Thursday, January 31, 2008

Black Labrador Retriever Mix losing hair in various places - part I

Subject: 3 year old black Lab/Fiest mix losing hair in various places - part I.

From: Dawn (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Girly

Reader's E-mail - Dawn Writes:

Hello,

I have a 3 year old black lab/fiest mix. Lately she has been losing hair in various places. She has lost the hair on her chest and under her "armpits" on the front legs. She did lose the hair above the base of her tail but it has grown back. Her fur doesn't seem to have the luster it did before she started losing her hair. She does lick the area above her tail quite a bit but doesn't really scratch at the spots. She doesn't seem to have lost her appetite or playfullness. She hasn't lost any weight just hair.

Both Girly and I hope you can help us!

Thank you,
Dawn

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Dawn,

Thank you for writing and visiting he All About Labradors blog. Sorry to hear about Girly's problems.

I need some further information from you in order to try to be of assistance to both of you. Please answer the questions below.

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How long has this problem been going on?

Has it ever occurred before?

You stated "She does lick the area above her tail quite a bit but doesn't really scratch at the spots." - She is not itching at any of the spots you mentioned?

Are the areas completely hairless, chewed off or broken off and brittle?

Is the hairless area dry and/or crusty?

Is the hairless area raw and/or inflamed?

Did Girly ever have problems with fleas, now or in past?

Any shapes to the hairless areas (circular, oval, etc)?

Any skin color change to hairless areas?

Any itching to your Labrador Retrievers paws?

What do you feed Girly (be specific - brand, flavor, treats, table scrapes, etc)?

What do you bath Girly with?

Is Girly left alone for a long periods of time?

Is the rest of the coat dry or oily?

Does her coat smell?

Anything else you can tell me that you think may be important.

Sorry for all the questions, but there are some many different reasons for hair loss with our Labrador Retrievers.

One last thing Dawn, 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.

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

Talk to you soon,
Fay

To read part two of this e-mail visit: Black Labrador Retriever Mix losing hair in various places - part II

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Yellow Labrador is Chewing Everything - part II

Subject: 9 month old, yellow Labrador Retriever is chewing everything - part II

From: Carin (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Porter

To read part one of this e-mail visit: My Yellow Labrador is Chewing Everything - part I

Reader's E-mail - Carin Writes:

Hi Fay,

Most of the chewing is done when we are at work. Some during the night. We work full time so we are always gone during the day. The dogs are let out during the middle of the day though. They get to play then too. Family lives next door.

Porter gets alot of exercise. We are always playing fetch or swimming. They love to swim. He also fetches the paper almost every morning along with Murphy.

Porter does not growl ever. He does follow me room to room along with the other one too. They eat out of the same bowl, they chew on the same bone. They play wrestle alot too. He does not have any medical conditions at all.

Thank you for emailing me back. I am going to send a few pictures also. Murphy is the chocolate and Porter is the yellow. They even like to cuddle when they sleep.

Thanks,
Carin

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Carin,

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

I want to thank you for the adorable photos! My favorite is the one with Porter's head leaning on Murphy while they are both sleeping.

Labrador Retrievers will chew on whatever they can get their mouths on for many different number of reasons: boredom, curious, teething, curiosity, or Separation Anxiety.

The number one thing that I can recommend is getting yourself another crate.

Believe me when I tell you that your house and Porter will be much more safer with the him in a crate when you are away. The crate can help make Porter feel safe and relaxed. You don't have to put a blanket in the cage, as he will do fine without it.

Many people believe confining your Labrador Retriever to a room will help, and it might, but how many rooms in your home do you have that you feel would be safe for your Labrador. I'm sure your kitchen has plenty of objects that Porter can chew on, even if you completely dog proof it. The room would have to be completely empty with a hard surface floor and nothing else in it (even then, I know of Labrador Retrievers that have eaten through the walls). The confined room won't give Porter the comfort that a crate would provide him.

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If you don't want to go with the crate or can't for whatever reason, here are some other things I can recommend:

First off, I don't need to tell you that nothing should be left where he can reach it. For bigger items around the house, you may want to try a taste deterrent (Bitter Apple, Chew-Stop, lemon juice mixed with water, etc.) and spray it on larger items like furniture and carpet several times a day.

Leave him plenty of chew toys. I do highly recommend and love the Kong toys (make sure you get the proper size for your Labrador). The stuffed Kong toys can keep him busy (and out of trouble!) for long periods of time by encouraging them to get the food reward inside. They also provide plenty of physical as well as mental exercise for him. You can stuff them with peanut butter or other treats, freeze them overnight, and it will make it that much tougher for Porter to get the treats out, again keeping him busy.

Nylabone also makes very good toys. Many pet stores are full of garbage toys that your Labrador will quickly chew up and choke on or cause intestinal blockages. Rawhide is especially bad because it swells after being swallowed. You want to make sure you always inspect your Labradors toys, when pieces are starting to break off, it's time to discard them.

You can try placing Porter's toys by the objects that he tends to chew on. This way, it may act as a distraction when he does go to chew on whatever it is he's not suppose to chew on.

Labrador Retrievers also need plenty of daily exercise (physical and mental). Long walks (at least a half hour) and runs, plenty of toys and chews, and games of fetch will help to relieve boredom and burn off energy - two factors that contribute to destructive chewing. A tired Labrador is a good Labrador. There is a product called the hyper dog launcher will help to keep your hands clean and dry, and save your arm. Inside you can play games like "find the treat" and" hide and seek" (let me know if you need more info on these or other inside games).

When you do catch your Labrador Retriever chewing on something, give a loud LEAVE IT!" or "DROP IT command and quickly swap it with one of his toys. If he chews on the toy, make sure you praise him.

I mentioned Separation Anxiety above, which is another serious cause behind chewing. Labrador Retrievers that are highly dependent can feel abandoned when their owners are away, which can cause them to chew when alone to relieve anxiety and stress. What I didn't ask was if you notice any chew marks near the kitchen door when you confine Porter in there. Chew marks near doors indicate what called "barrier frustration," your Labrador is trying to break through the barrier to find his way to you.

Labrador Retrievers that chew as a result of separation anxiety will often show other signs of this condition. Following you from room to room, demanding your attention, wildly greeting you when you get home, and continuous barking. If you suspect separation anxiety to be the cause of Porter's problem, here are a few things I recommend you can try to help with the problem:

Don't make leaving your house a big event. No doggie kisses, belly rubbing, telling him to be a good boy, or whatever else you might do before you leave your house. What you want to do is ignore him for 10-30 minutes prior to your leaving and your return. Make sure this is done every time you leave the house, and by all family members present in your home.

A repeat on these two, provide plenty of toys and plenty of exercise.

Make interactions with your Labrador Retriever on your terms, not his. You pet him, play with him when you want, and not when he asks for it.

You also want to practice leaving and return from your home in short intervals. Get up and leave your home for a couple of minutes, then return and go about your business as though you never left. Continue doing this while gradually increasing the amount of time that you stay away for. What you are doing is instilling confidence in your Labrador Retriever that you are going to always return when you leave. Repetition and increases in the time you stay away for are the key.

Here is a good PDF booklet with further info on Separation Anxiety:

http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/dogs/separationanxiety.pdf

Well Carin, I hope this will be of some help to you. As stated I do recommend getting another crate if you can. Please keep me updated on how things are going with Porter, and if you ever have any other questions. please don't hesitate to write.

Take care of yourself and those two beautiful Labrador Retrievers.

Fay

To see some wonderful photos of Porter and Murphy visit: Porter and Murphy 01/27/08

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Friday, January 25, 2008

My Yellow Labrador is Chewing Everything - part I

Subject: 9 month old, yellow Labrador Retriever is chewing everything - part I

From: Carin (USA)

Labrador Retriever Name: Porter

Reader's E-mail - Carin Writes:

Hi Fay,

I have 2 Labrador retrievers. The 13 month , Murphy is chocolate, and the 9 month old, Porter is yellow. Murphy is a loving, kissing, wonderful dog. Porter is a loving ,cuddling, chewer. He has eaten our rugs, towels, recliner, chairs, and even the plastic tray in his crate. I give them all kinds of bones and chewies, but he will still chew in the things that he is not supposed to.

I was keeping them both crated during the day while my husband and I are at work, but we only have 1 crate now. I feel that it would be cruel of me to keep Porter crated and not Murphy. I confine them to the kitchen. This is when he becomes destructive with things. When we did have Porter crated we would but a blanket in there and he would even chew or eat that too.

I don't know what to do. I can never catch him in the act. I did once or twice but that is it. He knows that he has done something wrong when we find out what he has done because he lowers his head and gives you those eyes, and the very end of his tail starts to wag a little. What should I do?

Sincerely, Carin

All About Labradors Answer:

Hello Carin,

Thank you for your e-mail. Two Labrador pups... boy do you have your hands full! I have two myself, chocolate and black, almost a years difference in age..

If you can give me some further information, I will gladly try to be of assistance to you.

Does Porter get plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation?

How many hours per day is Porter left alone?

Is most of this destructive behavior being done when you are at work and when sleeping?

Do you have any problems with Porter growling during play?

When you are home does Porter follow you around from room to room?

Any medical conditions with Porter?

With all the email questions I receive, I always ask a favor of the person writing. If you have any photos of your Labrador Retrievers, 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.

Carin, please get back to me with the answer to these questions at your earliest convenience and we will take it from there.

Awaiting your reply,

Fay

To read part two of this e-mail click: My Yellow Labrador is Chewing Everything - part II

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Boils developing on my Yellow Labrador Retriever

Reader's E-mail From: Prashant (Parts Unknown)

Subject: Boils developing on Yellow Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Name: Maximus

Reader's E-mail - Prashant Writes:

Hi there,

I was just surfing the net to come to some conclusion about my labrador problem.
My labs name is Maximus about 15 months old. The problem i am facing with him is that since he was brought he is getting small boils on his body dats one reason why he keeps biting himself to get relief from dat itching. But recently those boils have increased a lot all over his body. One problem might be dat he has skin but not very sure about it dat it the reason for boils.

Please conclude my problem and give me a proper resolution for it.

Thanks,
Prashant

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Prashant,

Thanks for writing and visiting the All About Labradors blog..

I understand your Labrador is getting boils, but I'm not sure of the second part of your letter. Can you please clarify the " One problem might be dat he has skin but not very sure about it dat it the reason for boils" part of your e-mail. Thanks

Talk to you soon,

Fay

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

Hi Fay,

Thanks for replying to my mail. My lab has got dry skin so dat might be the problem for these boils.Right now he is losing hair tremendously and those patches are visible right now. Also attached is the photo of Maximus.

Waiting for your reply.

Thanks,
Prashant

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

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Hello Prashant,

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 the great photo of Maximus. What a wonderful looking boy he is.

In regards to the boils, dry skin and hair loss in Maximus, I recommend that you should definitely take him to your veterinarian. He is itching to get some relief, and if he continues to itch, he can break them open (which might have occurred already), causing bleeding/pus, and this will only make the infection worse.

When your Labrador Retriever starts getting boils, it is usually a sign of infection. What is important to know when your Labrador does get boils, is to find the cause of them.

Infected hair follicles, demodex, insufficient diet, weaken immune systems, yeast infections, and a build of of toxins can all lead to the formation of boils.

A warm compress applied to the swollen areas. Leave the warm compress on for 5 minutes and then remove. Doing this several times a day can help to soften the area, which can help it to open up and drain. When it does open up, make sure you apply an antibiotic ointment to the area several times throughout the day.

Word of caution: Do not try to "pop" or lance a boil as it could drive the infection deeper into the tissue of the skin.

Bathing Maximus twice a month with an antibacterial shampoo can also be of great help to prevent future infection in him. Your vet can help recommend one for Maximus.

Besides helping to recommend a shampoo for you, your veterinarian will probably do a skin scrapping and biopsy to try to diagnose the condition. Blood tests, minor surgery and antibiotics are also possibilities.

Home Remedy Tip: I have read that juice from raw garlic (crush it and extract the juice) applied to the affected areas can be helpful in healing skin boils and other skin infections. Source: petspourri.com - Garlic Juice for your pets!

Other possible help:

Feed a high quality dog food. If you need help with this, let me know.

Add supplements to help support the immune system - essential fatty acids (3V Capsules, DermCaps), probiotics and antioxidants.

For the dry, itching skin:

A occasional cool bath can be very soothing, especially if you use an oatmeal shampoo (helps relieve dry irritated skin) or add a little colloidal oatmeal (like Aveeno) to the water.

To relieve the discomfort of sores caused by scratching, apply some Aloe Vera several times a day (100 % pure kind).

A Hydrocortisone Shampoo can also be used for the itching (they have Hydrocortisone Shampoo with Aloe Vera Gel in them). After shampooing my sure you rinse very, very well.

Prashant, you didn't send me any information in regards to the hair loss in Maximus and with the many different causes of hair loss (allergies, mange, fleas, Granulomas, Ringworm, and Seborrhea, just to name a few) it is hard to narrow down a possible condition.

If you would like, you can give me some further information on Maximus hair loss (areas of, shapes, discolorations, hair condition, etc), and see what we can find out.

If you do send the info on the hair loss, please also answer these two questions.

Does Maximus have ears infections?

Do you or anyone in your home itch?

Hope this is of help to you and Maximus. If you don't understand anything, please ask.

Take care of yourself and Maximus,

Fay

To see a photo of Maximus, visit: Maximus 01/19/07

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Labrador retriever retains 'Top Dog' title

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tyson Updates

From: Lyn (Australia)

Subject: Updates on chocolate Labrador Retriever who had problems urinating in the house.

Labrador Retriever Name: Tyson

Here are three different updates on Tyson. Lyn has been such a sweetheart and has been keeping me updated along the way. She has even added a new beautiful Labrador (Bindi) to the family!

To read more on Tyson's problem, visit: Male Labrador Retriever urinates in my house - part I

Part II can be read here: Male Labrador Retriever urinates in my house - part II

Reader's E-mail - Lyn Writes:

Update #1

Hi Fay

Just thought I would email you with an update on Tyson, my chocolate Lab.

I read all the information you sent and it was very helpful. I spent a couple of days going over it all and taking it all in.

I decided to buy him an outside bed and see how that went at night, only letting him inside for short periods when we are home, it has been over a week now and each time he has come inside there have been no problems. He now eats and sleeps outside permanently and seems to be responding to my authority much more than he was before. I think I mentioned he did have a biting problem as well when he was excited, I am pleased to tell you that has also eased quite a bit and now instead of being playfully bitten when playing with him, I am getting lots of licks instead. It was a case of putting more time in and reinforcing the "NO" and reinforcing the "kisses" instead of biting. I know kisses might sound strange but it has worked.

He now seems to have realised that good behaviour has rewards and bad behaviour is not so nice when he is put outside and ignored.

He still has moments when he forgets and bites but then immediately starts licking my hands and is much more gentle. I might be speaking too early as it has only been just over a week, but it is so nice to come home and have a pup that is learning the difference between good and bad behaviour.and to have hands that aren't cut from his sharp teeth. We now have walks each day when it isn't raining and a lot of play time burning up some of that energy he has.

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He is the good natured little guy I always knew he was.

Thank you so much for all your advice and I am sure over time there will be something else I need to ask you. I have attached a recent photo of my partner with Tyson.

Lyn

Update #2

Hi Fay

Here are some photos of my 6 month old choc lab Tyson who you helped me with a few months ago and our adopted baby 18 month old lab Bindi who came into our family this week.

Tyson is doing well and so happy he now has a friend to play with during the day. They were both in the same situation with owners at work all day and being left on their own, so our "adoption" of Bindi has worked well for both of them She is so well trained and does everything on command, we are hoping that Tyson will follow suit. If Bindi is told to sit, Tyson will sit etc, fingers crossed.

Lyn

Update #3

Hi Fay

Thanks for your reply.

Tyson is doing very well and since we have had Bindi has grown up a lot. His biting has completely stopped and is now more affectionate and is the beautiful boy I always knew was inside him. He has a funny personality and is a real comic.

Bindi is doing well and has become a part of the family very quickly, she is so very placid and very feminine but if Tyson becomes overwhelming she is not afraid to make him do what she wants him to do.

I will keep in touch and thank you again for your help it was invaluable.

Lyn

To see some wonderful photos of Tyson and Bindi visit: Tyson and Bindi 01/15/08

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Excessive Itching, Licking and Hot Spots - part II

From: Laura (USA)

Subject: Black Labrador Retriever with excessive itching, licking and Hot Spots - part II

Labrador Retriever Name: Deuce

To read part I of this e-mail visit: Excessive Itching, Licking and Hot Spots - part I

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

Please see the answers to your questions below in red. Thank you!

Has Deuce ever been to a veterinarian for the ear infections? Yes, he is on a fairly regular regimen of ear cleaner and ointment to keep them from getting increasingly worse. We also have him on a fatty acid supplement.

What type of ear infections does he get? (bacterial, yeast, etc) I believe it’s yeast

Does he have an ear infection now? Does not appear so, as long as we stay on top of cleaning them twice weekly we usually are able to keep them away.

You stated " the last several months has been excessively itching", where has he been itchy? I understand the paws, but where else? Ears, and some back, but mostly paws

Any head tilting or shaking? If he has buildup in his ears he starts shaking and tilting the head, which lets us know it’s time to clean the ear.

Any odor from the ears? Only if an ear infection goes untreated, which really doesn’t happen anymore.

Any discharge from the ears? The brown yucky stuff we clean out, but I don’t notice it draining out, we just clean it out.

Where are the hot spot located? On his back

What do you fed Deuce? (food brand and flavor, treats, table scrapes, etc) Eukanuba itchy skin formula

Is Deuce an inside dog or outside dog? Both, he stays outside when we are at work and sleeps inside.

Is there a bad smell to the paw? Not at all.

Is the paw red or swollen? No, it just looks like he licks it, hard to explain they just look worn, if that makes sense.

Any sores on the paws? See above

Has he ever had problems with his paws before? No, he just turned 3, April 20th and it’s only been the last few months that it’s really been a problem.

Has there been any new places you have been taking Deuce since he developed the paw problem? (new walking paths, new dog parks, etc) No, he’s always gone pretty much everywhere with us.

You said " the last several months", when did this start? (Jan, Feb) What was the weather like during that time frame in Colorado ? I can’t really remember when, but we had a really wet “snowy” Dec and we’ve had a warm spring.

Any other medical problems with Deuce, now or in the past? Only his ears, they’ve been a problem since he was a puppy.

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

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Hello Laura,

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 replies to my questions and for the wonderful photo of Deuce!

Sounds to me as though Deuce has some sort of allergy, which can cause the ear infections, hot spots and ear infections. I am going to start with Deuce's paws first.

First off I would advised taking Deuce back to your veterinarian if his paws are so bad he doesn't want to go for runs without stopping.

Some common causes of paw licking:

Sore paw - from a thorn, infection, cut pad can cause your Labrador Retriever to lick the paw until it is better.

Boredom

Labrador Retrieves with allergies will itch. This itching can affect the whole body, but certain allergies such as a food allergy or pollen tend to affect Labs paws. To get relief from this horrible itching, your Labrador will lick and/or bite his paws non stop. The paws can become wet, worn, swollen and red, and in really severe cases, painful sore can develop.

There are several different types of allergies that can affect your Labrador Retriever:

Contact allergy - just as the name states, a reaction to an irritant (such as flea collars, materials on his bedding, etc) that will cause itching and skin irritation at the location of contact.

A flea allergy - serve itching due to the flea’s saliva getting into your Labrador Retriever's skin. Your Lab will scratch and chew himself so severely it could lead to open sores, scabs and loss of large amounts of his hair. This itching is usually found in the rear area of your Labrador, mainly around the rear end (near the base of the tail).

Inhalant Allergy - 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. Serve itching, sneezing and coughing may be present.

Food allergies - allergies to something eaten (ex: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, vegetable products). Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, scratching and itching can be present. His dull, dry coat can also be attributed to a food allergy. Food allergies can be complicated to recognize and to treat, with testing being done with a special hypoallergenic diet.

Allergies can't be cured, so what needs to be done, is to try to help Deuce avoid whatever is causing him to itch. Tests by your veterinarian can be performed, with a plan to reduce allergy triggers for Deuce worked on by you and the vet. Your veterinarian can recommend an over-the-counter antihistamines or in serve cases steroids.

You can also keep a log and write down times, areas, etc where Deuce has been before he starts this licking off his paws. It might help to narrow down possible causes of the allergy. Ex: Deuce's paws itch when he comes inside, can be an allergy to pollens, fertilizers, etc.

Here are some other things you can do to help with his itching:

I would definitely wash Deuce's paws after he comes in from outside.

You can soak Deuce's paws 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 paws. A compress applied to the paw for approximately five minutes will accomplish the same.

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 paws or your veterinarian can prescribe an antiseptic shampoo. Make sure you rinse Deuce's foot thoroughly after the bath, since any remaining soap that remains can make the itching worse.

Another method that you can try is Aloe Vera applied to the paw. Make sure its 100% Aloe Vera, like the kind from the plant (you can find in health store) not the mixture. This will also not hurt Deuce if he is to lick it off.

Hot Spots:

Also known as "pyotraumatic dermatitis", these lesions are usually caused by and made worse by licking, scratching and biting. Some causes of hot spots can be mites, skin wounds, fleas, allergies (contact, food, inhalant) and boredom. There is also the possibility that in a warm, humid climate, hot spots can develop when Deuce sheds his undercoat and the hair gets tangled, matted, or trapped against the skin, with moisture getting caught next to the skin, making it an ideal spot for an infection to begin. A good grooming schedule can help with this.

Again I would advise speaking with your veterinarian, as hot spots can be very painful, can spread and cause deeper skin infections.

As with the paws, you can treat the sore, but you have to remove the underlying cause to prevent the recurrences.

For treatment of the Hot Spots:

Shave the area around the sore to prevent spreading of the infection, and let air get to the area to help dry area out.

Clean area with cool water and a mild skin cleanser. You can also use a cool compress a few times a day. A home remedy of a tea bag compress, black or green, can be used to help dry area. The tea can also be used as a wash.

Medications can be prescribed by your veterinarian, and found at local pet stores to help dry up and heal the hot spots.

For the ears:

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 purchased at your local pet store. White vinegar mixed 1:3 with water can also be used to rinse the ears. It can sting if there is any ulceration of the ear canal, and can possibly be dangerous if the eardrum is damaged.

One of the best products I've used with success for gunk in my Labrador's 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, 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 highly recommend the use of the 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.

Another good product for ear cleaning and infections is the Zymox Products - ear cleanser and Zymox Otic (Do not use on punctured eardrums. Do not use on pregnant females).

The last time one of my Labradors had a problem with her ears (which they very seldom do) I used the Blue Power Ear Treatment and added plain natural yogurt to their diets (at the urging of a fellow Lab owner, some research and talking to the vet). The live cultures found in yogurt are called Probiotics, which are tiny organisms that help to maintain and produce good flora (bacteria) of the gut and will decrease chances of illness. No problems with ears since.

You can add it directly to their food or you can put some in a Kong (by now, everyone knows of my great love on the Kong toys), and freeze the whole thing with some treats.

I hope some of this will be of some help to you Laura. If you would like to try another food in regards to a possible food allergy let me know and I can help recommend some to you and help with a hypoallergenic food trail.

If you don't understand anything, please don't hesitate to ask, and if you have any further questions, again please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. Please keep me updated on Deuce's condition.

Take care of yourself and Deuce,
Fay

To see a photo of the adorable Deuce visit: Deuce 01/12/08

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Excessive Itching, Licking and Hot Spots - part I

From: Laura (USA)

Subject: Black Labrador Retriever with excessive itching, licking and Hot Spots - part I

Labrador Retriever Name: Deuce

Reader's E-mail - Laura Writes:

Hello, I have a 3 year old black lab named Deuce. He has always had problems with ear infections, however in the last several months has been excessively itching, has developed 2 hot spots, and is licking his paws non-stop. His paws have become so bad lately that he doesn’t want to go for runs without stopping. Any information you might be able to pass along would be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance for any advice you may have.

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Laura,

Thank you for writing and for visiting the All About Labradors blog. I'm sorry to hear about Deuce's condition.

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

Please provide the answers the following questions, being as specific as possible:

Has Deuce ever been to a veterinarian for the ear infections?

What type of ear infections does he get? (bacterial, yeast, etc)

Does he have an ear infection now?

You stated " the last several months has been excessively itching", where has he been itchy? I understand the paws, but where else?

Any head tilting or shaking?

Any odor from the ears?

Any discharge from the ears?

Where are the hot spot located?

What do you fed Deuce? (food brand and flavor, treats, table scrapes, etc)

Is Deuce an inside dog or outside dog?

Is there a bad smell to the paw?

Is the paw red or swollen?

Any sores on the paws?

Has he ever had problems with his paws before?

Has there been any new places you have been taking Deuce since he developed the paw problem? (new walking paths, new dog parks, etc)

You said " the last several months", when did this start? (Jan, Feb) What was the weather like during that time frame in Colorado?

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

Laura, please get back to me at your earliest convenience with the answers to these questions.

Talk to you soon,
Fay

To Read part two of this e-mail visit: Excessive Itching, Licking and Hot Spots - part II

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Free Bag of Purina One



Purina is offering a free bag of their Purina One dog food when you complete a short survey and register for the Purina One 30-Day Challenge.

It's open to residents of the USA only and good only while supplies last.

For those of you that were thinking of switching dog foods for your Labrador Retriever and would like to request a sample this is what you need to do:

I tried to link to the Purina offer from this blog but for some reason it's not working.

Just copy and paste the below link into a new web browser and you will be taken to the Purina One Offer. You will get a very short video and then land on a page that states "See A Healthy Difference For Yourself!"

http://www.purinaoneresults.com/

You can also read more on the Purina 30-Day Challenge and their foods at the above link.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Is my yellow Labrador Retriever getting enough Playtime?

From: Josephine (New South Wales)

Subject: 7 week old yellow Labrador Retriever not getting enough playtime

Labrador Retriever Name: Ringo

Reader's E-mail - Josephine Writes:

Hi there,

I recently was given a 7 week old Labrador Golden Retriever. I named him Ringo and he is my first dog ever! I don't know much about them, so i have been spending a lot of time reading up and looking up articles on the Internet about how to care for my lab pup. I work full time and i feel like I'm not giving him enough playtime and so i am wondering how much play time should i be giving my 7week old pup? At the moment my schedule is as follow:

6.00 am take Ringo out from the laundry room (where he sleeps overnight) to the backyard to do his business: wee & poo

6.10-6.20am run around/play with him

6.30am feed and say good bye to Ringo (and then i get ready for work) - He is left in my backyard with his chew toys, he has about 5 chew toys and his dog house has a lambswool mat inside to keep him warm.

6.30-6.45pm (i get back from work) run around & play with Ringo

6.45-7.00pm feed

7.00-7.15pm walk around with him so he can do his business

7.15-9.00pm i leave him in the back yard to walk around and run around on his own.

9.00-9.30pm i take him inside the house to spend time with me

9.30pm i take him to the laundry room to sleep.

I'm not sure if my schedule is proper, I'm due to see my vet on Sunday and i will ask more questions. i came across your website so i thought if i could get some help from you then i would really appreciate it.

thank you so much for your time.
Josephine.

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

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Hello Josephine,

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 congratulations on getting your new Labrador Retriever!! Let the adventures begin.

The Labrador Retriever was originally bred for hunting and field work.. They are never, ever short on energy and need plenty of exercise and playtime on a regular basis. They need plenty of time to relieve all their energy to keep them happy and well behaved.

If they are kept confined all the times, be it the house, apartment, or any other small spaces, they will release their energy in those spaces. This will usually end in destructive behavior such as destroying of objects, house soiling, chewing and other unwanted behavior.

You don't need to spend every minute of every day with your Labrador Retriever, but you do need to put in a good amount of time with them on a daily basis.

Labradors love to play and can enjoy getting a great deal of exercise through play and love spending time around its human companions. Interactive play can provide them with mental stimulation as well as much needed physical exercise.

Its great that you have a backyard that provides Ringo the opportunity to run and play. You might want to try to have someone (family member, friend, etc) come by during the day to spend some time with him as he is alone for a good stretch of the day (this can also lead to unwanted behaviors such as digging, destroying property, etc).

Adding interactive games such as fetch, frisbee, and tracking games will provide healthy exercise for Ringo. After he has had his necessary vaccinations (your veterinarian will let you know), nice long walks and runs (outside of the backyard) are advisable. This will also help in socialization process for Ringo.

As for toys for Ringo, I do highly recommend the Kong toys. Not only do these products provide physical exercise for your Labrador, but much needed mental exercise. Some of the best ones, are the ones you can stuff treats into and your Labrador Retriever has to work to get them out. Just make sure you purchase the appropriate size toy for your Labrador.

Everyone's schedule is different Josephine, but I do believe that spending a minimum of two hours of quality time with your Labrador each day is only fair for him (believe me, others will give you different opinions on this). I don't count the time feeding or grooming to be part of this time, just pure quality play and exercise in that time.

Hope this helps. With owning a new Labrador Retriever, I'm sure you will have many other questions to ask. If at any time you should need help, please don't hesitate to e-mail me, even if you have to send a hundred different e-mails.

Once again congrats on getting a new Labrador Retriever.

Take care of yourself and Ringo,
Fay

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Family Dog Saves Teens In Indiana House Fire

Here's a great story of a black Labrador Retriever named Laney, who woke his owner and two friends, leading them to safety when a fire broke out in the teens Portage, Indiana home.



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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Don't feed table scraps to your dog

As you can see, if you read many of the e-mail questions posted to All About Labradors, when it comes to what to feed your Labrador Retriever, I recommend not feeding table scraps to them for different health reasons.

Yes, at times I'm guilty of doing it also, but the most it would be is certain fresh vegetables.

This morning I came across this article "Don't feed table scrapes to your dog" by Dr. Jeffrey Kahler D.V.M. who makes his point in what he feels is safe for your dog.



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Yummy Chummies

Hello everyone, here's the first free product sample for your Labrador Retriever in 2008. This one is called Yummy Chummies, which are gourmet dog treats that are made in Alaska.

Here is some further information from their website: "The principal ingredient in YUMMY CHUMMIES is Alaskan salmon. Historically, native Alaskans used salmon to feed their sled dogs. The sled dog was a vital survival tool for Native Alaskans in the harsh arctic life. Salmon gave their dogs essential protein, vitamins, and minerals. Modern day dog mushers still feed salmon to their dog teams.

Nutrition experts are discovering what native Alaskans have known for hundreds of years. In addition to the high protein, vitamins, and mineral content, salmon are also an excellent source of OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6 fatty acids.These OMEGA acids have been linked to fighting cancer, bone and joint disease, as well as contributing to a dog's lustrous coat."

Visit Yummy Chummies if you would like to give them a try and for further information on their products.

If anyone has tried this product, please share your knowledge with a comment or an e-mail. Thank you.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Submitting Questions to All About Labradors

I am writing this post to serve as a FAQS page in regards to submitting questions to All About Labradors.

I would like to thank everyone for visiting the All About Labradors blog, submitting their comments, advice and questions. What started out as a small blog has grown quite large in a short time. Unfortunately, in regards to questions being sent in, it has become much larger than I can handle. I am receiving anywhere from 10-40 questions a week, leaving me months behind on answers for which I just can't keep up. When this blog first started I could answer the few questions a week but now it is impossible to answer them all. My apologies to all.

I have tried to come up with a way to alleviate this problem, such as to stop answering questions all together or start charging for answers. The answer to both of these was no, for I love trying to be of help to you and your Labrador Retrievers and meeting so many new people. As far as charging for answers, I feel that option is totally not fair as I am not a veterinarian, and that it would make this more of a business, instead of being fun.

So that leaves me with one option. I can not promise that every question submitted will be answered. Once again my apologies. Continue to submit your questions to me and I will answer as many as I can. If you don't here from me in a few weeks and still have a problem with your Labrador Retriever, submit your question again. I will answer as many as possible.

Here are some helpful options for both of us before you submit your questions and things to add to your e-mail to me.

1. Before submitting your question, search the All About Labradors blog. Use the search box at the top of this blog and the Categories labels.

2. Be as specific as possible in your e-mail. Don't just state my Labrador Retriever is losing hair, tell me where the hair loss occurs, how long it has been happening, if it's happened before, etc.

3. Other items to include with questions regarding health problems with your Labrador Retrievers include:

A. Labrador Retriever's age

B. Food sources - name brand and flavor of food, name brand and flavor of treats, and anything else you might feed them including table scrapes.

C. How long has the problem been occurring and if it happened before.

D. Any medicines or supplementation you give your Labrador Retriever.

E. Any veterinarian visits in regards to the problem and any feedback you received from the veterinarian.

F. any other pertinent information you think will be helpful.

4. Optional information to include:

A. A photo of your Labrador Retriever is greatly appreciated.

B. Location where you live. Please only the country.

The above information will be very helpful in answering your questions.

Be advised, I will be posting all answered questions to this blog and any photos to the Labrador Retriever Pictures blog. I will only use your first name and county (no e-mail addresses will be posted), If you don't want your question posted, please let me know.



If the above button is not working contact All About Labradors at:

retrieverlabradors {at} yahoo {dot} com

Thank you for your understanding and I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you.

Fay

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