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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. Sigh.

Camper's going prematurely grey on his muzzle. He just turned two a couple weeks ago.

He eats a huge variety of meat and fish (fresh grilled salmon or halibut and canned); plus dairy (low fat cottage cheese, plus cheese as snacks) and organic eggs (with shell); plus organic veggies & herbs cooked as a stew. Multi-vitamin, krill or fish oil on days that he doesn't eat fish. Glucosamine a few times a week. About 3% of his meat is organ meat (usually liver; sometimes beef kidney) eaten daily because he gets slimy poop if I skip days and feed more quantity.

I know I feed a lot more "stuff" than many of you. He eats about 3.5-3.7 lbs of meat daily, plus about another 1/3 lb of the other stuff. So the other stuff isn't taking away from his meat consumption. He's proper weight for his size (80 lbs, 25.5"). Lean, extremely active.

This is sort of a health question, but he's healthy as a horse (other than an bout of SIBO now and then. This is pretty well managed though). That's why I'm posting it here. A raw diet usually brings color back into a senior dog's face (my senior lost much of her white as her black fur grew back after I started her on a homemade diet). So I'm wondering why my raw-fed junior dog (he's been on raw about 1.3 years) is losing his color?

Ideas? Suggestions? Insights?


(He has his annual exam in a month. I'll run bloodwork then as I always do. But I really don't expect to find anything there.)

Thanks.
 

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Some dogs go grey earlier than others (just like people). I think it probably has more to do with genetics than anything else. Ris has gone more grey since I brought her home and started her on a raw diet. She's only 4.
 

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I wouldn't consider gray hairs an indicator of health. (I'm practically all gray--especially my beard!)
 

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yeah, i would agree, probably just genetics and the way he is supposed to be.

Kelso has been fed raw much of his life as well, he turns 2 in September and I saw some salt sprinkles on his dark, dark muzzle a few months ago
Sometimes it looks like it is not there, then I see it in the bright light...boo..I guess that means he is growing up..at least physically. He is sable so I can never tell what his color is doing!!

His dad was a solid black and just passed away recently at the age of 12 and didnt have too much white on his muzzle.

who knows? But I admit I hate to see him starting to get a hint of grey!! He's still a pup (like your guy!!!)
 

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Rafi has white hairs under his muzzle too. I kind of freaked out about it but then remembered that Basu also had some white in his muzzle when we adopted him at age 4.5.

I actually have several hairs that are white and have been that way since I was a child. For a couple of years my mother had less white hair than my oldest sister!
 

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I forgot to add to my post that Allie is around Kelso's age..give or take..not sure, but pretty darn close in age. But she is a bicolor with a pretty much solid black face without a speck of white or grey on her muzzle...still completely black. She has been fed the same raw and whatever else diet Kelso has had since we got her a year ago.

so, again, must just depend on the dog!
 

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My previous old dog (GSD/ Border Collie) had a very grey muzzle from about 2yo and lived until she was nearly 17yo. I agree with genetics being the major influence of greying muzzles rather than it being an indicator of ill health. I think you are doing great by your dog so just keep doing what you are doing!
 

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My female turned grey shortly after she was spayed and I believe it's due to the hormonal changes. Some dogs get grey if they've been under a lot of stress.
Maybe adding Kelp to the diet might help reverse it (it says on the package), but in our case it didn't.
 

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Lori, I bet having the blood tests run will help soothe your mind. But I agree with everyone else-- my friend's raw-fed 3 year old neutered workingline bi-color was beginning to get grey at 2. His grandmother will be 15 in a month! I would not worry too much about it being a health issue. Good for you for getting blood tests run when you go in anyway. But I think you are doing a great job
with Camper-- especially his diet!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
Some dogs get grey if they've been under a lot of stress.
Yes. This crossed my mind too.
Am I expecting too much from him? Is his training too rigorous? Did those months on Benadryl (which I didn't realize caused him anxiety until a new trainer pointed it out. I just thought it was teenage angst.) do this?

AUGH! I'm overwrought with guilt!
 

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No guilt allowed, Lori!
Camper is doing just fine. You are doing so much for him. You have him on a super diet, he has toys, his own yard, doggy sisters to gallump with, and lots of activities and field trips.
That is more fun stuff than most dogs get!

It may be possible that some of the training may (or may not) be too stressful for him, or, the training may be fine-- but some training situations may not be. You know Camper best. He may not be gray from stress at all. Does he whine much? That's often a stress indicator, even in dogs with strong nerves.

Lots of dogs with easy lives go gray early, too. I really think genetics plays a huge role. A friend recently lost his solid black GSD at age 12. He never had a gray hair, and he was fed the equivilent of Ole Roy. And yet I know a few healthy, strong young dogs who have been on a raw diet and grayed early. Hormone changes from being spayed or neutered can affect this, too. Also, it can just be in the genetic plan that way. Try not to worry about this! Camper is proud to look distinguished!
 
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