Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yellow Labrador with Intense Itching - part I

Subject: Yellow Lab with Intense Itching

From: Jamie (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Allee

Reader's E-mail - Jamie Writes:

Hello, I need itching help.

My poor yellow lab Allee itches like a freak no matter what we do for her. Her ears, jaw line, pee pee area and her paws are the worst. She licks and licks between her pads, she won't even stop if we are yelling at her or saying "treats".

We have taken her to an allergy specialist paid $600 to test her paws and jaw line. They found nothing, and wanted another $600 for full on allergy testing which would have led to allergy shots which we weren't into.

We have tried Benedryl per the allergy specialist. We have switched food more times than I can remember. We have been on Wellness Fish & Potato, Natural Balance Fish & Potato, and now I think we are on California Naturals F & P. They all claim to be the most allergy friendly.

Poor Allee continues to itch and scratch. Our chocolate lab Frankie, sometimes has started licking her paws also, but nothing like Allee. Recently we have been hearing adds for Dinovite on XM Radio and were just wondering if anyone had heard of it or tried it? http://www.dinovite.com/products.html

Any help would be great, I know if my ear itches for a second it is annoying so I can't imagine how poor Allee feel all the time.

Thanks,
Jamie

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hello Jamie,

I'm sorry to hear about Allee's problems. I'm not sure if you want me to just answer the question about Dinovite, or if you want further help trying to aid Allee.

Continue Reading...



As for the Dinovite, yes I have heard of their products and although I have never personally had to use them, I have talked to many Labrador Retriever owners, and other dog owners who had great success with their products. I have also read many good reviews about their products.

As for her problems, if you want me to try to help, I need you to answer a few question.

How long has Allee's had these problems?

Does this happen year round or just a seasonal occurrence?

She is licking all her paws?

As for the food changes, how long did you keep her on the food before switching to another?

Did you feed her anything else while trying the new foods?

Does Allee eat anything else besides dog food (be specific: list treats - brand and flavor, and anything else you might feed her, like table scrapes)?

Any kind of bad smell to the paws? If there is, what does it smell like?

Are paws red, swollen, or crusty/flaky?

Is Allee on Heartworm medication?

Any smell to her ears?

Any smell (musty metallic type of smell) in the anal area?

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 the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. You DO NOT have to send a photo to receive an answer to your question.

Jamie, if want further help, just get back to me with the answers to these questions, and we will continue from there.

Talk to you soon,
Fay

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

Thank you so much for getting back to me! Things have been crazy around here, our daughter turned two this past week and we have the in-laws here. I also need my husbands help in remembering some of the info for the questions you asked. I am going to answer the questions down below next to each one. Thank you soooo much for your help.

Enclosed are pix of the girls! I love to share Lab pix! When I get Just Labs Magazine every other month, it is the best because of all the subscriber pix. Allee was in the Halloween one a few years ago.

Here are the answers to the questions:

How long has Allee's had these problems? - Several years. At least three if not more.

Does this happen year round or just a seasonal occurrence? - Pretty much year round.

She is licking all her paws? - Mostly the front two, occasionally she will pick at the back ones. She is obsessive about the front two, she turns them over and goes at it! We tell her to stop and she keeps going, then we start yelling at her, and then we eventually have to pull her head away and flip her paw back up. She also does this with the vaginal area.

As for the food changes, how long did you keep her on the food before switching to another? - Some of the foods were a year or more, others were less than a year but several months if not close to a year. The only reason we changed the time before this from Natural Balance F & P to California Naturals F & P is because she threw up one night and decided she would never eat it again. Which is crazy for her because she is so food obsessed she doesn't care what she eats. Per the blogs on Just Labs Magazine and the people on it responding to me we just switched her to Canidae, we chose the Lamb and Rice over the one with everything. It has been less than a week, but things aren't looking good.

Did you feed her anything else while trying the new foods? - We try to keep the treats the same, the only F & P ones we could find were the Wellness ones so they usually just have those. They get an occasional special raw hide too.

Does Allee eat anything else besides dog food (be specific: list treats - brand and flavor, and anything else you might feed her, like table scrapes)? - We don't feed her table scraps but we do have a two year old who spills a lot! Things such as Goldfish, crackers, cereal, etc.

Any kind of bad smell to the paws? If there is, what does it smell like? - Not so much, but they do smell like dirty dog breath. I just asked my mother-n-law to smell and her description was a little yeasty. But we have had them cultured for yeast etc, twice and both times they were negative.

Are paws red, swollen, or crusty/flaky? - Very red between the pads.

Is Allee on Heartworm medication? - Yes, Interceptor.

Any smell to her ears? - She currently has yet another bad ear infection. We ran out of Otomax (which we live on) and the vet wouldn't renew it on Saturday, so we took her in and they gave us a new medicine, Gentocin/Clotrimazole. It is thinner and he said it would go deeper into the ear canal which she needed.

Any smell (musty metallic type of smell) in the anal area? - No. She just licks her vaginal area and scoots on it, she scoots like when they need their anals drained but it is to rub the front area. Sometimes she will let out a big yelp and jump down there and start licking madly. Very sad. When she was younger, around 1-2 she had major leaking problems, the vets were all clueless they even tried to tell me her back was sore so she leaked. We ended up finding a fertility specialist that did a full (internal) vaginal pap smear, etc. She had bad infections and even had to get douched. She was on Pronin for a while and eventually got passed it. She had to be seen by the specialist for about 6-12 months. One thing I think was a problem is that they apparently left staples in her tummy when they fixed her. I could just kill them, the fertility specialist says there was no reason for that other than laziness.

Poor Allee. With all of her problems she has an amazing disposition. Very secure, nothing scares her, doesn't get nervous going to the vet, etc. Frankie on the other hand rarely has anything wrong with her and she is afraid of going to the vet, flips out to get her nails cut, etc. Funny how they can be so different, but they sure love each other and I can't imagine life without them. When we had a baby everyone said things would change, but they haven't. The girls are still just as much #1's, they just don't get as many walks as they used to. :-

Again, thank you so much for taking your time out to help us!
Jamie, Allee & Frankie.

To read the second part of this e-mail, visit: Yellow Labrador with Intense Itching - part II

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