Supplements To Prevent Excessive Dander?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionI have three labrador retrievers, nikki, shadow and reilly. My problem is that shadow has very bad dander. We have to dust our home constantly to avoid a nasty build up, which occurs very quickly. If we don't clean for two days, everything has a layer of dust on it. NikkI and reilly have very nice, shiny, soft coats but shadow's coat is rough and dull. It's to the point that when you pet him or scratch him, you get a film of "dust" on your hands and under your nails. I wanted to know, besides using special shampoo, what sort of supplements can I give him in his food? And are there any other remedies that you could recommend? (Kat Ferrari - Pennsylvania)

Answer

Excessive dander in dogs can have a variety of causes. If he is not actually scratching then it is less likely to be a yeast or bacterial infection and more likely to be a result of an allergy or nutrient deficiency. Allergic reactions can be caused by something as simple as the heating system in your house or bathing an animal too often, and are notoriously hard to eliminate. If it's a dietary deficiency then in general terms fatty acids are essential to healthy skin/coat and the addition of a teaspoon of oil (fish/safflower/vegetable/corn oil) to your dogs feed on a regular basis might be beneficial.

Obviously regular brushing (outside the house!) will also keep down the amount of dander. I am also aware of several pro-biotic type sprays that claim to help reduce dander but I have heard mixed reports of their usefulness. More serious hormonal imbalances can also contribute to excessive dander but would present with other symptoms so are unlikely to be the cause.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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