When Shedding is Cool

Knitting with Dog Hair

OMG. Really?

There’s shedding and then there’s shedding. You know?

Oh, wait, that’s just me, who hears about hair on the floor, hair on the brush, dusty hair bunnies who breed under the kitchen table, and the like.

See, usually, shedding is a symptom. One that I catalog for evaluating my patients’ well being.

“Still shedding every day, are we?”

“Yeah, still hoovering up a rug every day, Dr. Falconer.”


And I go back to work, keeping that symptom on my Working Symptom List for this beast I’m trying to get well.

Cause, I know, one day, this, too, will cease. When my Whole Patient is well.

Really well. You know, Whole Dog well. Or Whole Cat well.

It’ll stop.

Then I’ll smile and ask, “Anything else he’s talking to us about? How bout those farts at 4:00 pm? Those eye boogers? The big saucer eyes when you set down that lumpy bag of shopping?”

“How are all those things, eh?”

The name of the game in this homeopathy business is Curing the Whole Beast. It means we don’t stop while there are symptoms still talking to us.

Because symptoms mean: Not Well Yet. Still Trying to Get There.

So, you’ve got to imagine my delight when Tricia tells me, in passing, that both her Danes blew their coats. At the same time. For about a week. And then quit.

It doesn’t hurt that Tricia feeds me raw food!

What? You mean they both did it on the same week? These two unrelated beasts?”


“That’s amazing! And now they don’t shed any more?”


“Oh, that’s too cool! That’s WONDerfull!! I’m so impressed!!! I’m telling people about this. Folks have got to hear this!”

Okay, so you’ve got to get the sense of the nerdiness of a homeopath like me. I wait for moments like this. And when they are just announced, in passing, my brain goes into high alert.

Did I just hear something that indicates high level wellness? I DID?? Oooooo. I want all the juicy details!!

This is Significant? How, exactly?

So, shedding. Pretty boring, right? All animals do it. It’s just part of having a dog or a cat, right? (excepting the few breeds who really don’t, like the Poodle Dudes)

But it’s deeper than that. Trust me on this. Shedding all year round is Not Normal.

Common, yes. Normal, no.

Animals who are well, really, truly well, don’t shed all the time. They do it seasonally. Boom. Done.

And, of course, lots and lots of animals coming in as patients do it every day. All year round. Yawn.

It’s so common, I sometimes forget to ask about it, in my pursuit of finding what’s bugging my patients.

Turning off the light.

The Big Goal here at Alternatives for Animal Health is to cure my patients.

Cure. Often confused with covering up symptoms. But decidedly not that.

Drugs are often likened to putting a piece of black electrical tape over the oil light that lights up on your dashboard, and driving merrily along your way.

To certain disaster.

How many miles away? It varies, but it’s ahead, that’s for sure.

No, we see that oil light, that shedding all the time, that pale, spotty nose, that waxy ear, that goober-y left eye, as an indicator that somewhere, deep inside, there dwells something needing attention.

That’s really all that symptoms are: little warning lights. My clients have all been trained to pay attention to them. And to get good at describing them.

And when they leave, when those warning lights go off, on their own, from deep inside, we know we’ve really done some good. The remedies have done their magic. That animal is left in its God-given state of Health, by God.

And then, we celebrate. And I exclaim. And the patient, that healthy animal over there just goes, “What? I feel good now. What’s the big deal?”

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  1. bry on June 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Oh my gosh I totally thought shedding was just part of life…Good to know that once my dog is completely healed the shedding won’t be year round, what a concept. Thank you! :)))

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Yes, a surprise to a lot of folks. The other fun one is a dog will not longer need bathing (barring rolling in something stinky) when they are fully well. They just smell good, all the time. Brushing is the most they’ll need at that point.

      • bry on July 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        Well we got that one covered, he hasn’t ever had a bath and smells great. 😉

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