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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am the owner of a five year old Alaskan Malamute, that we adopted from my sister in law a couple of years ago. Wolfie had terribly matted fur at the beginning of this year (due to some terrible rain that he refuses to not stand in and dirt holes that he insists on digging and sleeping in) that we desperately tried to avoid, but it got so bad that I called a groomer to come and have a look. Originally he thought he would be able to brush it out, but after giving it a go he then said that the only real solution was to shave him. I was extremely apprehensive about it, but eventually agreed as I thought he knew what he was talking about.

It is now 8 months later and his fur has mostly grown back, he has the same markings and his fur seems to be just as thick as it was. The only (quite major) problem is on large areas on the sides of his hind legs and hips it has not grown back at all. I don't know if this is due to him laying on this area a lot, or if it just not going to grow back, or if it is just going to take a really, really long time. Has anyone ever seen or experienced this before? If so, did the fur eventually grow back? Every time I look at it I feel terrible for agreeing to it in the first place! Also, summer is coming around again and I'm really worried about him overheating.
 

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It might not grow back. when you shave a double coated breeds fur. It normally tends to ruin the whole coat. and while some may grow back perfectly, other times it doesnt at all. For summer, keep him cool, give him a kiddie pool for when outside, brush him out every day to keep dead/loose hair out of the coat. dont walk him in the middle of the day, wait until later at night or early morning when its cooler.
 

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agreed. I try to talk every client I have out of shaving a double coated breed for that reason. I flat out refuse to shave a husky or malamute, and I have lost business doing that, But I would hate to be the one to cause a problem. I think what you can do is make sure your dog is on a good food and maybe give a fish oil supplement that will help the skin and coat. Brush regularly to stimulate the follicles and take him to the groomer on a regular basis,not to the one that shaved your dog.
 

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Yeah, shaving a husky or mal is a bad thing. But I know with horrible matted fur, that there's not much you can do...thats why it is important to brush them at least once a week with a comb. The younger dogs will usually get their fur back, but since the outercoat never actually sheds, its a lot slower to grow back...and sometimes it doesn't come back.

I would also suggest fish oil, or more fish if you feed raw, also make sure you are combing him often. I wouldn't use a furminator or anything like it, as it will damage it more...just use a flat comb or one of the combs meant for double layers.
 

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I agree with Northern...The groomer attempted to brush it out, but could not save the coat. Hardly the groomer's fault.

Ditto what everyone said about supplements and nutrition, but I would also look into getting some bloodwork done. Sometimes if the coat is not growing back there could be a health issue going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I am aware that it's not a good idea to shave them, which is why I was so reluctant to agree to it at first but as I said he seemed to know what he was talking about and even gave examples (and the matting was pretty bad). I won't ever do it again, believe me! We brush him out twice a week, and he gets washed by a groomer regularly, we just weren't able to save the matting that occurred at the beginning of the year. It felt almost as though it just all matted up overnight! He has a kiddie pool and all that kind of stuff, and we have a lot of shade but it gets very hot here so I am worried that nothing I can do is going to help him.

Anyway, thanks for the advice on supplements, that was the direction I was hoping for, and it's something I haven't come across yet, surprisingly. If I don't see a change very soon I am going to take him to the vet and see what they have to say.
 

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Don't blame the groomer completely. It sounds like he did what had to be done. If he refused to shave your dog, then you would have just gone from groomer to groomer until you found one who would actually groom your poor dog. I personally do not shave double coated dogs unless I go over with the pet owner what can happen to the coat. I try to work out the mats the best I can with a good conditioner and hard work.

I worked with a groomer once who didn't know the double coats may not grow back right and she would shave them all the time until a German Shepard she shaved came in after a few months of being shaved, and being bald on the hips and back. She learned a lesson that day.

A story I have to share about shaving double coated dogs: I have once shaved a pomeranian who was severally matted and would not tolerate any brushing. Even the slightest brushing was painful to this dog and after I shaved it I found out why. He had sores on his skin due to the matting and being wet most of the time. The dogs owner would bathe the dog all the time because he smelled, but never dried him causing blisters all over his body and the matting to worsen. Anyways, the dogs hair didn't grow back... ever... and I felt bad even though there was nothing I could do. Now I shave this dog every 6 weeks and his skin looks a lot better, but he looks more like a chihuahua than a pom.

I had a border collie come into my shop. The owner said the old groomer used to shave him all the time but she wanted him to grow his old coat back to normal. I set them up on a monthly bath and brush. The dogs coat is growning back just fine even though he is about 7 or 8 and has had his coat shaved most of his lift. He has a lot more undercoat them most border collies though and his outter coat is still slowly coming in.

I just typed a whole lot here! hahaa, anyways, I hope your dogs coat comes back nicely and even.
 

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Double coated dogs can grow back weird when shaved. However, many dogs I've seen with coats that don't want to grow back properly have thyroid issues. So do think about having that checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ohmydog - oh, I don't blame him, the matting was pretty bad that I know it was a last resort. I just don't think he was aware of coat problems that could arise after doing so, as he did tell me it would grow back normal, and I was even less educated about these issues so I didn't second guess. His skin seems great, just no fur there! I guess I will just have to persevere and hope it will eventually grow back. And thank you!

Grab - Thank you. I will definitely have that checked out!
 

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I have an odd question: ¿Is he a full Malamute?

I only ask because no matter how much rain and mud my Malamutes have gotten into, their fur has never matted. Every Malamute I've encountered has the same super repellent hair that I consider to be part of the breed (maybe an underlying health issue could cause the hair to lose that quality). After three of my own, and several others that I've known, there are only three things that have stuck to their hair. Tree sap, burrs and hot candle wax. Even road tar falls out within minutes.

Just wonderin'...

Oh, my Husky was shaved by his previous owners and it has taken almost three years to grow back mostly correct. I'm not sure his hips will ever look right.
 

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I have an odd question: ¿Is he a full Malamute?

I only ask because no matter how much rain and mud my Malamutes have gotten into, their fur has never matted. Every Malamute I've encountered has the same super repellent hair that I consider to be part of the breed (maybe an underlying health issue could cause the hair to lose that quality). After three of my own, and several others that I've known, there are only three things that have stuck to their hair. Tree sap, burrs and hot candle wax. Even road tar falls out within minutes.

Just wonderin'...

Oh, my Husky was shaved by his previous owners and it has taken almost three years to grow back mostly correct. I'm not sure his hips will ever look right.

I had wondered that to...i know a family that has a whole pack of mals and they are mostly outside dogs, so they collect a lot of dirt and whatnot...and because there are so many, they don't all get the grooming attention they need, and they never mat...

My other thought was: is it a mal with a long coat? I've seen a few about. The texture of the fur seems to be different, more silky, and isn't as oily as the regular mal/sibe coat. I could see how they would have more problems than mals with the traditional coat.
 

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HA! Forgot about those. I haven't seen a woolly Mal in forever and a day.
THATS what its called...i knew there was a name, and for the life of me I couldn't remember, lol. Woolly....
 

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You can "card" the non-growing areas out and see if you can get the follicles stimulated. I would use a fine stripping knife, and just hold it perpendicular to the skin, and comb in the direction of hair growth. If you do that a few times a week for a few minutes, it will help stimulate those areas to get growing, IF they are going to grow. And yes, it can take years for a coat to completely recover from a shave.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He is a full Malamute, but yes he is a woolly Malamute, his coat is quite long- I probably should have specified that, but around here I only really see woolly malamutes (not that I see a whole lot) so I didn't think to point it out!
 
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