A trip to the grooming salon is a necessary experience for all dog owners. In these hot summer months, you may feel compelled to shave your double-coated dog to prevent shedding and keep them cool. However, a full shave may result in a condition called post clipping alopecia (also known as clippers alopecia), and it can alter your furry friend’s coat for life.
What is Post Clipping Alopecia?
After a professional groom, your dog’s fur should grow back at a constant and regular rate. However, a dog with post clipping alopecia will show patchy regrowth. When the fur does begin to return, it will not have the same qualities as before. New hair growth will be wispier and sparser, with a “sticky” texture. Shaved portions may also grow fur that does not match the dog’s original coloration.
The condition occurs in double-coated dogs such as pomeranians, huskies, chow chows, and German shepherds. Research your dog’s breed to determine whether they may develop post clipping alopecia. A double-coated dog has a soft undercoat accompanied by longer “guard hairs.” When the weather is warm, a dog will shed their undercoat and leave only the guard hairs. This allows air to reach the dog’s skin and keep them cool. Post clipping alopecia is characterized by regrowth of the undercoat alone, which is too thick for air to permeate. Furthermore, without guard hairs to protect them, a dog with post clipping alopecia will be more susceptible to sunburns, overheating, and even skin cancer.
What Can You Do?
While you should avoid shaving your double-coated dog, regular grooming appointments are still important. A dog left ungroomed may develop mats, and shaving will become unavoidable. Talk to your groomer about ways to keep your furry friend clean and trimmed without potentially altering their coat quality. Additionally, to avoid erratic shedding, you can brush your dog at home. Doing this regularly will limit the amount of hair left around the house.
If your dog has already developed post clipping alopecia, there are some ways to limit its effects. Puppies who develop this condition can almost fully recover, although older dogs are much less likely to regain their old coat. Taking regular care of your dog’s newly sensitive skin is crucial. Limit sun exposure and keep a close eye out for burns or irritation. Talk to your veterinarian about ways to treat alopecia. These methods may include brushing, hydrotherapy, or prescribed oral medications.
Claws N Paws Day Spa in Fountain Valley, California provides informed grooming services with your pet’s well-being in mind. For more information, contact us at 714-962-1005.