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soft/fuzzy/wooly leg fur in the winter?

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hello there!


i'm a long-time reader and new member with one beautiful border collie mix, isaly, whom i adopted in june! she's a brilliant and lively and extremely emotionally in-touch lady, and i love her the world!


recently, we noticed some strange "fuzzy" -- almost undercoat-like -- fur up the side of her lower leg on one side. it was (and is) almost reddish-grey-ish in tint, and a totally different texture from the rest of isaly's fur. (i should say, she's a medium coat -- extremely long, thin hair with feathering at the neck, ears, legs, and belly-sides; and with a very feathered tail; but no undercoat and an almost-naked belly!)


a couple of weeks later, we noticed that this strange red-grey fuzzy fur had spread up her entire leg, on BOTH sides -- and the fur on her hips, and her front legs, was starting to "turn." (we can see, for example, lots of little fuzzy hairs, like the fur is starting to kink up and turn soft and fuzzy.)


has anyone had any experience with this? i, of course, freaked out and started looking up every possible cause -- including, gulp, cushing's and addison's, as well as black skin disease (which *really* doesn't seem to affect collie mixes; plus, isaly doesn't have hair loss -- just weird soft-fuzzy downy baby-bird fur!). we took her to the vet last week, and he talked us thru all the medical possibilities; but said the most likely thing is just that this is something she's doing for the winter. he noted that this happens to lots of mixed-breed dogs, and it can crop up even in mid-life, all-of-a-sudden, no explanation. stress chewing is also a possibility (she does do this sometimes, with her feet); but we're around her most of the time, and the vet didn't see too much evidence of barbering.


we've decided to wait until spring/early summer to see if the fur changes back; (another vet we know has said that this is probably just her new fur -- a sort of "surprise," maybe from the other breeds in her background!). we're also going to consider, of course, supplementing with cod liver oil and vitamin E and other goodies; but we'd like to see if this is just a seasonal thing first.


anyone else with pups of a similar coat type who have experienced this? we'd love to hear more, since it's such a weird and sudden thing!




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thank you all for your responses! we have tried brushing -- the fur doesn't come out at all, which is what made us concerned. it's also odd, isaly doesn't have undercoat at all -- just lovely long hairs that are super sleek. perhaps it just a selective undercoat (the vet has suggested that this is possible -- apparently some pups just get a stripe!) -- we'll have to wait until summer to see; if so, though, it's gonna be weird, because there's *just* this weird wooly fur in those areas; it's not like it's peeking out under her normal fur. rather, the fur seems totally transformed. until then, though, we're thinking some extra fish oil love couldn't hurt.


and isaly sez thank you! she's definitely all legs and all run (but, at moments, like now: also all snooze)! she's the best pup in the world and we just want to make sure she's alright!

(also, geonni banner -- yr pup is so adorable! looks alot like isaly from the photo you posted! <3)

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Tell Isaly she looks great, and that she takes a super picture.


My Josie has only soft, fine undercoat in the white areas of both upper thighs, and no guard hair over those spots. She's the dog in my avatar photo. I can brush those areas forever, yet they remain a little clumpy. Apparently some gene told her to do that, so what can I do B) ? Doesn't seem to bother or affect her in any way.


I know of an excellent working sheepdog that the owner said had no undercoat. She took extra precaution to keep her warm in cold weather between runs. I don't know if that was really necessary.


I think it just happens sometimes due to genes they inherited, and I wouldn't let it worry you. You had the vet take a look, so like you said, wait and see. She's a lucky dog to have found you. -- Regards, TEC

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