Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chocolate Labrador Retriever with nose problem - part II

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

To read part one of this e-mail visit: Chocolate Labrador Retreiver with nose problem - part I

Reader's E-mail - Bob Writes:

Hi Fay,

Thank you for the response, this is quite unexpected, i never thought anyone would actually answer and i thank you very much for that.

As you know Lexie has this nose problem i wrote to you about before. I will try to answer your questions as detailed as i can so there is no confusion at all.

Has the vet done any testing on Lexie? No our vet seems to think its not a big deal health wise and figures we shouldn't really worry about it, but naturally we think it is a big deal and we don't want our poor Lexie to have what must be such an uncomfortable and irritating condition, (even though she doesn't seem to notice it.)

What kind of foods did we try and what is she eating now? Right now Lexie is eating Timberwolf food if your not familiar with it, it is actually suppose to be some of the best dry dog food on the market ( but i may be wrong ). We also give her trippett canned food also probably 1 cup of trippett and 2 cups of Timberwolf a day. Also we have just recently started giving her fish oil pills with both of her daily meals. 1 pill per meal, and we feed her twice a day.

What else do we feed Lexie ? Well we don't ever feed Lexie table food and for treats we feed her Old Mother Hubbards dog treats. We sometimes give her carrots (heard that was good for them ) and we also sometimes give her compressed bones to chew on.

Is Lexie an inside dog ? Yes she lives in the house and never really spends more than 30 minutes outside unless we are with her.

How long has the discharge been going on ? Well we seem to remember it starting about the one year old mark, may have been sooner but I'm pretty sure it was around the one year mark.

She never lost the pigment in her nose ? No she hasn't actually, even when pieces of skin fall off her nose they are still Brown colored (chocolate Labrador).

What kind of bowls does she eat and drink from ? She drinks and eats from stainless steel bowls, i just read that stainless steel is the best thing for them and its just lucky that we have always given her food and water in stainless steel dishes.

Any discharge from the eyes, sneezing, coughing, itching, diarrhea, constipation (be specific with anything)? She has what seems to be the normal amount of eye crutts (i guess you can call them) but other than that she has never had a cough and she seems to sneeze normally. We do find that when she is on her back she tends to sneeze a little more than usual but this doesn't happen very often. Lexie does have allergies to most of the Yearly vaccinations. She reacts to the Rabies shot the lepto shot and annual shot which im not exactly sure what it has in it. Her allergy reactions are quite severe and we have had to bring her to the emergency dog clinic on two separate occasions. She swells a lot and we fear she may stop breathing. So now before we go to get shots we were told by the Vet to give her 3 benedril pills before she gets the shots now, to reduce the reaction.

Any redness or inflammation to nose? No not at all, she seems to have what looks to be a healthy nose except for the skin falling off and the raw skin where she licks a lot on the nose.

Any other medical problems now or in the past (problem with paws, mouth, etc)? Nothing except the allergies i mentioned before. There are two things i would like to add that might help you also.

We have talked to Lexie's Breeder and she has never seem this in any of her litters. The lady we bought the dog off of is a private breeder and is very involved with the puppies she has sold. When we asked her about it she told us that she has never heard any feed back from other owners about a nose issue and when we saw the dogs mother and father and grandmother none of the dogs had any type of nose issue.

Continue Reading...

Another thing is the fact that since our dog has such bad allergies we kind of thought that maybe Lexie was allergic to the two cats we have. I don't know if this is possible but we thought we would include this in here so you have all the information. We tried to separate the cats and the dog when we went on a trip to visit family , the dog came with us and the cats stayed home and during that week we didn't see any noticeable change in the dogs nose, so either it isn't the cats, or we just didn't separate them long enough.

Well here is all the info i could possible think of, i hope it helps and hopefully for Lexie's sake you might have the solution to her problems. If not we do appreciate the help and we would like to thank you for trying. Hope this helps.


All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Bob,

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 the response to my questions, Once again my apologies for the delays as I am far behind with all the questions I am receiving. Thanks for being so patient!

This is a tough one for me to answer as I don't see Lexie's nose and can only go on what you tell me. Even though it doesn't seem to bother Lexie and the veterinarian believes its not a big deal health wise (many dogs do have dry, scaly noses with no other problems), you might want to seek a second opinion. Remember, I am not a veterinarian and would never second guess any veterinarians diagnosis. Another veterinarian might recommend doing a skin biopsy, blood work, etc.

Some things you can use for the scaly nose:

Vaseline (which you are using) will help to keep the nose moisturized.

Oxyfresh's Pet Gel (contains Aloe Vera) and can be found at oxyfresh.com

Bag balm.com - been around for ever, also helps sooth and relieve dry, chapped skin conditions.

Aloe Vera - the natural 100 percent pure kind (found in health food stores), not the Aloe Vera mixtures.

Make sure the products are rubbed into the nose thoroughly.

As for Lexie's discharge from the nose, being that it's clear and watery, it is usually caused by colds or allergies. I'm sure we can rule out the cold being that you state this has been going on for a year.

Being that this runny nose has continued this long, a food allergy can be very possible, for it (runny nose) has been year round. Food allergies can be complicated to recognize and to treat, with testing being done with a special hypoallergenic diet.

This diet consist of a changing of the food to something Lexie hasn't eaten before, which is fed for a set period of time (usually it takes at least twelve weeks on the new food), to determine if this is the problem.

You have told me that you have changed foods, three different times and it hasn't worked. You have to remember to give it some time, not just a few weeks. The foods you mention are decent foods.

Another important thing to remember during a food trail is the specific food you choose, should be the only thing Lexie should be feed during the trial. No medications (unless absolutely necessary), no treats, nothing else. Just one food and that's it. I can recommend some other foods if you would like to try the food trial again.

Food allergies may occur with other allergies, such as atopy (inhalant allergy).

Inhalant allergies - allergy to something your dog inhales, such as pollens, grasses, dust mites, house dust, molds. Inhalant allergies usually involve a mild to intense scratching over the body.

Some things you might want to do around your home:

Keep Lexie out of rooms several hours when you vacuum.

Wash Lexie's bedding in very hot water

Try to avoid stuffed toys and letting her sleep on stuffed furniture

Keep Lexie out of carpeted rooms

Use dehumidifiers

Keep Lexie out of basement (if you have one)

Other allergy testing can be done by your veterinarian, such as blood tests or intradermal skin testing. The better allergy test is intradermal skin testing, which is usually done by a veterinary dermatologist. You may want to visit a veterinary dermatologist (you can ask for a referral from your vet) if he/she is not one themselves. Veterinary dermatologist are specialists that tend to see chronic and odd cases, and often recognize unusual syndromes a general practitioner may miss.

The fish oil you are using is very good for Lexie and I would continue giving it to her. Also, the stainless steel bowls are the best as some Labrador Retrievers do develop a contact allergy from the use of plastic bowls.

I hope this helps some Bob. Please keep me informed on Lexie's condition and anything else the veterinarian tells you, should you bring her in for more testing.

Take care of yourself and Lexie,


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