Friday, September 28, 2007

UPDATE - Yellow Labrador Retriever with Cushing's Disease

Here are some of the different updates I have received from Patricia in regards to Haley, her yellow Labrador Retriever with Cushings Disease.

I have to give a big hello and thank you to Patricia for keeping me updated along the way with the beautiful Haley.

These are some of the e-mails sent back and forth between myself and Patricia that I am posting, for they may be of help to other readers that may be dealing with the same condition with their Labrador Retriever.

To read the original email, visit Yellow Labrador Retriever with Cushing's Disease

Reader's E-mail - Patricia Writes:

Hi Fay,

Thank you for asking about Haley. Well, last check up was 1 month ago. My Vet raised her Lysodren to 2 pills 3 times a week. She still wasn't suppressed. I tried a natural remedy called Phosphatidyl Serine in addition to the Lysodren. Unfortunately, it resulted in terrible diarrhea and hemorrhoids. I take her in for another Stim test this Friday. Hopefully she will be suppressed. If not, I am going to find someone who specializes in Cushing's Disease in Atlanta and take her there.

She is in great spirits and seems to be the same old Haley; playing ball and swimming every chance she gets!

Thanks again for checking in. I will let you know what happens!

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hi Patricia,

How did the Stim test go with Haley. Sorry it took me a while to respond in regards to finding a specialist but I had little luck finding one, and everyone I wrote to could not give me a good recommendation for Atlanta.

I did manage to find one:

Georgia Veterinary Specialists
455 Abernathy Road Atlanta
404-459-0903

http://gvsvet.com/index.asp

You will need a referral from your primary care veterinarian prior to calling to schedule an appointment with any of our specialists.

Sorry I couldn't be more help with this.

Fay

Reader's E-mail Patricia Writes:

Hi Fay,

Update on Haley. I decided after our last Stim test and she still wasn't suppressed to get a second opinion. So, I took her to the University of Georgia Small Animal Teaching Hospital. They are wonderful there! They kept over night and did a complete and thorough analysis. It included bloodwork, cultures of blood, urine and stool and a Liver Aspirate and liver Biopsy.

Results that came back are consistent with Cushing's but the Vet is not convinced it is yet. Haley could possibly have an infection that is masking itself as Cushing's. I have to take her back next week. We have been off all Lysodren for almost a month. When we go in, the Vet wants to do another Stim test to see if she is still suppressed. If she is, then she likely has an infection and we will test some more. If she isn't suppressed, she has a newer drug she wants to use. She has had much success with it. It blocks the message being sent to the adrenals to produce Cortisol. The drug is not approved in the US yet, but Haley can still get it through a pharmacy here.

Thanks for thinking of me. I will write back as soon as I hear anything.

Patricia

All About Labardors Blog Response:

Hello Patricia,

How are you? How is Haley doing since she's been off the Lysodren? I hope she is well!

I'm very happy to hear you have found a nice veterinarian (teaching facility) to bring Haley to. You must e-mail me the address and the phone number to the University of Georgia Small Animal Teaching Hospital. It will be of great help for future readers.

I don't remember reading anything on a new drug for Cushing's. Did you happen to catch the name? Possible trilostane (Vetoryl in England). Please let me know on the drug also.

Thank you sooooooooo much for keeping me updated, I appreciate it and I'm glad to hear that Haley is getting proper treatment.

Keep me updated and make sure to take care of yourself and Haley.

Fay

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Reader's E-mail - Patricia Writes:

Hi Fay!

Great to hear from you. Haley is such a different dog off of the Lysodren. She is very happy. She really seems asymptomatic for Cushing's Disease. We will see what the doctor says next week. Yes, it is trilostane. Have you heard much about it? Here is a website link to the Teaching hospital where I take Haley.

http://www.vet.uga.edu/hospital/smallanimal/generalinfo.php

You do need a referral from your primary Vet, but it is worth it, they are very thorough and very much animal lovers. Haley had to stay overnight for a liver biopsy. When they went to feed her she was so nervous, they actually had a Vet Student in training stay in the run with her and feed her by hand. Then, the next day after her biopsy, she cried when they put her back in the run. So the same student let Haley sleep at her feet while she caught up on hours of paperwork. They care so much about the animals. When I picked her up, everyone we passed in the hall knew her by name and gave her a kiss goodbye. It was amazing.

Thanks for thinking of me. Let me know what you think of the Trilostane.

Patricia

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hi Patricia,

Thank you for sending the information on the teaching hospital and your praise in regards to them. It sounds like a very special, caring facility and I'm happy to hear Haley is getting the proper care she needs. Your information on the hospital will be very useful for all the other readers of All About Labradors blog!

I remember reading some positive reviews about the use of Trilostane as opposed to Lysodren in one of the many dog newsletters I receive, but can't seem to remember which one. I think the aging process is starting to take my memory away :)

You have probably done your research on this drug, but I am listing some further sites for you to review on Trilostane.

New Treatment Options in Canine Cushing's Syndrome

New Therapy Option

Current Treatment Options of Canine Hyperadrenocorticism

Trilostane Therapy Of Canine Hyperadrenocorticism

Vetoryl Brochure

As always keep me updated with Haley's condition and treatment. Take good care of yourself and Ms. Haley.

Fay

The wonderful Haley (along with Chloe) can be seen by clicking: Chloe and Haley 9/28/07

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Do Labradors eat everything all of their lives

Reader's E-mail - Louise (Canada) Writes:

Do labs eat everything all of their lives or is this just a "puppy" faze ? I have attached a picture of Cleopatra, she is 4 ½ months old.

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Louise,

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

Thank you for writing and for visiting All About Labradors blog. I also want to thank you for the absolutely adorable picture of Cleopatra, she's beautiful!

Some Labrador Retrievers will eat just about anything, which can lead to big problems. Eating something to large can cause your Labrador to choke and can also cause an obstructed bowel movement, just to name a few of the potential problems.

I have had other owners of Labrador Retrievers write me to say that their Labradors eat rocks, dirt, sticks, and just about anything else they can manage to get in their mouths. My two Labrador Retrievers (2 and 3) will still occasionally eat something that they are not suppose to and then will proceed to throw the object up latter.

I know it is hard to watch Cleopatra 24-7 but you do need to take some steps to help prevent her from getting the opportunity to eat anything she wants. This is especially true with puppies as they will pick up everything and attempt to eat it.

First off Louise, you need to puppy proof your home. Clear off tables, pick items off the floor, anything that Cleopatra can get her paws, or should I say mouth on.

I also recommend a crate (if you don't have one already) for anytime that Cleopatra is left alone in your home. They are great training aids and will help her feel safe and relaxed. Let me know if you need more information in regards to crates and getting Cleopatra to use one.

Plenty of chew toys will help keep her attention. I love and always recommend the Kong toys and Nylabones. The Kong toys you can stuff food in and will provide plenty of mental as well as physical exercise for Cleopatra. Make sure you keep a close eye on any chew toy and discard if anything is coming apart. Rawhide treats can cause problems as they do have a tendency to swell after it is swallowed.

Eventually, Cleopatra should grow out of this but as I said, every now and then my girls will decide to eat something they definitely shouldn't be eating.

I hope this is of some help to you. If you have other questions in regards to this on any other matter, please don't hesitate to e-mail me.

My apologies for the delay and I hope you continue to visit and enjoy the blogs. Let me know if you would like me to e-mail you when I post the picture of Cleopatra.

Take care of yourself and Cleopatra,

Fay

A photo of Cleopatra can be seen by clicking: Cleopatra 9/23/07

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Snausages Paw Prints Samples

Here's a heads up for you before the promotion starts.

Quote from Snausages.com: "Receive FREE limited edition Snausages® Paw Prints™ the only chewy dog snacks with actual Guinness World Records™ printed directly on them!"

The Snausages Paw Prints™ Promotion begins on September 22nd, 2007 - 09:00:00 AM (CT). This promotion is only available to the first 50,000 so you better act fast.

http://www.snausages.com/

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Frosty Paws / Nature's Select Freebies

Have a couple of new freebies you can request for your Labrador Retriever.

The first one is for a product called Frosty Paws® Frozen Treats. If you join their birthday club, you will receive valuable coupons for Frosty Paws® Frozen Treats on your Labrador(s) birthday.

"More about Frosty Paws® Frozen Treats for Dogs:

Fortified with protein, vitamins and minerals that dogs need
No added sugar, artificial flavors or colors"

http://www.frostypawstreats.com/frostypaws/default.aspx?tabid=43

The second offer is for a free sample of Nature's Select premium natural dog food. A quote from their website states " Dog food for total wellness is our passion at Nature’s Select. Our Mission is to provide premium natural dog food with the freshest and finest domestic ingredients so that you can give your dog the best possible advantage to a long and healthy life."

To learn more about their products and to request a free sample, visit

http://www.naturalpetfooddelivery.com/free-dogfood-sample.php

As always, if you are going to request free samples, make sure you hurry, as their supplies are usually limited and the offer expires fast.

Also, if anyone has used any of the two listed products, please let the readers of All About Labradors blog know more about them, good or bad.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Black Labrador Retriever Needs Injections

This e-mail question was sent in by Robert (USA). He wrote in regards to his female black Labrador Retriever who has hip problems and needed injections.

Reader's E-mail - Robert Writes:

Hi,

My female black lab is about 11 years old and has long had hip problems, necessitating injections of adequan by her breeder/vet. (Her brother, same age, is large boned and had no such problems.)

I've decided to give her injections MYSELF and save myself hundreds of dollars per year. I am to inject it into a muscle. I plan to give her monthly maintenance doses of 1 cc. and see how she handles it. Her last dose from the vet was 2 ccs.

Any suggestions? In the past, her breeder/vet pinched her shoulder and shot it quickly into somewhere there. Can I inject it into pinched skin, or must I go in farther? (The man who owned the clinic here shot her into the hip last time and, I am sure, hit bone, from the way she yipped.) She never yipped before. She usually shows prompt relief/improvement.

Any suggestions will be appreciated. I will hit her up next Tuesday.

Robert

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Robert,

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 writing, and visiting the All About Labradors blog. My apologies on the delayed response. I receive many e-mails from all my wonderful readers and I like to answer all of them. Sometimes it just takes me a little time. I am also sorry to hear about your Labrador Retriever's hip problems.

Personally, I have never had to inject anything into any of the Labrador Retriever's that I have owned with anything. For something like this, I would definitely recommend you have a professional (vet/breeder) show you how to administer the drug.

I have read some good things about the use of Adequan for advanced osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and cruciate ligament injuries. From what I have read, there seems to be different options on how Adequan can be administered (inter-muscular injections, inter-muscular in the backs of his hind legs, inter-muscular injection in the hips, subcutaneous injections).

I have done some searching and came across I couple of things that might be helpful to you:

http://www.berner.org/pages/medical_treatments/adequan.php

http://www.oes.org/page2/9708~What_is_a_good_technique_for_giving_an_injection.html

http://www.arthritis-cats-dogs.com/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi?file=Forum&report=Subtopic&SubtopicID=00001227&firstrecord=0&finalrecord=14

http://www.arthritis-cats-dogs.com/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi?file=Forum&report=Subtopic&SubtopicID=00000370&firstrecord=0&finalrecord=14

For the last two sites I mentioned, make sure you visit their homepage and explore the site in full, as it has some great information and you might find other help for Labrador Retriever's problem. http://www.arthritis-cats-dogs.com/

Some of these sites listed also offer other alternatives to Adequan that might be helpful (Glycoflex, Conquer k9).

Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you Robert, but investigate the info I have provided and I as I have already stated, I do recommend you have a professional (vet/breeder) show you how to administer the drug, before you do so yourself.

Please keep me informed of how the drug does get injected, and how it is working for your Labrador Retriever, as this will be helpful for the readers of the All About Labradors blog.

Take care of yourself and your Labrador,

Fay

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

Many thanks, Fay.

Not too late. I am going to shoot her tomorrow, with a nurse "advising."

Hmmm, either muscular or skin sound okay. I think she has had it both ways. She is 10 or 11, and has had hip problems all of her life. But Adequan has kept her functional. Also, she was about six-eight pounds overweight, and I've thinned her down some recently. I think she moves better and feel better.

I've seen her mother and she is small boned and has a similar problem, I suspect. Mother bred by a vet, by the way. First to a black male, producing a litter of 10 black pups. A year later to a chocolate male, 10 chocolate pups.

I found that interesting.

Robert

P.S. What a wealth of information you sent. I read it all. Thanks again.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Black Labrador Retriever losing hair around right eye - part II

This is the second part of a two part e-mail question in regards to a black Labrador Retriever named Wrigley who has a problem with hair loss around his right eye.

To read part one of this question, click: Black Labrador Retriever losing hair around right eye - part I

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Kathy,

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, and for the wonderful photo of Wrigley. Also, thank you for being patience in awaiting a reply.

Hair loss in our Labrador Retrievers is sometimes attributed to a condition called Demodectic mange (demodex). This condition is caused by mites which are tiny parasites that are present in low numbers on healthy animals, including people. Most of the time, these mites never cause problems for our Labrador Retrievers, but in certain conditions such as an impaired immune system, high stress and/or malnutrition these mites reproduce rapidly.

Demodectic mange has three forms:

Localized - one or more small, round, red, and sometimes occasionally itchy area of hair loss, often occurring around the eyes, mouth and forelegs.

Generalized - this form often involves large areas of the body.

Demodectic Pododermatitis - basically, demodectic mange is confined to the paws.

The localized form is usually treated with ointments and other topical medications. In some cases, it can resolve on its own. For more severe case and generalized mange, treatments can include medicated cleansing shampoos, dips, sprays, and antibiotics. Ivermectin, a drug that is used for prevention of heartworms, has been used in the treatment of demodectic mange with success, and it is less expensive to use than many of the other treatments you can get.

Here is a short PDF e-book on Demodectic Mange that explains this in full, and much better than I can. http://www.mem610.com/docs/Demodectic%20Mange.pdf

As it is impossible to self-diagnosis mange, the best advice I can offer is to take your dog to your veterinarian.
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Your veterinarian will do a skin scraping where Wrigley’s hair loss is and then examine it under a microscope to determine if mange is the problem.

Another possibility is Ringworm, which is a fungal disease, not a worm. It can look very similar to a number of other skin conditions including allergic conditions and mange. It will appear as a red, rough area of skin with broken hairs and hair loss, and can have little to no itching.

Treatments can include: topical shampoos, anti fungal creams, dips, and oral anti fungal medications.

Allergies can also being playing a part in Wrigley’s condition. 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.

Skin or blood tests, by your veterinarian can help determine the allergens causing problems with Wrigley.

Some other helpful things you can do for Wrigley’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 Wrigley’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 to ten 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.

Another method that you can try is Aloe Vera applied to the paw. Make sure its 100% Aloe Vera (from a health store) not the mixture. This will not hurt Wrigley if he is to lick it off.

Tea Tree oil, which you can obtain in a health food store is an antibacterial and anti fungal agent that can also be used. I have recently found some information on using tea tree oil on our dogs, stating cautions when using it. http://www.teatreeoilhome.com/pets.htm

** Since responding to this e-mail and finding this information, we have stopped recommending the use of tea tree oil **

Supplementation with essential fatty acids can help with all listed conditions above, along with making sure Wrigley is fed a high quality dog food.

I also have some other home remedies that can be tried for the mange or ringworm if Wrigley does have one of these conditions.

Hope this is of some help for you and Wrigley. If you don't understand something or have questions on anything else in regards to Wrigley, don't hesitate to e-mail me. Please keep me informed with Wrigley’s condition and what, if anything the veterinarian tells you. Talk to you soon.

Take care of yourself and Wrigley,

Fay

Reader's E-mail Kathy's Response:

Fay,

Thanks so much for emailing me back. We had decided to take Wrigley to the vet last Wed., as he was having a birthday party for himself over the weekend with a couple of canine guests. I wanted to make sure he was not contagious.

The vet said EVERYTHING you just shared! Wow!! He gave him a shot of something and gave us an antibiotic ($150.00) for 15 capsules. He is taking them well, and some ointment to put around the eye. Overall, he is progressing slowly.

We have washed all his bedding, and vacuumed everything thoroughly. You say the mites are always there and there could have been an immune system problem. Our vet said the same thing, but what causes that? He does eat regularly, and hasn't appeared sick. Is this something that he will have chronically? Is there anything we can do to help prevent it or build his immune system?

I truly appreciate your kindness and time. You are 'bookmarked' with our family!

Thanks again,

Kathy

PS We see the vet again on the 18th. Hopefully no second dose of pills will be necessary. I can't handle the expense!

All About Labradors Blog Response:

I know I wrote another letter thanking Kathy for her kind words and some other information, but I can't seem to find it. I can't believe the high costs of the veterinarian.

To see a photo of Wrigley, click: Wrigley 9/09/07

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Free coupon for the first e-mail

Hello to all. I have four coupons for Pedigree puppy food and treats for anyone that wants them. Coupons are as follows:

$4.00 off on one(1) 4.4 lb. bag or larger of Pedigree Puppy Dry Food for Puppies

$2.00 off on five(5) pouches of Pedigree Little Champions Healthy Start Food for Puppies

$2.00 off on five(5) cans of Pedigree Puppy Canned Food for Puppies

$1.00 off on Pedigree Trainer Treats

These coupons are only valid in the USA (sorry to all my outside the US readers) and all expire on 9/30/07.

If anyone can use these coupons or know of someone who can use them, the first person to e-mail me (just click the "Contact Me" link in top left box of this blog) will get the coupons sent to them postage free.

Update: ** Coupons have been claimed! **

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Black Labrador Retriever losing hair around right eye - part I

Received this e-mail from Kathy (USA), who wrote about her black Labrador Retriever, Wrigley. Poor Wrigley was having a problem with hair loss around his right eye.

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

Reader E-mail - Kathy Writes:

Fay,

I have a one year old male black lab, Wrigley, who, in the last four days has lost the hair around his right eye. It is a very fine ring, with no seepage coming from his eye. He doesn't appear to be bothered by it, but it does look a bit weird.

We do keep in him in his kennel outside during the day while we are at work, and we do live in the desert. This spring has been exceptionally hard on allergies on my daughter and myself, could it be that? His breeder also suggested mites. Is this a trip to the vet or is there some remedy I can do at home?

Thanks,
Kathy

All About Labrador Answer:

Hello Kathy,

Thank you for writing and visiting All About Labradors.

In order for me to try to be of some assistance to Wrigley, I will need you to answer some questions for me.

Has this same problem occurred any time before, and if so, how was it treated the first time?

When you say he is not bothered by it, does that mean there is no itching?

The hair just seems to be falling out?

Does he have any itching anywhere, such as his paws?

Is the hairless area raw and inflamed?

Is the area hairless area dry and/or crusty?

What do you feed him?

What other pets do you have?

What do you use to bath him with?

Any other medical problems with him, now or in the past?

Weird question: do you or any others in your home itch?

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The kennel has an enclosed area or is totally open?

Sorry for all the questions, as there are so many different causes of hair loss ( allergies and mange to name a few) it may help me narrow down some possible problems.

One last thing Kathy, 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. Please note, that a photo is NEVER required to receive an answer, just appreciated.

Please get back to me at your earliest convenience with the answers to these questions. It might make it easier for you to copy and paste the questions in your e-mail, and then just write the answers next to the questions.

Talk to you soon,

Fay

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

I will try to answer as many as possible:

Wrigley eats Purina Pro Plan, chicken and rice dry with some added pedigree wet. Haven't given him any wet in about a week, ran out...don't want to risk buying more.

The breeder bathes him with her special shampoo, haven't done it since Nov. Too cold here.

His foot has been itching between his pads, left front only. Opposite his side with the eye.

We never see him itching his eye on the floor, with his leg or any other object.

There is nothing seeping out, no crustyness, other than sleep in the eye.

His kennel is outside, inclosed with chain link, but directly under blooming mulberry trees, the kind with little wormy things.

Myself and my daughter are having a terrible time with allergies, just went to the doctor yesterday for them.

No others are itching or sneezing.

Breeder has suggested mites or allergies. He does play and eat normally and his stools are normal.

I have attached a pic of him, in all his glory. He's a little sleepy and keeps wincing at the flash. His eye is not swollen. Zoom in on the pic and you might get a better view.

Thanks for taking so much time to help me out.

Have a great day!
Kathy

To read part two of this e-mail, click: Black Labrador Retriever losing hair around right eye - part II

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