.I hope this is helpful information, but please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. I will be online tomorrow. . .I'm on PDT.Dr. Barbara