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Here is a picture of Cash since we said we would watch him to see if his coat changes.  It has been about 8 weeks I think since his neutering maybe 7.  He lost the ripples and thick stuff he had all over his spine.  It was wild at times and I am glad it is gone.  I know that he is at the age now, 9 months this week, to lose puppy coat anyway.  But the hair in its place is so dry and wispy.  Lighter in color also.  And sheds.  Not sure if it is from the neuter or the coat changing naturally.  I thought it takes months to see the changes hormonally from castration.  At least that is what I read.    Here he is as of tonight.  He was always a fuzzy wooly coated puppy.  So it might not be a fair evaluation yet.  Since he was called Chewbacca for you Star Wars fans as a baby.  He is cute though.  And the hair growing over his ankles?  Do you guys trim that?  I was told leave it as long as it doesn't grow over the ankles.  Suggestions please.

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Sue ...... Exactly, Murphy is my first Irish and I have never had such a bond with a dog so I know and understand exactly what you mean ...... My parent's labradoodle is shown in a picture with Murphy and it hasn't changed him and they made their decision like you made yours!

Re the vets, when I took Murph along for his jabs the vet then wanted me to seriously consider neutering but at his 6mth check up the vet (partner in the business) never mentioned it ...... So its maybe a case of we all have different beliefs!
We all make choices based on our experiences but ultimately in the best interests of our dogs so our opinions will always vary. Many of my puppy buyers have been under extreme pressure from their own vets to have their dogs spayed or neutered and at a very early age, probably based on THEIR experiences with irresponsible dog owners. Most people neuter for convenience.
Gigi.....as you live in the US you probably haven't seen the recent expose' on Veterinary practices and the needless, expensive treatments pets go through, purely for profit. There are many vets who will turn a sick dog away if they think the owner cannot afford the treatment.
Delia your Murphy is a Shenanagin Scholar son so he is a grandson of my Louis (Concept). Both dogs carry a lush and heavy coat. Looking at Murphy's photos he will have a similar coat. It would be wonderful to keep it intact.
Sue, it is early days as to which way Cash's coat will go. Maintaining it isn't easy. I understand there are multi vitamins and supplements which could help.....but I am sure you have probably researched this already.
our Molly is now nearly 9 months old. She has had one season while in kennels while were in Europe recently. I have been going to the same vet for over 20 years and he is wonderful. our last two setters were sprayed and had really bad costs and the last one incontience. The vet did not mention spraying could be partly to blame regarding the incontience. When we took Molly to him he said about getting her sprayed at 6 months. I am going to wait as I do not wish to go through any incontience issues again. No pressure from him. We live in Sydney Australia and our home is fully fenced. I have time to spend with Molly and when she comes into season again steps will be put into place to deal with this.
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Hello Everyone,
I agree with everythinbg Eva has said, and here in Australia it is the done thing for the vet to suggest sterilising (dog or bitch) as soon as the puppy goes in for its three month vaccinations. I tell my puppy owners to ask "why should they sterilise?," knowing that the answer will be from the vet, "because it is the responsible thing to do!" Well, dogs do not roam the streets here anymore, and everyone is fenced, so why should that be deemed irresponsible!
The vets always neglect to tell the owner of the side-effects, such as coat changes in the long coated breeds, particularly noticeable in the Irish Setter (most vets don't even know that the coat changes!!!!!) skin problems and incontinence, and the latter is a big problem!
I have had Irish for forty years, and sterilised one, a female, once. I have never had one with testicular cancer (and we have always had about 23 Irish at any given time), and only ever had two or three with a couple of teats with mammary tumours.Some of my Irish have never been bred from, some have, so that theory has made no difference either.We have never had a closed pyometra, other than in an English Setter, so never had to sterilise for that reason either.
Just adding to my reply, use a "Coat King," grooming tool, made by Mars, and this will help strip out the fluffy coat. If you start early, you should be able to keep things under control a bit. They are wonderful,Sue, and suitable even for the Irish who aren't sterilised, who just have the odd bit of fluffy coat here and there.
I also agree with Eva about male dogs finding sterilised ones alluring! I run a boarding kennel, and see this sort of behaviour in all sorts of breeds.
I also have a number of stud dogs who all run together on our property - three adult Labradors and 7 Irish, with never a cross word between them, and these dogs and all the girls, are always very accepting of visitng dogs.To see my 30 odd, running free together in the fields, is just super.
Here we have the oppostie thing. Most dogs are neutered, the intact dog is the stand out that everyone is all over and bothering. Some get aggressive with them too. If I only had sporting breeds to deal with it might be okay but I have all kinds of breeds and it just isn't a good thing. Cash has little wooly coat going on now, too soon yet for it. But it is the hair along his spine only that is so dry and wispy. The rest is nice. I need something to make it look a bit more shiny to match the rest of his coat. This is the same place that used to be bushy and wavey that fell out already. He is going through puppy coat changes. I have tried salmon dog food but that gives him bad gas, thinking the fish oil would help it.
Can you describe that more please Finn? Maybe that is what is going on. His first summer, extreme insane heat and humidity and at the same time his baby coat disappeared. Maybe if I ride it out and just use a nice supplement of some kind it will work its self out. Because the lighter colored dried out part is the same place that is wavy unruly puppy hair fell out. The rest of his coat is great. Shiny and feathering is coming in great too.
Sue.....if you run your fingers against the wispy coat on his spine and see new, darker coat coming through you might be able to pluck the dead coat out, or just start plucking it a bit at a time. This is probably the last of the puppy coat and should be easy to get rid of. Brushing and bathing loosens dead coat and would also help.
I use milled linseed (flax seed......the sort you give to horses) sprinkled on their food and mixed in (heaped tablespoon). It needs to be ground or it is undigestable for dogs. Also Rapeseed oil (dessert spoon). This is higher in Omega 3 and 6 than Evening Primrose or Fish Oils. I have also found that fish oil repeats on my dogs. Rapeseed is quite mild. Flaxseed OIL can also repeat as it is very strong. A teaspoon of this is more than enough. All these doses are max per day.
Thanks so much ladies. I am trying to introduce Salmon Pro Plan into his diet but so far it has given him gas which he never has. He might not be a fishy dog like my others were. They all had shiny coats and I thought it was because they had a protein of fish for their food. I will try to just keep adding small amounts and transition only if it agrees with him. I will pick up some of the primrose oil to start with too. This might fix itself as he matures. I know what you mean Finn with seeing the markings. Cash doesn't have them but it is quite thin on the spine area. I am very careful when brushing since he has so little to work with. I find a small toothed comb does a better job grabbing the hair there. Not sure if you can do the conversion, because I can't, but it has been 90 degrees with a 90% humidity level so it feels like 105 degrees here and that has been at least 4 days a week for two months now. The worst summer I can remember in all my years. The poor dogs are stuck inside. I still get him out daily but it is early morning or late evening with the mosquitos eating me alive. I usually pour water all over him before he gets a 20 minute run in. That is about all we can take.
If you look at pictures of Redking Double Dog Dare "Austin" who is Cash's dad, he has the same type tail. I don't think you can tell yet what the neutering did, they told me it can take about six months before the hormones settle down. And my favorite part of the setter is the tail so I hope it fans well. I watched his unbraid as I call it, and its been fun to see it feather. Maybe it's an american setter thing with the tail, all mine have had long ones with or without neutering.
The heat and humidity here in the DC area has also been fairly awful this year ... a bad year to have a puppy who needs exercise!! I think I am cured of wanting to retire in the low country of South Carolina!! Separately, is RAPESEED oil the same as CANOLA oil here in the States?
Not quite. Canola Oil is from genetically modified Rapeseed grown in Canada. I don't believe the Rape grown here is genetically modified. There is still much debate about it. I buy it cold pressed and organic. I sometimes have a dessert spoonful and it is very mild.

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