Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Labrador Retriever Pictures Blog

I have decided to create another blog just for pictures of Labrador Retrievers ( labradorretrieverpictures.blogspot.com ). I have many pictures of Labradors sent in from the readers of this blog (thank you for sharing, they are all beautiful).

What I am going to be doing is to post the pictures on the new blog, while keeping All About Labradors as more of the information blog for your e-mail questions, news, training, articles and so forth. Just like it is now.

The new blog will be strictly pictures of our lovable breed. Pictures of Labrador Retrievers in action shots, playful photos, holiday pictures, or just your Lab sitting their looking cute. Whatever kind of photos you would like to see posted. You can also add captions under your pictures (Example: This is Fido catching a frisbee, my lab swimming, etc). For pictures that have already been submitted, I will write something for them.

The name of this new blog is Labrador Retriever Pictures (I know, very original). Keep the pictures coming in, along with all your questions and nice comments and now you can enjoy both blogs.


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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Flab on your Lab

Surfing the web, I came across a blog post ( Miracle Diet Drug ... For The Obese Canine ) on a new FDA approved weight loss drug for dogs called Slentrol. Slentrol is the first prescription diet pill designed for your pudgy dog.

What does this new miracle drug do?

In a nutshell, it works to suppress your dog's appetite and reduce fat absorption.

Wow, this is great. Think about it, no more walking our Labrador Retriever, no more taking to the park for runs, no exercise at all. You all know how our Labradors hating doing these things anyway.

We will just give them a little of this magic potion, let them feed all they want, and sit down on the couch with them at our feet. No worries about out lovable breed becoming overweight, not a care in the world.

What about side effects?

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Well, no big concern here as they say this drug ONLY causes loose stools, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and an overwhelming feeling of being tired.

Enough already!

Why has your Labrador Retriever has become so fat in the first place? Besides a medical problem causing this obesity, there shouldn't be any other another reason.

What I really think we should be treating is the owner, not the dog itself.

When was the last time you saw your Labrador walk over to the cabinet or refrigerator, take out a box of treats and proceed to eat the whole thing. Your Labrador eats what you feed him and when you feed him.

Your Labrador doesn't open the front dog and go for a walk or run, doesn't head down to the gym for a workout.

Simply put, we have to be smarter with our feedings and maintain a proper exercise program. According to Slentrol's label, this drug must be accompanied by "a complete and balanced diet and exercise program".

Well, if we had a complete and balanced diet and exercise program, we shouldn't need this drug (exception being with medical conditions).

Be smarter, not lazier, and there will be no need for this weight loss drug for your Labrador.


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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A free Dog's Life magazine subscription.

January has been a good month in finding free items for your Labrador Retriever. I hope all of you are signing up for the them.

With the price of everything so high nowadays, it's always nice to get something for free. I'll continue keeping my eyes open for other free dog samples for you. If anyone knows of any free samples for our Labradors, please e-mail them to me or post in comments.

Purina Beneful brand dog food is offering a free subsciption to their Dog' Life magazine. I've read the free issue they have on their website (you can also) and thought they did a great job with the information they provided.

To tell you the truth, I thought it would be a magazine full of "Purina products". Of course they are going to have some advertising but they did have some very informative articles as well as listing toys for your pooch and readers comments on their dogs.

To get your free subscription click here

If that link doesn't work copy and paste this link: http://www.beneful.com into your web browser and follow the links to Dog's Life.

Enjoy!


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Labrador Retriever - Hair Falling Out ( part one)

Julee writes:

I am hoping that you may be able to shed light on the following for me………

We have a Yellow Labrador Retriever who is 10 ½ years old. On both of his hind legs, at the top closest to the hip, his fur appears to be falling out in clumps. It sits in patches until we remotely touch/brush it, then it falls out in a huge clump. However, if we gently brush over the site, the hair falls out at a slower pace and doesn’t appear to bother him. When we hold the “clump”, gently I might add, between our fingers and gently pull it away; he appears to be in pain. Is there something that I should be watching for or is it possible that the cold weather and hot/dry heat is causing this?




Answer:

Thanks for writing. Sorry to hear about your Lab's problem.

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The problem could be an allergy of some sort, not quite sure about the pain part. I have a couple of question I need you to answer for me.

1. Does your Lab bite, scratch, lick or chew at the problem areas?

2. What does the skin look like under the area of the hair loss (redness, sores, dry, flaky, darkened skin area). Any smell to the area?

3. How is the rest of his coat, any flaky or dullness? Hair loss in any other area?

4. Anything new that you have been doing to your Lab, ex: different food, shampoo, etc..)

5. Any other problems with him: overweight, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, lethargy?

Please get back to me with the answers to the above question, as it might give me a better understanding of your Labrador Retriever's problem. One last thing Julee - What is your dog's name :)

Part two can be found here: Labrador Retriever - Hair Falling Out ( part two )

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Labrador Retriever - Hair Falling Out ( part two )

This is the second part of an e-mail question from Julee concerning her Labrador Retriever's hair falling out.

Part one of this question can be read here: Labrador Retriever - Hair Falling Out ( part 1 ).

Julee writes:

Thank you SO much for you speedy response – very much appreciated!

Also, thank you for asking what our dog’s name is – that was one major detail I seemed to leave out in my previous email to you. J His name is Champ – I have come to know Champ by being friends with the family and by marrying into the family, the dog has become ours now. Quite a nice scenario – I am very privileged to know Champ! He is the most loving, kissy, responsive dog that you could ever meet.

In response to your questions, please see the following responses:

“Champ” does bite, scratch, lick, and chew at the problem areas.

Unfortunately, Champ will not let us see the area underneath the “clumps” of fur. I have attempted to, while brushing him, gently separate the fur and see the skin – he immediately knows and lets me know that he does not want me going near the areas. (Each area is probably about the size of a twoonie)

The remainder of his coat is beautiful. Soft, silky, shiny, and vibrant. The fur that he does lose elsewhere is what I would say to be “normal”.

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Nothing new including diet, shampoo, etc.

I must confess, there really doesn’t seem to be any other problems at all. He still seems incredibly energetic and healthy, which is a blessing; however, this leaves us stumped as to what is going on.

Thank you for all of your patience, time, and assistance – very, very, very much appreciated!





ANSWER:

Hi Julee, Thanks for responding so quickly to my questions. Your responses to the questions I asked help me to try to eliminate some of the conditions I think could be the problem with Champ.

My first thoughts were “hot spot” which are raw areas that develop when something causes your dog severe itching, scratching and irritation leading him to lick his skin raw. These areas do become moist, hairless and painful for him. This would explain Champ’s reluctance to not letting you see the area.

The problem can also be some sort of allergic reaction.
Signs of dog allergies can vary:

Skin allergies - persistent itching of the skin, skin color change.

Inhalant allergies – sneezing and coughing.

Food Allergies -vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Can also have scratching and itching .

Flea allergy dermatitis – allergic reaction to saliva of fleas.

Weather changes also play a major part with your dog’s skin. With Champ being exposed to different weather conditions, and the hot/dry heat, his skin is vulnerable to all type of infections, being from bacteria, viruses or fungus. The skin gets irritated, causing itching, scratching and biting, which will cause hair falling out on some areas.

There is a product called Sulfodene Skin Medication for Dogs (FDA approved). Sulfodene is formulated to be effective as an aid in the treatment of certain common skin inflammations in dogs. You can find it in most pet supply stores.

To leave any doubts out Julee, I would definitely recommend a visit to your veterinarian. Skin infections are some of the most frequently treated problems by veterinarians. Even if we knew that Champ was suffering from some infection, it’s is not always easy to figure out which type.

I hope this helps you some Julee. Please let me know what you decide to do, and if you go to the vet, let me know what they diagnosed. Maybe we will be able to help others out with similar conditions with their Labradors. Any other question, don’t hesitate to ask!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Black Lab with Incessant Ear Infection

Jim writes:

My daughter has a wonderfully nice male lab (Jackson) who is having a helluva time with ear infections this Fall and now into winter... Seeing an animal in this kind of discomfort is heart breaking so she has enlisted the services of her father to possibly help get to the bottom of the problem.

Infection is in both ears now and with a sedated flush scheduled today. This particular vet is "thinking" it might be mold or allergy related since it's been unusually warm there in Southern CT. He hasn't been in the Sound for three months either which is pretty unusual. He never exhibited these symptoms when living in the SF area either....

I was wondering if anyone out there has seen this kind of persistent problem and /or what the successful regimen of treatment might be for the same.

Thanking you in advance for any and all informational support you might care to lend at your earliest convenience.



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Answer:

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.

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

The best preventive measure against ear infections is performing regular ear inspections. Both 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. Your veterinarian will be able to show you what to look for in potential problems.

As far as a successful regimen of treatment, cleaning of your Labrador ears regularly is your best bet. Frequency of cleaning will vary, especially in the warmer months and always after swimming or bathing. A good ear cleanser can be recommended by your veterinarian. White vinegar mixed 1:3 with water can also be used to rinse the ears.

One of the best products I've used with success for gunk 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).

"Blue Power Ear Treatment"
INGREDIENTS:
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, 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 2x 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.

In your e-mail you state "he never exhibited these symptoms when living in the SF area either", which is leading me to believe this could be some sort of allergy. As a response to the allergy, the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce, causing ear infections. Possibly something new he can be inhaling (atopy), or eating (any new foods, treats).

I hope this has been of some help to you and your daughter. Please keep me advised of your Labradors condition and what your veterinarian has advised, as this is most helpful for other readers of this blog. Please don't hesitate to write with any other questions you may have



UPDATE from Jim:

The long and the short of it here is that the Baytryl (sp) didn't work and Cipro appears to be doing the trick for Jackson. Sarah switched vets and just loves the attentiveness of the new one who calls ever couple of days to check on her star patient.
Evediently the ears were ulcerated, the worst infection this vet had ever seen, but apparently all appears to be under control and headed in the right direction.

I'm chuckling to myself because I can't remember when an MD or a medical office ever checked up on me post procedurally unless it was about a slow paying insurance company or a missed co-pay.....:-)

Thanks again for the recipe and will follow-up to see that it becomes part of the regimen....

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Safe-Guard® Free Canine Dewormer

Safe-Guard is offering a free product sample of their canine dewormer used to protect puppies and dogs from worms. I've never used the product myself, so if anyone has, please give us some info. Thanks.

Click here: Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer

They also have four articles to learn about different worms that can infect your dog.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Labrador Retriever Freebie

Here is a Freebie that PetSmart offers:

Free day pass to their Doggie Day Camp. You can take your loveable Labrador Retriever over to one of their facilities and they can spend the day playing with their staff and other dogs.

Free Doggie Day Camp Pass


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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

My 12 week old Labrador Retriever bites the family

Janet Writes:

Please could you give me some helpful tips on stopping my 12 week old labrador - Dexter- from biting me and my family when he is playing. Thanks, Janet


Hi Janet,

Thank you for writing. Your in luck. I already have an article listed on the All About Labradors blog that should help with your problem.

http://allaboutlabradors.blogspot.com/2006/04/labrador-retriever-training-your-puppy.html

If this link doesn't work for you, go to the main site, in right hand side under categories, click training and you will find the article Labrador Retriever - Training your puppy to stop biting and nipping.

Apply some of the methods listed in this article. Be consistent with your training and you should be on your way to solving your problem.


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