Blowing Coat

Loki has been blowing coat for months now. Okay, I don't know exactly how long, but it seems like a very long time. Too long. Dog hair is everywhere!

And Loki looks like he has some weird skin disease. It's clumpy. He has patches of more and less fur. See picture.

Back when we first got Loki from the breeder, she told us about how shibas blow coat twice a year. She also told us that when she gets puppies returned to her, they are typically out of coat. That's a stupid reason to get rid of a puppy.

So for those of you who haven't had shibas and are thinking about getting one, they blow coat. When they do this, your house will be attacked by dog hair. And your shiba will look weird, like it has a skin disease. A furminator will help.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I take my Shiba to the dog park, I explain: "No, she doesn't have a strange skin disease--she's just blowing her coat."

Northern/Nordic and German Shepherd dog owners immediately understand....

Sukoshi's mom

NATS said...

curious: if the shiba lives in a stable climate (no seasons) will they still blow the coat? or will it be a continuous shed party??

Vi said...

When we lived in Southern California, Loki still blew coat. It wasn't as bad, because he didn't grow as heavy of a winter coat. It was still roughly twice a year.

Cheryl said...

Hello! I'm so glad you posted this! I have a 14 week old Shiba who I think is blowing his coat. He has lost all his fur on the backs of his front legs, and looks like he's getting a bald spot (just covered in dark wire-like strands) down the middle of his back. He's itching a lot too. I'm worried we furminated him too much because his back seems to be sensitive, and he's started whining when we bring it out. Oops! I was convinced he had some horrible disease, but now I'm thinking he's blowing his puppy coat. Any suggestions?

Vi said...

Hi Cheryl,

I think blowing puppy coat is the worst in terms of appearance. Puppies don't have the thicker outer coat yet; they only have undercoat. So when they shed that undercoat, they REALLY look weird. We almost took Loki to the vet because he looked so awful when he blew his puppy coat. We thought he was sick.

You just have to keep in mind that this is perfectly normal. If you furminate, don't do it excessively and always be sure to give treats. Keep it a positive experience. You can't possibly get all of the hair with the furminator. Just do what you can; keep the experience positive. Vacuum often. After that, all you can do is grin & bear it.

jg said...

Snick and Secret are BOTH blowing coat in a HUGE way right now. I am vacuuming my apartment twice a day and shedding them with the shedding blade at least once a day. It's insane.

The only thing keeping me sane is that they both tend to blow viciously for about 3 weeks each spring and fall and then they're done. I'm about halfway through the 3 weeks. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

PS to Cheryl - If your pup is really itchy and sensitive, you should consider taking him to the vet just to make sure there isn't anything else going. If he's really just blowing coat, try Salmon Oil on his food for the itchies. Works great!

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for the advice! I'm definitely watching him and if he keeps up I'll bring him to the vet just to put my mind at ease. I emailed the vet last week and she said to keep in mind puppies scratch, but to bring him in if it keeps up. He's not concentrating on one area while scratching or anything, and he's not breaking skin or anything like that. He just seems to stop every once and awhile and scratch. He also had his first romps in the grass the last two weekends (he's an apartment puppy) and he seems to be more itchy after that. I think I definitely contributed to the patch on his back- I've been using the furminator a lot and that's the most accessible spot. Thanks again!

Xarien said...

We also use a food supplement called missing link plus with glucostamine for our shibas. We've seen some great results especially after we received Jujube and saw the transformation before our eyes. Her coat has a much richer color and is much fuller than when we had first received her.

NATS said...

oh boy, my shiba puppy just got home yesterday and i'm already looking forward to this experience :)

janice said...

We have milder winters here on the west coast of BC, and find that we go through a few stages of coat blowing -- more so with Kimiko than Eric (who is blonde). We find that a dose of flax-seed oil in with the kibbles helps a lot with the itchies.

Mika said...

The most obvious place you see that on Mika is his neck and cheeks. I think up until this week, I was still getting clumps of fur from his cheeks coming off. I'm pretty sure he's done blowing now though, his coat is really even. The furminator works wonders. Mika actually likes the furminator more than the slicker brush.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Loki may also have the "itchies" like our shiba chibi does. We took her to the vet because she had a bald spot and the vet gave us temaril that has helped out with her chewing holes in her coat and has reduced her itching significantly!

Mallorie said...

I am thinking about getting a Shiba Inu, but I am a litle nervous about this coat blowing. I live in a Florida town with extreme weather changes, such as it being cold in the morning/hot at night, or cold one week,and springtime weather the next...

My question is, would my potential Shiba shed more because of the weather of the town I live in?

Vi said...

Hi Mallorie,

Your shiba won't change coats by the day. A coat takes a few weeks to shed and for a new one to grow in. So daily changes won't affect it. But with that said, I've read that there is more shedding year round in more temperate climates. I think the theory goes that in places with extreme winter & summer, the shedding is more severe, but more seasonal, while places with more temperate climates, the shedding is more moderate, but year round.

In my experience living in California, Loki still shed a lot. But it's worse here in DC.

Georgia said...

omg! I have 2 shibas, and I had never heard of the term "blowing their coat". When my oldest did it the first time, I took him to the vet, and they told me his blood work was slightly abnormal and told me his kidneys would start shutting down, or that he might have eaten something that elevated his blood counts. I freaked and took him to another vet and they did a bunch of test and reviewed his previous blood work and told me that his kidneys were fine and his levels were within range of normal, but that he had allergies. they gave me allergy meds.$500 in vet bills later i had no answers.
since then my oldest has blown his coat 3 times, and i have worried a little every time that something was wrong with him!
I just found out today about the term blowing their coat, and I found this website and the relief is awesome! thank you!

Vi said...

Georgia --
I feel so sorry that you wasted $500 on vet bills. And I'm surprised that no one just told you that this is normal for shibas as well as other breeds with double-coats. Yes, shibas blow coat a couple times every year; it's normal.

Sandra @ The Memory Workshop said...

This is our 3rd summer with Suki, and I'm starting to get used to the blown coat look. It's not pretty. She suffers from seasonal allergies at the same time so while she's slowly losing her beautiful undercoat, she's also getting random 'rashy' spots on her skin and licking herself bald in patches and on her belly and 'privates'

I've tried changing food (but its seasonal, so why would it be the food?) adding fish oil supplements (which she loves), furminating, not furminating, extra bathing (supposedly you're not supposed to over-bathe shibas???), not bathing (she spends alot of time outdoors so she's always a little dusty)

I don't know if anything really made a difference! It takes about 3 weeks to completely blow coat, then a few more weeks for the new coat to regrow. Any effects of different treatments would take that long to show themselves anyway. So who knows???

Cheryl said...

Hey everyone, I just got an update on this thread via email and realized I never followed up. Poor Cody wasn't just blowing his coat, he also had a pretty bad case of puppy mange. Poor thing! He's had all of his dips (the worst experience ever- for him and us) and seems to have stopped scratching. He also blew his coat in the process and has a gorgeous red coat now. We're just praying it doesn't flare up again!

Ayato said...

hehe, I love pulling the clumps of hair that ends up around Ayato's hind legs... he hates it but it comes out so fluffy! Furminator time!!

Anonymous said...

To Mallorie
I realize this is coming allot late i stumbled onto this website just now in my attempt to find out if people had a common set of months that their shibas blow out as mine so i could better prepare for it. My 1 year and 4 month old has done it twice once in April and the other in November i believe. However reading your post and assuming you may still be on the wall about the Shiba and Florida I happen to live in Miami FL. My shiba blows out twice a year as normal and i furminate him almost every other day for about 10-15 mins and typically remove about a baseball sized clump of dead hair from his undercoat each time. I really love the breed though but make sure you have allot of patience because they are mischievous and quite intelligent the toughest thing i believe was breaking his prey instinct to the point where i have been able to leave him off the leash and he will obey my commands to heal mid bolt at the parks.However I have been unsuccessful at keeping him from jumping on my niece and nephew or anyone for that matter when they walk into the house. Does everyone have that problem or just me? lol.

Lindsey said...

I have that problem too, my shiba jumps on everyone and is the worst to my husband when he comes home. Nothing I've tried has seemed to help much. Any advice anyone?

Vi said...

I'll write a new post about jumping up.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if our 6 month old Kaylee is blowing her coat (I think it is too soon) but she has had a bald spot on her left side that wasn't discolored but in the last two days has become a dark color right in the middle. We asked the vet about it a month ago and he gave us some spray but the hair isn't growing back and now she has the dark spot. Anyone had this issue?


As far as the issue of jumping on people, we have been taking her to classes and they have proved very helpful as our instructor is very good. She has intructed us to just move away from her and ignore her until she settles down and then go love on her. This has actually worked as she just wants the attention which we don't give to her until she is calm. They are a very smart breed and she figured out rather quickly that she gets her attention when she isn't jumping up.

PupChow said...

Mac is blowing his winter coat right now and he has spots that look exactly like your pictures. It's pretty extreme!

Anonymous said...

I just acquired a lovely six year old female Shiba and she is an awesome little dog. I think she is in the middle of blowing her coat which is definitely an experience and I realize quite normal. I was not exactly prepared how the sheer quantity of fur that would come off such a small animal...that being said my Shiba is not only INSANELY itchy, she also constantly licks her paws... I think I even caught her chewing around or on her dew claws....is this also a normal part of coat blowing? I am inclined to think not as I only read a few posts that mentioned itching...

Vi said...

Your shiba is likely allergic to something. Itchiness is not a normal part of blowing coat.

dartfrog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dartfrog said...

I've found this blog to be a very helpful resource to learn about my Shiba.

My 2 year old, female Shiba Inu is frequently plagued with runny nose, watery eyes, and some facial fur loss around the mouth. Her sinus cavity also raises on the top of her muzzle.

My biggest concern at the moment is that I will be leaving for a visit to Japan in a week. Last week, I took her the kennel and she was displaying her allergies when I picked her up. This trip to the kennel was just a practice for my Shiba so it is not a shock when I am in Japan.

I'm taking her to the vet on Monday, but in the past that proved less than helpful. Does anyone have good information or resources about dealing with allergies for the Shiba?

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