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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took my dog to get groomed professionally for the first time and was told that she may have a possible thyroid issue due to her hair falling out at the root. The girl said GSDs do shed but it shouldn’t be to the extent that my girl is. She had a comp exam a few months ago and they made no mentions of any issues. Should I be concerned? I’ve furminated her once this year and now slicker brush her 2-4 times per week. Nothing changes
 

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Has she had any weight changes? Less energy? How old?

The only way to know for sure is to run a thyroid panel at the vet. That's not usually part of "regular" annual bloodwork in a healthy adult dog, so your vet probably didn't test it at your last visit (but it is usually part of the senior panel, so if your dog is older it might have been done). It's not expensive, so I would just have the vet run it and settle the question.


Stress, skin problems (allergies, parasites, microbial infection), and nutritional deficiencies can also all play a role in fur loss. A poor diet is probably the biggest cause of a shabby coat, for many dogs. Your vet could help you sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Has she had any weight changes? Less energy? How old?

The only way to know for sure is to run a thyroid panel at the vet. That's not usually part of "regular" annual bloodwork in a healthy adult dog, so your vet probably didn't test it at your last visit (but it is usually part of the senior panel, so if your dog is older it might have been done). It's not expensive, so I would just have the vet run it and settle the question.


Stress, skin problems (allergies, parasites, microbial infection), and nutritional deficiencies can also all play a role in fur loss. A poor diet is probably the biggest cause of a shabby coat, for many dogs. Your vet could help you sort it out.
She is now 1.5yrs old and hasn’t had much weight change since she was 9 or 10 months old. She gets 30 minutes to an hr per day of exercise. I went from feeding her at uspecific times to now free feeding her 6 cups per day but she only eats maybe 4-5 cups every 3 days or so. I began free feeding bc her vet says she was under weight and dehydrated which she also ALWAYS has clean cool water available all day. Guess I’ll have to take her in again to get to the bottom of this.
 

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Is she spayed? Periodically my intact girls will blow not only their undercoat, but the guard hairs (top coat) too. In fact, Scarlet is doing that right now. I pulled several handfuls of guard hair off of her croup yesterday. It’ll all grow back, but it’s definitely weird when it happens. Is this what your groomer is talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is she spayed? Periodically my intact girls will blow not only their undercoat, but the guard hairs (top coat) too. In fact, Scarlet is doing that right now. I pulled several handfuls of guard hair off of her croup yesterday. It’ll all grow back, but it’s definitely weird when it happens. Is this what your groomer is talking about?
Yes she was spayed at 8 months old. Brushed her again today and it was clumps as if her winter coat was coming off but that’s almost daily too
 

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A question: What is the normal pattern (as opposed to sheer amount) of shedding in GSDs and other breeds? Does the hair typically "fall out at the root" or is it something else?

Aly
 

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Guard hairs shed as well as undercoat. Guard hairs on intact bitches leave enmass maybe 6 weeks before they come in to heat. Then they shed many fewer guard hairs than the spayed bitches. (That's been my experience.) I've noticed with the latest intact bitch that after the massive dump, she sheds very little. (at least for a while.)
 

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Thanks @middleofnowhere, but I'm curious about whether hairs (guard and/or undercoat) typically shed "from the root" and, if not, then how? Sorry if my wording was unclear.

Aly
 

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Is she shedding guard hairs or the undercoat? What diet is she on?

My one dog came to me on Purina, and was shedding like crazy, way way more than I have ever seen a dog shed. i switched him to Acana and the shedding decreased by about 85%.

Also if the hair doesnt shed from the root where does it shed from? the root lets go of the hair, then the hair is loose and falls off. I just took some loose hair off my dog, (who doesnt really have an undercoat so mainly sheds guard hairs, idk why he doesn't really have an undercoat) and you can see the bit at the one end of the hair that would have been attached in the root

If you are worried I would just ask the vet and you could get a thyroid panel done to make sure
 

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Yes, you can see the root on those guard hairs. Like I said, Scarlet is going through this right now.
 
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