Black dog going red

Hey, my little black and white dog has a sort of redish tinge in some of her fur. I read that this can be the result of certain nutritional deficiencies. Can anyone recommend anything that I can feed her to help correct this. Right now she gets Science Diet puppy food and I can’t afford to upgrade this choice really. I am going to start giving her and my other dog some raw meat a couple of times of week to maybe give them some more added nutrition. Is this a good or bad idea?

It’s a good idea. One of the dogs in our care, Missus, also started growing reddish fur, but mostly in the places where she had been bald before. It seems to have gone now, and she looks perfectly black. She is fed raw, meaty bones, raw eggs, and the occasional bowl of blended vegetables.

It may just be part of your dog’s mix, though. It could also be anemia, and a result of copper deficiency. From Pronature’s Web site.

[quote]Fur with a reddish tinge is usually associated with copper deficiency and is considered a symptom of anemia, a rare occurrence in dogs. Other symptoms include cutaneous lesions and dull, tired-looking fur. Very few studies have been conducted on this condition because very few dogs have all of the symptoms. Reddening of the fur can be explained in one of two ways:

1) Systemic Factors
Reddening of fur occurs at the follicle level, out of sight beneath the surface of the skin. This means that the colour change began weeks or even months before the red fur appeared. Since your pet's fur grows in sections, it may only have patches of red fur. If the change took place over a two-week period, for example, your dog may only have a few red hairs and not an entire coat of red fur.

2) Foreign Substance on the Fur
This is the most common explanation for reddening of the fur. Often, shampoos or creams applied to the fur contain insecticides that change the colour of fur. Exposure to the sun can also make your pet's fur take on a reddish hue. If your dog has black fur, there may be another reason. The tips of older hairs in a dog's fur that has not been shed early enough will take on a reddish tinge. Once the dog sheds, however, the colour of the fur will return to normal.

Another frequent cause of red fur is porphyrin, a substance present in a dog's saliva and tears. Reddening of the fur around the eyes due to exposure to the sun frequently occurs in small dogs with white fur. Dogs suffering from allergies lick themselves repeatedly, which results in porphyrin being deposited on the fur and can trigger a colour change.[/quote]

If it’s from a copper deficiency, the matter needs to be addressed immediately, as this can lead to some far more serious conditions in the dog. Is the Science diet high in zinc? This can disrupt the absorption of copper in your dog. Copper is found in meat, and uncooked meat, of course, has more of this essential mineral, in the right proportions. It is also abundant in liver. You could try giving your dog lightly boiled chicken liver with its food for a few days, and then once a week (you don’t want to give too much copper, either, but it is perfectly balanced in meat). We boil the liver because it’s usually unpalatable to a dog in raw form - although yours might like it like that.

Anyway, good luck!


I would not be suprised if my dog had a nutritional deficiency. I found her as a small puppy starving to death in a park. She has had someskin problems and sometimes throws up for no apparent reason. I would worry about that except she still eats and goes to the bathroom. I am going to be taking her to the vets today to get a sonogram to make sure she has no bowel obstructions or isn’t pregnant(again oops with the male dog being a puppy, but perhaps able to impregnate my dog) She has good energy level and loves her attention, but I am worried about her passing the vets exam for going to Canada. Do you know what kinds of things would keep her from being approved?

Very little. If she doesn’t have raboes, and you treat her for worms and other parasites, it should be OK.

I have someone who has taken a dog into Canada; I’ll put you in touch with them if you like. Sorry I didn’t respond to your PM; it came at a bad time. I’ll get onto it this evening.

Don’t worry too much about the process, but it’s good you’re taking every precaution.

Speak to you soon,