Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reader's e-mail update - Does a Labrador Retriever need a Haircut

Received an update from Cherie who had originally e-mailed me in regards to her black Labrador Retriever named Jake. Cherie wanted to know if Jake ever needed a haircut.

To read the original e-mail, click: Does a Labrador Retriever need a Haircut.

Cherie's Update on Jake:

Hi Fay,

I am so excited to be a part of your Labrador Retriever "Club!" What a wealth of great information and nice people!!!

I'm grooming Jake as you instructed, as he looks quite handsome! Actually, people have stopped us a few times to comment on his coat! He looks like a black stallion. I just need a saddle for him!
Talk to you soon. I plan to go to the site tonight.


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Monday, August 27, 2007

Salmonella found in recalled pet food

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Black Lab terrified of everything - part II

This is part two of a two part reader's e-mail question. To read part one click: Black Lab terrified of everything - part I

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Tamara,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

I am so sorry to hear about the problems with Ida B. I love the name choice for her. If you ever get another dog to go with Ida B, I have a name... Rufus. **

If definitely sounds as though poor Ida has been abused and might not have been socialized enough. Being that you took her to the veterinarian already, and she has a clean bill of health, you next move will be to take baby steps now to get her to overcome her fear. You are going to have to desensitize her, which can be hard work and a long drawn out procedure. With what has happened to her already, she may never overcome some or all of her fears, but she can be helped with positive socialization.

Begin by inviting over a friend or relative, one at a time to meet Ida B. Let Ida B initiate contact with this person. Have the person you invite over crouch down and feed her a cookie or other treat. Just make sure Ida has a safe place she can go to if she feels overwhelmed. You can use a command such as "go see" "go greet" (whatever command you would like) while the person is there. If Ida is fearful and will not come, try lining up some treats along the ground up to the person's feet to lure her. Once again, she can approach and leave as she likes. When she does approach the individual you can use a command such as "good greet" or whatever words you use. Eventually Ida B should approach and feel comfortable with taking the treat from the person's hand.

Never, never, never drag Ida B towards the person, as you will make her fears worse! Plus you might make her feel as though she has to bite the person as the only way to escape.

Invite different people over as you proceed with the training and then a couple people at a time. This is helping to get her accustomed to meeting other people, as she will when outside.

For a fear of noises (thunder storms, the lawnmower, fireworks, the vacuum). What you want to do here is expose Ida B to what is causing the anxiety while pairing it with a positive thing or action. I am going to use the vacuum in this situation, because I went through it with my chocolate Labrador. For things like thunder, fireworks, try to get a recording of these sounds, a search online will help you find them.

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I started by placing the vacuum in the furthest room possible from the room where my Lab was, so that the noise was very distant. While with her in the room, I would play with her with a ball and toys, talk with her in a normal voice, no baby voice, and would also give her treats. Once she was relaxed with this, I would move the vacuum to a closer room, and would repeat. I continued this until the vacuum was in the room with her and she had no problem being around it when it was running and moving.

The same procedure can be applied with other noises as you will use the tape recorded sounds in the room with her. Start with Ida in the room with the tape recorder on very low (where it can barely be heard). Again, play with her, talk to her (normal voice) and give treats. Very gradually, over the weeks you will slowly increase the volume to help her get associated with the loud noises. Start out slowly at first.

For dealing with fears of objects (newspaper, brush, bowls, etc), start by placing the object in the room where she eats. Place it as far away in that room as possible. Gradually over the weeks, slowly move the object closer to her bowl and then eventually next to her bowl. If at any time she refuses to eat, move the object back to the last location it was at and continue from there. After she is comfortable eating next to the object, you can then practice placing it next to you and calling her over to you. Make sure you reward her when she does approach.

Some things to remember:

Never drag Ida B towards a person or object, you will make matters worse.

Your body language and attitude are important. If your body language were to reflect that you are nervous or scared of a certain situation, then it is quite possible that Ida B will sense this and feel the same way. Always act calm and happy around her and she will be less anxious and scared. Of course, you can't act happy if she is doing something bad, but I don't think I needed to tell you that.

Never hug, talk sweetly, or baby her if she is experiencing fear. If you do, Ida will think you're praising her and it will reinforce the fearful behavior.

Start slowly with these methods, and reward for good behavior. Never try to rush her through the procedure as doing so can set her back. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE!!

Traveling in car:

1 . Get yourself a bunch of treats that Ida B loves, and walk her around the car leaving all doors open, and engine off. Let her explore the car, sniff around, stick her head inside. If this goes well, give her plenty of praise and treats. Do not treat if he shows anxiety, just continue to circle the car until she relaxes, then praise and treats.

2. After a few days of circling and exploring your car, hopefully she is relaxed with the presence of your parked vehicle.What your next step will be is to try to lure her into the vehicle. Once again leave all the doors open, the engine off andhave a good supply of treats.

While she may actually get into the vehicle, the better possibility is you might have to coax her in. Never, ever force her into the vehicle.

Some things that may help:

Lure her into the vehicle using her favorite treats.

Have someone she is comfortable with sit in vehicle and call her by name.

Try throwing a favorite toy of hers in to see if she will retrieve.

Sit in the car and just wait until she's ready to enter on her own.

When she does eventually get in the car, make sure you leave all of the doors open, so she can exit if she wants. While she is in the car, let her explore. Make sure you offer praise and treats every time she enters the vehicle.

You also want to make sure you ignore any anxiety from her. You are not going to try to reassure her, not baby her. Doing so may only reinforce her fears.

3. After she is feeling comfortable in the vehicle, your next step will be to close the car doors. Make sure you leave the windows of the vehicle open, and the engine is still off. You can talk to her through the window, pet her through the window. Only leave her in the vehicle for a few minutes at a time. If she remains calm, make sure you reward with praise and treats. If she shows any signs of anxiety, ignore her.

When she is calm you can then join her in the vehicle, just leave the engine off.

4. If all is going well up to this point (no problems outside or inside the vehicle), your ready for the next step. Get into the vehicle with Ida B and start the car. Don't move the vehicle; just sit in it with her. Again, plenty of praise and treats as she remains calm. This might take some time as the strange noises and the vibrations from the vehicle might cause some anxiety.

5. We are ready to go. When Ida B is relaxed and behaving inside your vehicle with the engine running, you ready to drive. Take her for a SHORT drive around your block. Make sure you reward her with praise and treats if she stays relaxed, and ignore her anxiety. When you've returned home, reward her for again.

Repeat the above steps as many times as necessary. Eventually, she should learn that the car is not such a terrible place to be.

OK Tamara, this is a start. Believe me I can write forever, but let's start with what I have outlined above. If you don't understand something, or have new questions, Do Not hesitate to e-mail me. In a few weeks (if you have no other questions before then), contact me and let me know how it's going. We will proceed from there. Talk to you soon.

Take care of yourself and Ida B,


Reader's Response - Tamara Writes:

Oh my goodness you are amazing! Thank you so much! I had no idea about the ignoring the fear. I am so glad you said that! I have been trying to coax her with soft voices and encouraging words while she is scared....

As for meeting people, she is doing so well! She will come up to people if they give her time. She LOVES LOVES LOVES people. Once she gets near them, she will let them pet her...very cautiously. I willcontinue to follow your instructions...

Here is my only concern with the informaiton you have given me...I can't get her to come out of the gate of the backyard very well...walking is strange once she is out, she circles the person who has her on a leash. Literally circles them constantly.

As for the car, if I HAVE to take her somewhere, do I force her?

Thank you! SO MUCH!

All About Labrador Blog Response:

Hi Tamara,

You are soooo welcome!! That's great that she approaching people, keep introducing her to new individuals. It will be a slow process, as she is doing now. Just don't push her, she will come around on her own.

As for the car, is it important place that she has to go? I would practice the training I sent for the car to get her accustomed to it. What I didn't ask you was if you use a crate with her. If you do, you can try transporting her in the crate when in the car. If she has to go to say the vet, than she has to go. How is she when left alone at home? If she is fine, then you would be better off letting her stay behind until she gets use to the car. If you are going to take her in the car, you might want to try tiring her out (playing, running around yard, etc) to see if that helps. Definitely practice her car training though.

When you say you can't get her out of the gate, what do you mean? She just doesn't want to walk out, or is it something else.

As for the circling you on the leash goes, some people actually train their dogs to circle as a trick. What is important here is does she do this all the time, or just when she is on the leash. If she just does it when on her leash, it could just be a nervous condition. If she does this all the time, it could be a medical condition.

Talk to you soon,


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Thursday, August 23, 2007

All About Labradors - new freebie find

Good evening to all the readers of All About Labradors. Hope all is well with you guys and your Labrador Retrievers.

Still getting caught up on all the e-mail questions everyone has sent in. Thank you for your patience, I will get to your question. We are looking to bringing in another person to help answer all of your questions to help me out.

Found a freebie for all of you that use the Greenies products. This ones for a free sample of Greenies SmartBiscuit™

Quote from Greenies website: "Introducing SmartBiscuit™, the 100% nutritionally complete and balanced treat, that combines unique breath-freshening ingredients dogs love in a biscuit containing real Greenies Chips™. The combination provides pet owners the perfect opportunity to reward and cuddle with their favorite pet…more often!"

To request your free sample of the Greenies SmartBiscuit™ click: Greenies

Take care of yourselves and your Labrador Retrievers!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Select Dog Food Recalls

Hello all. Just wanted to give a heads up to everyone in regards to a couple of dog foods that have been recalled over salmonella .

The first one is Select Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food, 50 lb bags. The affected stores are located in Reedsville, PA and Richlandtown, PA.

" FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- August 21, 2007 -- Mars Petcare US, Inc. today announces a voluntary recall of select 50 lb bags of Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food sold in two stores in Pennsylvania. Only three bags of product were actually sold, with only one bag still unaccounted for. The pet food is being recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination, in people, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems."

Read more on the Red Flannel recall at the US Food and Drug Administration website:

The second recall is for Select Krasdale Gravy Dry Dog Food 5lb Bags which have been voluntarily recalled in five states.

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- August 21, 2007 -- Mars Petcare US, Inc. today announces a voluntary recall of select five pound bags of Krasdale Gravy dry dog food sold in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The pet food is being recalled because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, which can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination, in people, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems."

Read more on the Krasdale Gravy dry dog food recall visit:

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Black Lab terrified of everything - part I

This is part one of a two part readers e-mail question.

Reader's E-mail - Tamara Writes:

Our family just recently added a beautiful, wonderful 2 year old black lab to our family. She is TERRIFIED of anything and everyone. She has had her tail CHOPPED off...she has pellets from a pellet gun in her body and she is just very scared. Any advice would be GREAT!! Thank you... oh, she is not mean, not bitey, nothing like that. Does not mind children at all, in fact LOVES them.


All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Tamara,

Thank you for writing. Just wanted to let you know I received your e-mail and will answer you shortly. I receive many e-mails and with a full house it takes me a little time to answer all of them.

A few questions for you to answer for me:

Where did you get your Lab from? (shelter, rescue, etc)

Is she trained?

Don't know if I want to ask, but here goes, How did these terrible things happen to her?

Is she spayed?

How is her health?

Anything else you can tell me about her.

What is her name :)

Let me know the answers to these questions Tamara and I will talk with you soon.

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Reader's E-mail - Tamara 's Response:

We got our Lab from a friend, she wandered on her property and our friend already has 3 other dogs and could not add this one.

She can sit and lay down. Possibly stay and possibly come...too scared to really know for sure.

I have NO IDEA how the things that happened to her happened, nor do I know what has happened. I do know she has a tail that is shorter than it should be and it was not taken by a professional... she cannot stand to be touched in her hind quarters and she will bolt at any given chance. Terrified of riding in a car, nails dug into my leg... NO BITING AT ALL!! NOT EVEN A NIBBLE.

She is not spayed YET... but will be by us.

She is HEALTHY. We took her to the vet and all checked out. She had a few ticks, tapeworms... all handled.

Her name is Ida B (a REALLY GOOD BOOK).

She is precious. So sweet and loving. So So SO SO sweet. Loves my kids already. Loves me a little already. So gentle. Just wonderful. Just so scared. I am so sad for her.

Thank you, thank you!!

To read part two of this readers e-mail question click: Black Lab terrified of everything - part II

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Lab has had ear problems all his life part II

This is part two of a two part readers e-mail question. To read part one visit: My Lab has had ear problems all his life part I

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Leanna,

The information given here is to help you learn more about your Labrador Retriever and not to replace your veterinarian's advice. Disclaimer

Thanks for being patient with the reply and thanks for the response to my questions.

Ear infections can be caused by a number of different things, especially in dogs like our Labrador Retrievers with their long, pendulous ears. Because the ear folds over, it covers our Labrador ear canal and prevents air from entering and drying. This results in a warm/moist ear canal that's just the perfect for organisms to grow in.

Possibilities include ear mites, a build up of wax in the ears, allergies, ears that are not dried after your Labrador Retriever has been swimming or bathing, and growths in the ear canal, which can all lead to the ear infections.

Because of Tank's reoccurring ear infections, it sounds as though he might have some sort of allergy. When dogs have allergies, they are more likely to scratch, chew and lick in an attempt to suppress the itching sensation. They will chew and lick paws until they're red or raw, scratch at their ears frantically and will put their faces on the carpet or furniture and rub endlessly.

Inhalant allergies are most common in dogs. Just like you and I, your Labrador can develop allergies to something it inhales, tree pollens, weeds, grass pollens, with many of these being seasonal. There is also a possibility to allergens such as house dust, molds, mildew, which can be around all the time. These dogs tend to have itchy feet, itchy face etc which can reoccur after treatment unless the allergy is well controlled. Sneezing and coughing may be present

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Food allergy - allergies to something eaten (ex: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, vegetable products), can occur at any age (more usually in dogs under one year of age) and may mimic the signs of an inhalant allergy. These animals tend to have recurrent ear and skin infections unless the allergy is identified and the allergy is addressed. A special diet "hypoallergenic diet" - a changing of his food to something he hasn't eaten before, which is fed for a set period of time (usually it takes at least 12 weeks on the new food) can be done to help to determine if this is the cause. Food allergies can be complicated to recognize and to treat.

Here is a very helpful website when it comes to food allergies: Food Allergies

Weather changes can also play a major part with Tank's ears. The hot, humid weather of South Carolina can create a favorable environment for infection in Tank's ears.

The best preventive measure against ear infections is performing regular ear inspections. Your eyes and your nose can help detect a problem. Your Labrador retriever ears should have a clean, light pinkish color and should have no foul smell to them. Puss like substance discharges, waxy discharges and foul smell to ears are signs of a problem in your Labs ears.

As far as a successful regimen of treatment, cleaning of your Labrador ears regularly is your best bet. Once weekly cleaning will remove excess wax and dry out the ears, helping to prevent infection. Frequency can be more in the warmer months and always after swimming or bathing. As always, NEVER put a cleanser or medications in an ear that may have an open ear drum without the consultation of your veterinarian.

For the cleaning of the ears, your vet can recommend a good cleanser, or you can try mixing white vinegar with water 1:1 or 1:2 (water being 2) ration. The vinegar is acidic and helps destroy bacteria and yeast. It is not a good idea to use this method if the ears are ulcerated, as it will sting.

One of the best products I've used with success in my Labrador ears is called a blue power wash (actually I have seen it called many other things, as it has been on the Internet for ages). Wish I knew who invented it, for I would like to thank them.

"Blue Power Ear Treatment"
16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol (Witch Hazel)
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well. You will also need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder. An eye dropper can be used to fill the ear.

TREATMENT: Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Wait until inflammation has subsided which will be about 2 days.

Shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle), massage gently for approximately a minute, and then wipe with a cloth or tissue. Flood again a second time, and wipe again without massaging in. The dog will shake out the excess. Be advised, the Gentian Violet does stain.

The SCHEDULE of treatment is as follows:
Treat 2 xs per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears
Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog)

All of these ingredients should be available at your local pharmacy. I like to use witch hazel instead of alcohol, as if any scratches are in the ear, the alcohol can cause burning. The Boric Acid Powder soothes the ear and the Gentian Violet Solution is an ant-infection agent. The solution appears to work well on many ear problems. I also like to warm my solution slightly, under warm water, but you can use it either way. There is also a commercial version of this solution called Gentian Ear Treatment.

As far as a commercial cleaner goes, I've had many people use and recommend DermaPet Malacetic Otic Ear Cleanser and Malacetic Otic Ear/Skin Cleanser.

If your dog displays discomfort or resist having the ears cleaned, stop immediately and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have the ears flushed.

As far as some treatments for Tank's paw:

A nice cool bath can be helpful, since the water will assist in relieving the itching. You can add a little colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno) to the bathwater, which will help soothe the foot or your veterinarian can prescribe an antiseptic shampoo. Make sure you rinse Tank's foot thoroughly after the bath, since any remaining soap that remains can make the itching worse.

You can just soak his foot for five minutes, four times a day, in cool water. Add a sprinkle of Epsom salts to the water as it will also help soothe the foot. A compress applied the paw for approximately five minutes will accomplish the same.

Colloidal Oatmeal Shampoos and cream rinses - these products pull inflammatory toxins out of the skin, along with colloidal oatmeal sprays and lotions, which can be purchased at your local pet stores.

Witch hazel has a cooling effect on the skin which will be soothing for his paw.

Aloe Vera gel (my personal favorite) - if possible, obtain 100% aloe vera gel from a health food store, not the mixture, as the mixture is not as effective as the pure aloe. The pure aloe gel from the aloe plant contains enzymes which will help with the inflammation, and help in the healing process. The think I like is that the pure aloe vera gel is not harmful for pets who want to lick it off.

Fatty acid supplementation (omega 6 and omega 3) may play a beneficial role in the treatment of this yeast infection on the skin and ears in dogs and can also be helpful with allergies.

As for the athlete’s foot medicine, I would personally advise against it.

Here are two sites for hypoallergenic dog foods; if you want to try changing the food you feed Tank:

Remember you have to be strict with the new food test, NO table scrapes, and no treats. I had to laugh about the hot dog buns, as my Dakota has found an occasional bag of buns herself. You might also want to invest in a new garbage can, one Tank can't get into.

Remember, keeping the ears clean is a great preventive measure against infections, but what has to be done is finding out what the cause is. If allergies are the cause, allergy testing is also available by your veterinarian to determine if and what the pet is allergic to.

I hope this can be of some help to you and Tank. If you don't understand anything, please let me know. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to ask. Please keep me up to date on Tank's condition with any treatments and / or vet visits.

Take care of yourself, and Tank.


Readers E-mail - Leanna's Response:

You are so wonderful to respond and in such detail....thank you so much for taking the time to write me. I do love my Tank and want him to be well.....I will definitely keep using the purple stuff in his ears...and yes I already know it stains....I have pink (yuck) carpet in my bedroom and I got a few drops on it....oh well....just an excuse to get new...ha!

I will try your remedies for his feet....bless his precious heart.....I thank you and Tank thanks you and I will send you a picture....

He looks to me as though he could have some blood hound in him or something...he has droopy eyes and very sad countenance....maybe when you see him you'll be able to advise.

Again, Fay, thank you so much....I feel as though I've found a friend....

Have a wonderful day.....Leanna

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Lab has had ear problems all his life part I

Readers E-mail - Leanna (USA) Writes

This is part one of a two part reader's e-mail question.

My Lab has had ear problems all his life. He has had surgery on both of them.

He scratched them until he developed big blood clots under the skin...Poor thing....

He has a yeast infection in his ears and on his feet all the time.

He lived with my daughter for three years and she took him to the vet for these conditions....She, and I do this as well...clean his ears with some sort of solution that has alcohol in's seems to bring some relief but it's an on-going condition....

Question: do you know of anything that might get rid of this and can I use regular old medication for atheletes feet on his paws?

I really would appreciate any advice you could give me as the poor thing, though very docile, is constantly shaking his head and licking his feet.


All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Below is my reply to Leanna's initial e-mail question, and in red lettering you will read her answers.

Hi Leanna,

Thank you for writing and I'm sorry to hear about your Labrador Retrievers problem.

In order for me to try to be of some help to you, I will need some further information.

How old is he?

He is four

How old when he started getting these infections?

Since he was a puppy

What was the vets diagnosis and treatment (beside surgery)?

No real diagnosis....just that some Labs have trouble with their ears and he was one of them...He gave me something to use, but when I would put it in his ears...he would nearly go must have really I stopped it.

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What kind of dog food does he eat? Please tell me name brand and flavor (chicken and rice, beef, etc)

He eats Wal*Mart's version of kibbles and bits...the chicken.

Do you feed him anything else besides the dog food (treats, table scrapes, etc.). Be specific with name and flavor of treats.

Yes, we do feed him table scraps....not a lot...and in the last week he has eaten three packs of hotdog buns....Not because we let him....He has a way of sniffing out this stuff....and just getting it.....Day before yesterday....he got in the bread he got it open I'll never know....He also knows how to put his paw on the trash can lever and open it. Smart dog.

Is the purple solution called, Gentian Ear Treatment? Is it called Blue or Purple Power Ear Solution as seen on the All About Labradors blog:

If its not can you find out what it was called and the ingredients.

Actually, my daughter has had him for three years and just gave him back to us...because she had two other big dogs....she's the one who has been treating him with the purple stuff.... I'll see what I can find out...

Anything else you can tell me about this condition.

Nothing else

What is his name :)

His name is Tank. He is not a full blooded Lab....He weighs about 85 pounds and has a huge head and paws....he has the most precious disposition.....

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to All About Labradors and/or Labrador Retriever Pictures blog.

I haven't got any recent pictures...just puppy ones....I'll take some and send you one.....

Please get back to me with the answers to these questions at your earliest convenience.

Thank you so very much for responding ....I am desperate to find a solution for him....Right now his ears seem to be ok....He hasn't been shaking his head as much.....

I don't know if this is significant or not: My daughter lived in South Carolina where the weather, as you know, is hot and humid. We live in West Virginia and I was wondering if the change in climate might help his condition. It's cooler and we have fewer months of real heat than they do down there....I didn't know if the heat and humidity would complicate his condition.....

Also, did I tell you initially that between the pads on his feet....his feet are so red and he licks them of his feet even looks swollen. I thought maybe some medicine for athletes feet might help....except I was worried it might make him sick if he licked his feet after I had applied it.....Poor baby, he is a train wreck...but he is a silent and sweet sufferer...

Thanks again for your help...Leanna

Talk to you soon,


To read part two of this reader's e-mail click: My Lab has had ear problems all his life part II.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Free Labrador Retriever Barktones for you cellphone

Thanks to everyone in helping to find some freebies for the readers of this blog.

This one is a cute freebie ringtone for your cellphone. By joining Eukanuba you can download a free Labrador Retriever Barktone.

They do offer ringtones for other dogs also.

Visit the Eukanuba website to sign up!

Happy barking!

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nutro Natural Choice - coupon for a free 4 pound sample

Received this from my sister and thought I would pass it along to anyone who would be interested.

Sea Ray is running a sweepstakes called The Sea Ray® Summer Never Ends Doggie Life Jacket Sweepstakes for a chance to win (guess what) a Doggie Life Jackets compliments of Nutro® Natural Choice®.

Their registration form also states "By including your full address below, residents of the United States and Canada will receive a free 4-pound coupon sample of Nutro Natural Choice super premium pet food."

You get an entry to win a Doggie Life Jacket, and a free 4 pound coupon for Nutro® Natural Choice® premium pet food.

Click here to visit the Sea Ray website.

Happy days for you and your Labrador Retriever

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Labrador sheds lots of hair

Reader E-mail - Uzi Writes:

Hi Fay,

I have adopted a dog that was abandoned during the last war with the Hizbula in Lebanon - she is apparently 3 years old - she is healthy - sprite - and has a very good appetite. She is it seems a Labrador mixed with (????) My problem is that she shears lots of hair - brushing does not seem to help - and i have to vacuum the carpets every day - is this normal - and if not do u have any suggestions? - many thanks


All About Labradors Answer:

Hi Uzi,

Thank you for writing and visiting the All About Labradors blog. I have a couple of questions I need you to answer in order for me to try to be of assistance to you.

First off, are you writing from Lebanon, or one of the surrounding areas ( Israel or Syria)? I have never received an e-mail from that far and I'm surprised that my blog is being read that far away.

When you say lots of hair, how much do you mean? Is it that she is getting bald patches or thinning.

Have you been bathing her, and if so, what do you use?

What do you use to brush her (soft bristle brush, dog comb, etc)?

How is her coat (full and shiny, dry, scaly, greasy, dull, etc)?

Does her coat have any smell to it (rancid, oily odor)?

Any excessive itching, scratching, biting?

Any other health problems with her?

What is her name :)

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retriever, that you could email me, I would love to post them to All About Labradors and/or Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. Always remember, you will still receive an answer to your questions, even if you don't send a photo.

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Uzi, please get back to me with the answers to these questions at your earliest convenience. To make it easier for you, you can copy and paste the questions in your e-mail, and then put your answers next to the questions.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Readers E-mail - Uzi's Response:

Hi Fay,

Many thanks for the speedy reply.

I live in Israel - I happened to arrive at your blog via google - now for the doggy answers :

The dog is a young female mongrel apparently 1/2 Labrador - and she is about 3 years old. She was fairly well cared for by the shelter which cared for her prior to our adopting her.

I bathed her once only; I brush her with a two sided brush - one side soft hairs and the other a sort of metal wire hook brush; her coat seems to be normal.

She does not have excessive doggy odour and does not spend too much time scratching and biting.

Her name is Tika -meaning (as per my son who likes to visit India ) good. Anyway, I really have to vacuum the carpets in the lounge daily - as they are covered with her hair. By the way - I had a chow-alsatian mix dog for 15 years - and most vets were rather surprised that he lived that long. I am not a dog expert -but try to look after an animal in my care. Many thanks,


All About Labrador Blog Answer:

Hi Uzi,

Thanks for the response to my questions and for the great photo of Tika. She is beautiful.

The reason I asked the questions is to make sure that there are no other problems with Tika that can be causing excessive hair loss. Based on your answers, it sounds as though she is fine and just like all our other Labrador Retrievers.... shedding machines.

Believe me when I tell you Uzi, I myself have burned out a vacuum or two in keeping up with the shedding hairs. This is one of the top questions I receive. Unfortunately with the Labrador Retriever, this is something you are just going to have to deal with. There is no cure.

Our Labrador Retrievers shed year round and then twice a year they "Blow Coat", with hair coming out in CLUMPS.

As far as brushing your Labrador goes, I like to brush/groom mine about twice a week to help keep them clean. Successful tools are a slicker brush or shedding blade. I talk to many fellow Labrador owners who love and recommend a product called the Zoom Groom (it's a rubber brush with flexible rubber "fingers" that help to collect loose), made by Kong. I also like to use a regular bristle brush after the shedding blade.

I'm also experimenting with a tool called the Furminator which I've been using for a few weeks and like. I will post my thoughts on this tool in a few weeks on the blog. I wouldn't use it every time I brush though.

Other things that can be helpful:

Make sure your dog is on a good quality food and not a cheaper over-the-counter brand.

Supplementation with essential fatty acids.

I've never tried either of these two products but once again others tell me it helps with their Labs. Nutricoat Skin & Coat Supplement and SynergyLab Shed-X.

As for the bathing, I rarely bath my Labrador Retrievers, because I don't believe they need it. If you brush them two - three times a week, it will keep them clean. The only time I will bath them is if they absolutely need it and that may be if they rolled around in something or they smell horrible. Sometimes, it not even a full bath, it might just be a spot bath.

I hope this is of some help to you Uzi. Sorry there is no miracle cure for the shedding. If you need further instructions on this or have any further questions in regards to Tika, please don't hesitate to ask me.

Take care of yourself and Tika

Reader's Email - Uzi's Response:

Hi fay!

Many thanks for your answer - so we are going to learn how to live in our smallish flat with Labrador hairs decorating most of the lounge - and our vacuum cleaner (a kirby !) will be working overtime - fighting a losing - lost battle.

I do my best to give her quality food - no sweet stuff at all - i will start to brush her coat more often - and also look around for the rubber finger brush you recommended.

So - thanks again for your advice. Keep well - and i hope that many Labradors get better looking after as a result of your blog.


To have a look at this adorable Labrador Retriever click: Tika 8/10/07

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Coupon - Save $8 0ff Iams Healthy Naturals

A quick post here for any of you that use, or are thinking about using, Iams Healthy Naturals dog food. You can get yourself a coupon for $8 off.

The only thing with this is that it doesn't state what size bag the coupon is for. If it's for the 7 lb bag, then depending where you live, it will cost you just about nothing.

Even if it's for the larger bag, you still save eight dollars, which you can always use to buy your Labrador Retriever a new slicker brush, collar, leash...

The coupon is limited to one per household and only valid in the U.S.

To request your coupon for $8 off Iams Healthy Naturals click Start Sampling

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Problem with a Labrador Retriever seller

Received this e-mail from Seller of a Lab (USA) asking about a Labrador Retriever sellers responsibilities.

Reader's E-mail - Seller of a Lab writes:

What is a seller responsible for if an owner claims the dog has hip dysphasia and is over weight by 10 lbs plus, and only 10 months old.

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Seller of a Lab,

Thanks for writing and visiting All About Labradors blog.

There are various different things that sellers are responsible for. I see you had an attachment with this e-mail, but whatever it is, I can not read it. Was it a copy of a guarantee? Did you offer a guarantee?

Usually a seller with have some sort of guarantee that lists what is covered. Some will replace the Labrador Retriever, some will pay the veterinarian fees to treat the Labrador and then return to the owner, and some will pay a potion of the vet fees. Usually this is with a written statement from a licensed veterinarian stating what disease the Labrador Retriever has. There are all different terms and conditions to guarantees.

There are states with pet lemon laws, with your state being one of them:

Here is a link to your states office of the Attorney General in regards to a Pet Purchaser Rights (this should be helpful to you).

I believe that a breeder who actually cares about Labrador Retrievers they breed, will take back a puppy for any health reason. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many. Making a profit takes precedence with some, and doing what is best for the Labrador Retriever will not matter.

Hope this helps some, and when you get a chance, please let me know what was in your attachment.

Take care of yourself,


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