Your Pet Question:
I have a two-year-old Papillon with a white body and a tri-colour head. I try to brush her every day but she still sheds like crazy. Our local groomer has tried everything, but she still sheds constantly, leaving her hair all over the house and car. It has become a huge problem. What else can I do?
The Expert Says:
Most dogs shed as part of a normal hair growth cycle, Papillons are an average-shedding breed, and if you’re brushing her every day and having her groomed regularly it should not be such a problem. Perhaps the extra hair loss has a medical root, and this can include hormonal imbalances, dietary intolerances or deficits and allergies. Blood testing can help pinpoint any problems and hopefully direct you to a solution. Sometimes something as simple as spaying (removing her ovaries and /or uterus) will improve shedding patterns.
If your vet determines that her shedding is normal, then you might ask your groomer about a different kind of brush for optimum hair removal. To camouflage the unavoidable errant hairs, try placing throws the same colours as your dog in spots that she frequents. In the car, you might crate her (with a seatbelt) or use a doggy seatbelt to minimize the amount of hair on the upholstery which will also keep her much safer while travelling.
Dr. Leeanne Bargen, DVM, practices at Pet Vet Clinic in Steinbach, Manitoba.