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In the last year, Kaizer's been going through some kind of unholy coat change terror combination of more coat (recovering from all his health issues) + spay coat. The result is this really downy undercoat that mats like no one's business. He's got mats in his butt fluff, his chest fur, behind his ears, and on his tail - none of them go down to the skin. I can get a comb in them, but can't brush them out, so I guess my only option is to cut them out.

Anyone have any tips/tricks/anything for dealing with spay coat and preventing mats in a dog that's wet all the time? He gets bathed at least once a week, but swims anywhere from 3-6 days a week (indoor pool + rivers).

And visuals so yall can see the coat change.
This is April 29, 2019.
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This is April 28, 2020.
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Kate
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Trim. And brush daily (like before bedtime).

For trimming -

Remove all the shag on the ears. Clean it all up. Follow the grooming seminar tips on doing that. Thinning shears, mars stripper, straight (for the edge of the ear), and stripping knife.

Stuff on his chest/bib area can be thinned out and really cleaned up. He will feel better if you thin that out and bring it back. If he's in the water as much as you say, that area is probably bacteria heaven with the fur as thick as it is in the picture.

You don't have the tail in the picture, but you can trim the tail (if you grasp the tail, you want 3-4 fingers between the end of the tail and where you cut). To catch some of the long junk that grows on the tails with some of the spayed/neutered dogs, do the tail twist and trim the end. Then shake it out and you can trim up a little more.

With the trousers - first work with a seam ripper to break the mats and comb them out. I use a metal comb - because that guarantees you are getting the loose stuff out. It will take time.

Use the mars stripper gratuitously on the bib, chest, shoulders, behind the ears and going down the neck.
 

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Puddles
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I have a pin brush that gets out all the debris. Sips has a ton of coat that is like a magnet to anything in the outdoors! I brush daily and use a double row rake every day. She gets a bath every 2 weeks and the dryer blows out lots of the loose hair I've missed. (K9II) I also found if I use a cream rinse after the bath it really tames down the spay coat. I'm frugal I use Mane & Tail Conditioner from Tractor Supply :)
I'm so happy to see him feeling better... that was a very long struggle for your whole family!
 

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My old girl who has a coat much like Puddles' Sip's coat and mats so easily due to her spayed condition I find a comb and Isle of Dogs Detangler works for at least a week without having to re-comb it daily unless I just want to. I think total drying is a big piece of it, and completely combing that mass of hair through to the skin. If you can get a comb in it, just be patient because it takes forever to work a mat out. Also you can try turning the comb the other direction so you are not running the comb through lengthwise but basically only the end, with a couple of teeth going through. If you have to cut, try cutting straight in to the mat, and working it out from there, so that you really only cut for access.
 

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Puddles
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In the last year, Kaizer's been going through some kind of unholy coat change terror combination of more coat (recovering from all his health issues) + spay coat. The result is this really downy undercoat that mats like no one's business. He's got mats in his butt fluff, his chest fur, behind his ears, and on his tail - none of them go down to the skin. I can get a comb in them, but can't brush them out, so I guess my only option is to cut them out.

Anyone have any tips/tricks/anything for dealing with spay coat and preventing mats in a dog that's wet all the time? He gets bathed at least once a week, but swims anywhere from 3-6 days a week (indoor pool + rivers).

And visuals so yall can see the coat change.
This is April 29, 2019.
View attachment 873170

This is April 28, 2020.
View attachment 873171
This is Sips in her summer coat :cool:
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Sips 2020.jpg
 

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I re-read what I posted- wasn't sure my scissoring comment was clear- if you feel you have to cut, cut into the mat, not cut it out. Once you have an opening into it, usually you can work the mat out.
 

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Kate
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I would totally trim that up.
I re-read what I posted- wasn't sure my scissoring comment was clear- if you feel you have to cut, cut into the mat, not cut it out. Once you have an opening into it, usually you can work the mat out.
That's why I mentioned a seam ripper.

When dealing with the mat machine which was my sister's neutered collie, seam ripper was the most valuable tool - right next to having a rake (no blades on it) to get loose undercoat out of his pretty huge coat.
 

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Puddles
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I would totally trim that up.


That's why I mentioned a seam ripper.

When dealing with the mat machine which was my sister's neutered collie, seam ripper was the most valuable tool - right next to having a rake (no blades on it) to get loose undercoat out of his pretty huge coat.
seam ripper, how clever! I seldom get mats but much like Prism's comb the rake is a double row and usually just combs out anything. Honestly the only mats are created when I blow dry. I need to get some of that spray stuff, it smells really great! Bath and grooming tomorrow :-(
 

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Kate
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seam ripper, how clever! I seldom get mats but much like Prism's comb the rake is a double row and usually just combs out anything. Honestly the only mats are created when I blow dry. I need to get some of that spray stuff, it smells really great! Bath and grooming tomorrow :-(
How are you drying? Ages ago I saw a video on drying and they said on the long hair (feathers, bib, trousers, etc), to always blow straight down while using a pin brush. Then the bodycoat it's blowing upwards to get moisture close to the skin out and then blowing straight the other way. No swirling/twirling motions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I sat down tonight and gave him a good groom, we were a couple months overdue for that! I cleaned up his ears, brushed out most of his mats, and started to clean up his paws.

Megora - he only swims in a fairly clean river (or a maintained indoor pool), so I'm not terribly concerned about bacteria. Plus, I have to rinse him off every time he is outside for an extended period of time, so I usually hose him down to the skin. His skin is healthy on his chest, it's his stomach/thighs that's a problem. I'm not sure how to thin out his bib area? Just take the thinning shears to it? It never occurred to me that I should, it doesn't seem thick or long to me! Thankfully, I've never had a problem with his coat holding onto things (water or burrs or the like), it's just the matting that's becoming a problem. He dries quickly and I can still brush things out of his coat easily. He's got a little rat tail too, so not much maintenance to do there.

Puddles - thank you! I'm glad he's feeling better too, the difference in just a year is like night and day (I am still not sure what changed!). Unfortunately, this is a really bad season for him, so his skin infections are back in full force. He was perfect between November and February though. Kaizer has feelings about force dryers and I never think to work on it until the day I give him his bath. We're making slow progress, but it'll be much easier to blow loose coat out instead of meticulously brushing it out. Sips' coat is so thick!! She looks very soft.

Prism - your comment re the scissoring made sense! I usually do that because it kinda sucks to have to cut out his tangles. I've never tried using the comb horizontally though, I'll have to try that! I ended up cutting out the tangles behind his ear because it was just bad. The ear cleaner I use from the vet is kind of oily, so it leaves his ear fur really greasy (which is part of the reason it mats in the first place). I didn't want to put him through untangling that. I did brush out his bib area mats and most of the mats on his rear. I'll check out the Isle of Dogs detangler!
 

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Kate
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Megora - he only swims in a fairly clean river (or a maintained indoor pool), so I'm not terribly concerned about bacteria. Plus, I have to rinse him off every time he is outside for an extended period of time, so I usually hose him down to the skin. His skin is healthy on his chest, it's his stomach/thighs that's a problem. I'm not sure how to thin out his bib area? Just take the thinning shears to it? It never occurred to me that I should, it doesn't seem thick or long to me! Thankfully, I've never had a problem with his coat holding onto things (water or burrs or the like), it's just the matting that's becoming a problem. He dries quickly and I can still brush things out of his coat easily. He's got a little rat tail too, so not much maintenance to do there.
Bacteria growth happens when you have a really thickly coated area which is frequently damp.

Your picture here, it was difficult to tell where the coat was thick. Belly area looks sparsely coated to me. Fur on the neck and ears looks thick. And I was just guessing what you have with the tail. Butt's not visible in the pic either.

You said you are having problems with matting. I can see some matts in the ear right there in the pic.

Ears, neck, ruff - I'd use a stripper to thin it out.
Matts on the ears or neck or butt feathers, one cut with the thinning shears and then gently work the matt out with comb.
You can use thinning shears on the belly and even some of the butt feathers.
Would prefer using a seam ripper if you don't want to cut too much off or have cut marks.

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Discussion Starter #13
Bacteria growth happens when you have a really thickly coated area which is frequently damp.

Your picture here, it was difficult to tell where the coat was thick. Belly area looks sparsely coated to me. Fur on the neck and ears looks thick. And I was just guessing what you have with the tail. Butt's not visible in the pic either.
Most of the pictures I have of him from the side aren't great, but I'll see what I have. His ear fur is thick for sure, he always looks dumb after I thin them out so I don't groom his ears as often as I should. They don't actually look tooo bad this time, although there's still some fur I could take off if I was so inclined. It is a little choppy though.

His chest fur has gotten a little thicker in the last couple of months, and it's kind of downy which is why I'm having matting problems I think. I have been brushing him every night this week and he woke up with a tiny mat in the thinner fur heading towards his belly. He has never had a mat or a tangle there before.

The problem I'm having recently is that the places he's matting is where his coat texture has changed and become downy (for lack of a better word). His ear fur does have a tendency to mat, so I'm not surprised if I find one there. I suppose there's nothing to do about the texture change except brush more frequently and thin it out?

He's damp in this pic. His inner thighs do not have that much fur on them.
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Dry in this pic, but terrible lighting. Both of these pictures were taken within 3 weeks of the pic in my OP.
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