Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Are all Dog Food's the Same?

With the many dog food varieties available, is there any difference...

"Pet Q&A: Dog food with people appeal"




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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - part II

Subject: A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - 7 month old Yellow Lab - part II.

From: Tara (USA)

Labrador Retriever's Name: Bailey

Reader's E-mail - Tara Writes:

Fay,

Thank you for getting back with me.

Bailey will be 7 months old on August 28th. I do like my vet but I felt like he was more interested in scolding me rather then talking to me about what may be wrong with Bailey. He just acted like I had a lazy dog. He just kept repeating that I need to walk Bailey so he doesn't become overweight, which I don't think he is because you can see his ribs when he walks.

As far as the symptoms:

He doesn't really have trouble getting up and down the stairs but he will sit at the top of the stairs like he doesn't want to come down and so you will have to open the door before he will come down the stairs. The only other symptom he has is he really prefers to sit rather then stand. He has been that way since I got him.

I walk Bailey on several types of surfaces: dirt, concrete, running trail, and gravel.

The other forms of exercise are: swimming - he LOVES to swim, in fact, I am battling his second ear infection right now (on a side note: is it safe to use swimmers ear on Bailey? It is hard to keep him out of the water because he has free access to a swimming pool and so the ear infections just won't go away).
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Bailey also gets to play with Buster or another little friend his age for several hours each week. I don't want him becoming aggressive with other dogs so I have exposed him to other dogs since he was 12 weeks old. He loves play time and when I mention Buster's name he runs to the door :-)

I do not give Bailey any supplements. I feed him a mixture of Science Diet Nature's Best for Puppy and Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy food with growth control formula. Is there something else that I need to be giving him?

I got Bailey from a breeder. I had been looking for months for a puppy and I came across this one lady north of where I lived. She wasn't very knowledgeable when I asked her about whether her dogs were OFA certified. But I had asked her if I could come look at the mother and father and the puppies, which she let me do. When I got there I checked both the mother's and father's hips (just to see if they were sensitive to touch) and they didn't seem to mind at all. I just figured that this breeder was kinda "backwoods" and she just happened to have two beautiful dogs that mated. I asked how many litters had come from the female and she said this was her third litter in 4 years.

Fay, I hope I have not rambled on too much. I tend to talk a little too much about my puppy (just cause he is my baby). If you need anything else please feel free to ask. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the answers you have already given me. I REALLY appreciate all your help so far. Thanks again!

Tara

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hi Tara,

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 replies to my questions.

In regards to Hip Dysplasia and weight, our Labradors love to eat, and we have to make sure that Labrador Retriever puppies be kept lean, as a Lab puppy that carries around too much weight will aggravate any deterioration of the joint. Diets that are too high in protein and calcium can also aggravate the condition. The reason I asked about supplements was because an over supplementation of calcium has been shown to be a factor in the development of skeletal diseases in puppies. Feeding a very high-calorie diet to a growing Labrador can aggravate a predisposition to hip dysplasia, because the rapid weight gain places increased stress on the hips.

Here is a good chart in helping you evaluate your Labrador Retrievers weight:

Body Condition System - http://www.purina.com.sg/caredog_bodycondition.html

Exercise is another risk factor. Moderate exercise for your Lab pup and the development of muscle mass is essential for good health. Sometimes Labrador Retriever owners over exercise young puppies or give them the wrong type of exercise. Exercises such as jumping, standing on the back legs, and exercising on hard surfaces should be discouraged in young Labrador puppies, as it extra stress on the joints.

Swimming is an excellent form of exercise which builds up the muscles without putting stress on the joints!

There are many conditions that can mimic the signs of hip dysplasia - spinal problems, bone diseases, metabolic diseases (hypothyroidism), and joint diseases, among others.

Here's a website with much more information on Hip Dysplasia that may be helpful for you (be advised not all the links on this page work):

Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Resources -

http://www.workingdogs.com/doc0090.htm#ofa

This one shows some x-rays of hip dysplasia and has more information for you -

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1916

Here is an interesting article, Ester-C: Miracle Cure for Hip Dysplasia??? -

http://www.workingdogs.com/doc0039.htm

As for Bailey's ear problems:

For post swimming I would continue to use the swimmers ear astringent to help evaporate the water out of the ear canal.

The best preventive measure against ear infections is performing regular ear inspections. Both your eyes and your nose can help detect a problem. Bailey's 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 Bailey's ears regularly is your best bet. Frequency of cleaning will vary, especially in the warmer months and after swimming or bathing.

Here is the recipe for the "Blue Power Ear Treatment", which is what I use with my Labrador girls.

"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, which you can wipe with a cotton ball (never clean with a cotton swab, as debris can be pushed further into the ear canal). 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 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, to prevent the cold water "shock", but you can use it either way. There is also a commercial version of this solution called Gentian Ear Treatment.

I was also told about a vitamin E based ear infection tonic used by one of the readers of this blog, who stated this tonic worked wonders for their Labrador Retriever's ears. I had never heard about it before, but they swear by it. To learn more visit:

http://www.localharvest.org/store/item.jsp?id=4483

As for your original question in regards to a second opinion, as I stated before it's totally up to you. I can not observe Bailey, and only go by what you tell me. You were not happy with the first diagnosis from your veterinarian, so what I would recommend is to read the information provided here and the other links provided, and then make your decision. If it were my Labrador girls, and I was not happy with the initial diagnosis, I would definitely take them for a second opinion.

Tara, I hope I was able to help you in some way. Please keep me updated with Bailey's condition and with whatever you do decided to do, be it visiting the veterinarian or not.

Take care of yourself and Bailey,

Fay

References:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=1916

http://www.pennhip.org/chd_intro.html

Vet Med Small Anim Clin. 1968 Mar;63(3):238-45. New observations on the diagnosis and cause of hip dysplasia. Bardens JW, Hardwick H.

Evaluation of risk factors for degenerative joint disease associated with hip dysplasia in dogs. Smith GK, Popovitch CA, Gregor TP, Shofer FS. ...

References of Interest - http://stason.org/TULARC/animals/dogs/medical-information/32-Hip-Dysplasia-References-of-Interest.html

This is part two of a two part e-mail. To read part one visit: A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - part I

Visit Bailey... with special guest Buster 04/29/08 to see Bailey and Buster.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Two Female Labrador Retrievers Sniff Out DVD Pirates

"Sniffing out the CD pirates

Mexico has employed a new weapon in its war against pirate DVDs - it's using specially trained dogs to root them out. "Lucky" and "Flo," two female three-year-old black labradors from Ireland - have been specially trained by the California-based Motion Picture Association to detect the polycarbonate and special solvent used in the manufacturing of optical discs. Piracy is a huge problem in Mexico and copyright theft cost an estimated 483 million U.S. dollars in lost revenue last year alone. Annual world-wide losses are put at six billion USD."




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Friday, April 25, 2008

$6 Instant Savings Check for 12 doses of HEARTGARD® Plus

For any of you that use HEARTGARD® Plus, here's a little help to save you some money. You can request your $6 instant savings check (by mail) good for purchase of 12 doses of HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel). You can only use this instant savings check if the HEARTGARD® Plus is purchased from your veterinarian.

I guess this one depends on how much your veterinarian charges for HEARTGARD® Plus. I know some that charge astronomical rates for pet products in their offices.

HEARTGARD® Plus savings

Be advised: This is available to U.S. Residents only and only available through August 15, 2008 (see website for more details).

I want to give a big thank you to All About Labradors reader Aimee and her yellow Labrador Retriever, Rutu for sending this in. Hope it is of help to some of you.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Labrador helped diagnose Cancer

This one is interesting. A British woman says her pet Labrador helped diagnose her with cancer.

"Dog saviour."



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Yellow Labrador Retriever featured on first Canada Braille Stamp

Our lovable Labrador Retrievers are all over the place. This time a yellow Labrador Retriever will be the star on Canada's first ever Braille stamp featuring guide dogs.

"Canada Post unveils its first Braille stamp"



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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sanddog Inc. Introduces Treevers(TM): An Exciting Line of High Quality Canine Retrieving Toys

Sanddog Inc has designed a new line of high quality retrieving toys to satisfy serious retrieving dogs, as well as dogs that enjoy a game of catch in the backyard... Sounds like products made for our Labrador Retrievers!




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PetSmart Pet Birthday Party 04/22/08

Hello to everyone, hope all is well. I have to thank my soon for helping out with this blog as due to personal family reasons, I have not been around much. He did a very fine job. Things are starting to get back to normal slowly and I will be back full time. Then I can get back to blogging full tilt, the many e-mails, questions and comments.

I just wanted to give everyone the heads up about the PetSmart Birthday Party today, April 22, 2008 at many PetSmart locations across the USA and Canada. You and your Labrador Retrievers (other pets also) are invited visit your local PetSmart between 6-8 P.M. to help celebrate their birthday party.

While supplies last they are giving away free digital photos with frames and free goody bags. They also have a bunch of contests with prizes and will teach your pet a "quick trick" with their accredited pet training instructors.

For more information, visit the PetSmart website. Make sure you check to see if your local PetSmart is participating in this event (click "find a store" button). Also, read the rules of the contests and don't forget to create your party hat to bring with you.

Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - part I

Subject: A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - 7 month old Yellow Lab - part I.

From: Tara (USA)

Labrador Retriever's Name: Bailey

Reader's E-mail - Tara Writes:

Good afternoon! I have a couple of questions for you about my lab Bailey. I have spoken to my vet several times about checking Bailey for hip dysplasia because he is very large for such a young puppy. I wanted to see if you thought I should get a second opinion.

Bailey is around 83 lbs. Bailey is not a hyper lab, he has the perfect temperament. But, if I want he to jump onto the bed, he will put his front paws on the bed and I have to grab his back paws and help him up. Same with my SUV, he will put his front paws up on the seat but I have to pick up the back end of him and he isn't a lightweight. I just want to make sure I have him checked early so he doesn't suffer through any pain.

My vet tells me just to walk him and make sure he doesn't eat to much, I walk Bailey about 3-4 miles a day and I feed him 4 - 5 cups of growth control puppy food. Do you think I am just paranoid or do I have reason to seek a second opinion? Thank you in advance. I have attached a picture of Bailey - WARNING - he is the cutest little puppy EVER!!!

Thank you again!
Tara

All About Labradors Response:

Hello Tara,

Thank you for taking the time to write. My apologies on the delay with the response, as it takes me some time to answer the many questions I receive at this blog. I would also like to thank you for the great photo of Buster and Bailey, you're right, they both are the cutest.

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First off, I would like to say that I don't think you are paranoid. If my veterinarian told me anything that I wasn't happy with or felt enough wasn't done, I would seek a second opinion (it's totally your choice).

Tara, I do have a couple of things I would like to ask you.

How old is Bailey?

Did your veterinarian tell you anything else "besides walk him and make sure he doesn't eat to much". Anything about what the problem may be?

Some symptoms of Hip Dysplasia:

Trouble getting up and down stairs

Reluctant to exercise

Reluctant to jump or stand on hind limbs

Difficulty in rising

Soreness after lying down or after heavy exercise

A popping or snapping sound when walking

A sensitivity to touch in the hindquarters

Sits rather than stand

An abnormal stance (leaning forward) or gait (bunny-hopping)

Besides what you told me, do you observe any of these symptoms with Bailey?

On what kind of surface do you walk Bailey (dirt, concrete, etc)?

What other forms of exercise does Bailey get?

Do you give Bailey any supplements? If so, let me know what you give him.

Where did you get Bailey from?

Tara, please get back to me with the answers to these questions.

Talk to you soon,
Fay

This is part one of a two part e-mail. To read part two visit: A Second Opinion for Hip Dysplasia - part II

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part II

Subject: Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part II

From: Roy (USA)

Labrador Retriever's Name: Watson

This is the second part of a two part e-mail. If you missed part I, you can read it here: Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part I

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

Hello Fay and thanks for your reply. I had taken Watson to the Vet last Tues. That was good as it was time for one of his shots. The Vet looked quickly at the hair loss condition and has the exact opinion as you, regarding it being localized demodectic mange. However, she did not want to do the skin scraping test as it was too close to the eye.

She provided me a liquid medication of 20ml IVOMEC, clear in color with a consistence/viscosity of olive oil, to be given 1.4ml once a day orally. The diagnosis is rather shocking to me as I thought mange was a condition caused by poor care of a dog. I generally have seen it associated with dogs that roam wild. This raises a lot of questions, such as: Is it contagious to my other dogs? To humans? Other than from his mother where could he have gotten it and how does it spread?

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The food we give him is regular Purina Dog Chow. I have had very good luck with that brand in the past, having a 40lb mixed breed live to be 18 years old. She had eaten only Purina for the first 10 years. But I am open to suggestions. Of course the dogs do not get any table scraps.

Certainly you can share my thoughts on raising dogs to minimize Separation Anxiety. I hope the readers will understand that dogs by nature are a pack animal, want to be with us and we can and should spend a lot of time with them, but they also can learn that there will be times when they are not going to be with us, and that is OK and not a punishment. I believe not having some separation from your dog reduces your position as the pack leader. I have to also believe that dogs living in a human environment are dependent on people as a pack leader and are much happier when the person takes the role of the leader. I always have to revert back to parents and children as an example, we know the disaster children become when the adult does not assume the parent/leader role.

By circumstances and not entirely by choice, I ended up currently with 3 large dogs and raised them all the same way. Training them that there will be times they will be alone also works well when you are home. When we have guests over, the dogs meet them, and then I can just tell the dogs to go lay down and point to the room where I want them to stay. Just as it is difficult to say no to a child, it is difficult to say no to a loved dog, but in a long run it makes for a better life long relationship.

I would also like to share two items which I have learned of over the years from Vets. My sister's yellow lab, male, about 100lbs, had a very bad skin problem which looked like what we would call acne on a person. This was all around his mouth and chin area into the fur area. The vet diagnosed it as an allergic reaction to plastic food and water bowls and plastic toys. My sister changed to stainless steal bowls and the problem cleared up in less than two weeks. This apparently could also apply to dog cages with plastic bottom floors etc. I learned some dogs are sensitive to plastic, and medicating them is not the answer, try the simple solution first.

The most interesting simple solution story concerns an 18 year old dog Bambi, I mentioned her above. This incident took place about 20 or so years ago. At about 8 to 10 years old Bambi developed a condition of occasional labored breathing and wheezing attacks. That same year I happened to be on a plane sitting beside two people that were having a very in depth discussions about dogs. I assumed they were Vets, and asked if I could impose and ask them a question. I described my dog's breathing condition. They looked at each other in total amazement and asked "how old is the dog." I told them about 9 yrs. Again amazement, and then they introduced themselves and explained their reaction. They were both professors at a veterinarian collage I believe in North Carolina. They were returning from attending and lecturing at a seminar. The topic of their seminar was the up and coming practice of K9 geriatric medicine. They explained as more baby boomers were becoming empty nesters and living longer, they also have more funds available to care for aging dogs. Caring for older dogs is a field many vets may not have been exposed to in the past, so these people had developed education specifically geared to caring for older dogs.

Their next question was "is the dog otherwise healthy," I responded that she was as active and alert as she was at 1 yr old. They then asked what I feed her. I told them Purina dog chow. They indicated that is a good food for younger dogs, but at her age it has far too much sodium content. They recommended a product at the time called Cycle 4, this is a low sodium reduced fat food specifically for older dogs. They told me the breathing problem was the result of the sodium which was causing the lungs to retain too much fluid. I put her on Cycle 4, and she lived another 8 to 9 years and never had another episode.

Fay, you are welcome to publish or use any part of my communications to you, I do ask that you do not publish my e-mail address. Thanks for your time. I have another Vet appointment on Friday for Watson. They want to see if the IVOMEC has helped. They are charging me $55 for 20ml so I hope the cure is soon.

Roy

A very big thank you to Roy for the question and the wonderful information that he provided. I'm sure it will be very useful to other readers of this blog.

To see a photo of Watson visit: Watson 04/17/08

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Video Essay: Dog Helps Troops Mental Health

Here's a wonderful story of how one of our lovable Labrador Retrievers is helping out the soldiers in Iraq. Thank you Sgt. First Class Budge and God Bless our troops.

"Sgt. First Class Budge is like many soldiers in Iraq. Each day he wears his kevlar vest and goes about his mission- to lure soldiers into the Combat Stress Center. AP photojournalist Evan Vucci spent some time with Sgt. First Class Budge. (April 15)"




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Monday, April 14, 2008

Book by Author Jenn Lewis Translates Intricate Language of Dogs

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part I

Subject: Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part I

From: Roy (USA)

Labrador Retriever's Name: Watson

Reader's E-mail - Roy Writes:

Hello, I am one of the fortunate people who for the past ten years has had a home office. Of course the best thing about working at home is I can be with my dogs all day. Over those years I have raised 3 puppies. Until they are house trained, I move the office to my garage where I can be with them and they can do what puppies do without getting hurt or damaging anything. I keep a box in the garage where they sleep at night.

At first for a couple nights they cry a lot but soon adapt to being left alone. They sleep there for about 6 months, before we permit them to sleep in the house to sleep. They are not permitted into the bedrooms and within a very short period of time they do not wonder around the house when we are not home and automatically go to their sleeping place until we return. I believe having them sleep in the garage for the first several months prevents them for experiencing separation anxiety when we need to leave them during the day.

Being alone is something they have become accustomed to when they were pups. Additionally I have found it is a very big mistake to permit a dog to sleep in the bedroom with you. It tends to cause separation problems when the dog is left during the day. That is about all I can offer to you regarding my knowledge of dogs. And maybe it will be of help to readers who plan to leave their dogs, for long periods of time during the day. Now, I have a question for you.

The most recent pup is a pedigree 4 month old Black Lab which my son gave to me when he realized that raising a pup, going to college and working don't mix so well. My son had named him Watson. I like that name, at 11 months old and 85 lbs. Mr. Watson seems more appropriate !
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This is only my second pedigree dog in 35 years. I generally like to adopt a pup from an unwanted litter. This was an unwanted pup so I made an exception. Exception or not, how do you hold a 4 month old Black Lab and say no.

Watson was purchased from a very reputable breeder in our area. I met the breeder, he told me they are driven more to produce dogs with good temperament and health then dogs that will win shows based on looks. By the way the people that staff his operation are encouraged to bring their dog's to work! The owner provides a very large fenced in area for employee dogs. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the grounds. I think there were more people there per dog then nurses per patient in a hospital.

Watson has very beautiful fur and the Vet had told me to give him Omega 3 fish oil to keep his fur in good health. I am giving him one 1000mg dose a day. I noticed over the past couple weeks that he is loosing fur around one eye. The skin looks normal, he does not seem to be scratching it, and I do not see any difference between his two eyes. There is no discharge from the eye. I have noticed that many Chocolate Labs seem to not have fur around their eyes. Is this perhaps something that is normal for a Black Lab as they mature?

I cannot think of any changes in his environment. He acts normal. I will of course take him to the Vet, but that is always an episode I dread. Frankly, with so many sick dogs at the Vet I am always concerned about exposing the dog to more serious problems.

Is there anything you can think of that I may apply to the affected area or anything I can try before resorting to a Vet visit? Is the Omega 3 dosage too high for him? If I find the cause, will the fur grow back ?

Any help would be appreciated.
Roy

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Roy,

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

I'm sorry to hear about Mr Watson's condition. I apologies for the delays, as I receive many questions and it does take time to answer them all.

Thanks for the great advice in regards to Separation Anxiety, it will be of great help to the readers of this blog. I also thank you for the photos of Mr Watson.

There are several different causes for hair loss in our Labrador Retrievers. Based on your photos, and what you tell me in your e-mail, it sounds as though Mr Watson has a condition called mange. Mange is an irritation of the skin, which will generally result in hair loss and sometimes can include inflammation, rashes and itching.

Demodectic mange is caused by a microscopic mite called Demodex canis. These mites are a normal residents of your Labrador Retrievers skin, but not all Labradors are affected by them.

There are three forms of mange: localized, generalized, and demodectic pododermatitis. It is very possible Mr Watson is dealing with the localized demodectic mange.

Demodectic mange occurs when the immune system is suppressed, which basically causes these mites to "get out of control" causing hair loss as well as skin problems. It is found mostly in young dogs, who acquire it from their mothers.

In puppies, some of the first signs are usually hair loss around the eyes, chin, mouth and forelegs. These symptoms will often fade as your Lab pups immune system matures and is able to resist these mites, helping to clear it up by itself. "When a puppy develops localized demodicosis the chance of the condition resolving is 90% unless there is a family history of demodicosis in related dogs. In this case, chances drop to 50%."

Mange can be diagnosis by your veterinarian, usually by doing a test called a skin scraping. Your Labradors skin is scraped and then put under a microscope to check for the mite.

Some treatments include:

Rotenone (Goodwinol ointment)

Benzoyl peroxide 5 % gel applied daily

You can bath periodically with a benzoyl peroxide shampoo

Feed a high quality diet

Essential fatty acid supplementation (Fish oil which you are using)

If the condition develops into generalized mange further treatments may include:

Amitraz Mitaban Dips

Interceptor RX

Ivermectin

As I stated earlier, often it is best not to treat this condition and to simply allow it to resolve on its own. That being if Mr Watson does have demodectic mange.

The decision of taking Mr Watson to see your veterinarian is up to you. I only state what your Labradors condition could possible be. Some things I definitely recommend you do, even if you do take him to your veterinarian:

Make sure you are feeding him a high quality diet (I can recommend some good high quality foods for you).

Continue with your fish oil (Fish oil - 1000mg per 30 pounds of Labrador Retriever's body weight)

Supplement with vitamin E

Probiotics (Acidophilus/lactobacillus), or PLAIN yogurt with active cultures. Probiotics are preferred, but if you cannot get them, you can use plain yogurt with active cultures. This will help to maintain good intestinal bacteria to help when fighting parasites. (I can help recommend this product also, and I believe this to be a very important supplement for our Labrador Retrievers).

Last but not least, I receive many e-mails from people recommend things they have done with their Labrador Retrievers with different problems, that I am going to start listing them in the new questions I receive at All About Labrador Blog (now I can use your Separation Anxiety example).

Reader's Recommendations - Demodectic Mange:

Nu-Stock - topical treatment

Neem Shampoo

Garlic Supplementation

Hope this can be of help to you and Mr Watson. If you don't understand anything, need recommendations, or have further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Please keep me updated with Mr Watson's condition and any treatments he gets.

Take care of yourself and Mr Watson,
Fay

To read the second part of this e-mail visit: Black Lab Loosing Fur Around One Eye - part I

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Use caution at the dog park

Q: Are dog parks safe? I am afraid to take my dog to one because she might get attacked or pick up a disease. -M.Q., Akron, Ohio A: Sure, dogs can pick up worms and diseases such as parvo at a dog park - or anyplace else dogs congregate - so make sure yours is protected by the usual battery of...



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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bio Spot Spot On Flea & Tick Control Samples

Here's your chance to receive a free three month sample of Bio Spot® Spot On® Flea & Tick Control for your Labrador Retriever.

Information from Bio Spot - "Bio Spot® Spot On® Flea & Tick Control for dogs is as effective as popular vet brands at 1/3 the price."

To receive your three month sample, complete the brief survey on their website, so they can determine the Bio Spot® product that's just right for your Labrador Retriever.

As with all medications and treatments for your Labrador Retrievers, make sure you read all instructions and any warnings. You may also want to consult with your veterinarian.

You can also visit biospot.com for further information and watch the Bio Spot commercial.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part II

Subject: My yellow Labrador Retriever is crazy for food - part II

From: Electa (Canada)

Labrador Retriever Name: Furgus "The Hungry"

This is the second part of a two part e-mail from Electa. To read part one visit: Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part I

All About Labradors Blog Answer:

Hello Electa,

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 your patients with the reply to you e-mail, as it takes me some time to try and answer the many e-mails I receive. I want to also thank you for the adorable photos of Furgus, he is just so cute.

Many different breeds of dogs will eat anything, be it edible or not. It just so happens that our lovable Labrador Retrievers are notorious for this.

There is a condition called Pica, which is an eating disorder where dogs eat non-food items.

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You really have to be careful with Pica because the swallowing of these different objects can cause problems with the stomach, intestinal blockages, teeth, and gums, to name a few.

Experts have still not been able to deduce Pica's causes. There have been several theories proposed, but none of them have been proved or disproved. Here are some prominent theories that suggest the following causes to pica:

Curiosity - puppies will explore through taste and sense of smell. Continue the use of your "drop it" command, when you do observe Furgus chomping on something he's not suppose to.

Frustration: Frustration or anxiety could also result in nervous chewing of non-food objects. If this is the case, the causes of the frustration or anxiety will have to be identified and the behavior changed by using behavior modification techniques.

Attention-seeking behaviors - he's looking for more attention from family members, and is learning that picking up these objects will grab your attention.

Boredom - if Furgus is left alone for long periods of time (which I doubt in your case, because you are home with him all day) or lack of exercise.

Deficiency in nutrients - diet lacking in certain nutrients that the body needs.

Medical - diseases involving the nervous system such, diabetes mellitus, anemia, certain diseases of the liver, pancreas and gastrointestinal systems (among others).

My advise would be a visit to your veterinarian to make sure Furgus has no medical problems that may be causing him to eat everything in site. If you veterinarian rules out any medical problems you may want to visit an animal behaviorist for help.

Some things that may be helpful:

Plenty of exercise and play, long walks, runs, games of fetch. This will help tire him out. REMEMBER: a tired Labrador Retriever is a good Labrador Retriever.

Chew toys - Encourage Furgus to play with his chew toys, and when you have time play with him with his chew toys (it will get him further interested in the toys). I do recommend the Kong products here. They will keep Furgus busy for hours, especially the ones you fill with treats. They provide plenty of mental and physical exercise for Furgus. Just make sure you get the appropriate size for him.

You may want to spread his feeding schedule out. Instead of feeding him once or twice a day (whatever your schedule is), you may want to spread it out throughout the day (same amount of food Furgus was getting, in smaller portions).

Here are a couple more websites that may be of help to you:

http://www.animalhealthcare.ca/contents/content.asp?id=83&cat=dogs

http://www.nomorehomelesspets.org/behavior/other/eating_habits.htm

As for the grass, most Labrador Retrievers eat grass at some time. Some Labradors eat grass because they simply like the taste, some to settle or clear an upset stomach, and some will eat grass to provide further bulk to their diet.

Labrador Retrievers (all dogs in general) have been eating grass forever and I don't believe it has ever been proved that it is bad for them. What is very dangerous though, is anything the grass may have been treated with (insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals). For this reason it is best to keep Furgus from eating it unless you know it hasn't been treated.

In regards to the reeds and purple flowers, as you already know, many plants and flowers are toxic for our Labrador Retrievers. I know you can't keep Furgus out of the water (Impossible), but please be careful. I have listed a couple websites to help with dangerous flowers and plants.

http://www.cybercanine.com/toxicplants.htm

http://www.inch.com/~dogs/poison.html

Hope this can be of help to you and Furgus. Please keep me advised of his condition, and if you do take him to your veterinarian, I'd be interested in knowing what they tell you (as will the readers of this blog).

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Take care of yourself and Furgus!

Fay

References:

Allen, Dana G. Small Animal Medicine. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1991
Nomorehomelesspets.org
DDfl.org
Animalhealthcare.ca

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

Hi, thanks so much for your hard work to help me with this problem.

We have it under control (fingers crossed). I started making Furgus his food and he is doing so much better. His stool is harder, he doesn't counter surf hardly at all and his coat feels like silk. I can't say for sure it was the food we were feeding him as it is supposed to be a high quality food, but it was immediate the change in him.

Like a lot of solutions it was accidental. We had left his food at the cottage and it was later on a Sunday with nothing open, so I had little choice but to make him something. He loved my concoction and I don't mind making it.

thanks again
Electa and Furgus the full

Visit Furgus 04/05/08 to see some adorable photos.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Animal Rescue Site - One Click for Free Food for our Animals

Subject: FW: Animal Rescue Site - One Click for Free Food for our Animals.

From: Patricia (USA)

Hi, all you animal lovers. This is pretty simple... Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals.

It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing.

Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/

I want to thank Patricia for sending this in. We have had a link for this posted in our "All About Labradors Links" for quite some time. After receiving this e-mail I decided to change it to the purple Animal Rescue Site box.

All it takes is one simple click to help!

Once again a big thank you to Patti, much appreciated for all you do with animal charities and rescues.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part I

Subject: My yellow Labrador Retriever is crazy for food - part I

From: Electa (Canada)

Labrador Retriever Name: Furgus "The Hungry"

Reader's E-mail - Electa Writes:

We have a 8 month old yellow lab. He is a sweet smart lovable dog except one thing... he is crazy for food. I don't mean the typical counter surf every once and a while. I don't mean may steal a nice juicy steak from your plate no. This dog is insane for food all the time. He is never turned off.

We feed him and he will then try and get into the garbage. He steals food from the kids. He shredded my husbands book and ate the cover because it had a little apple juice spilled on it. He has torn open I don't know how many garbage bags. This is in a city where we compost all of our food stuff so the most he can smell is a wrapper. He will eat the wrapper. He has eaten a whole bar of soap. He has eaten plastic, paper etc. This is not a household that leaves stuff around and he has his areas he is allowed. His favourite is a dirty diaper.

Please any help you can provide. He is a nice size dog. I don't want to increase his food too much or he may become over weight. He gets plenty of exercise and he is fed a very high quality organic no additives dog food. I am starting to think it is a waste of money considering how much garbage he eats. Well I am sorry for going on but if we could get this handled he might be the best pup ever. Aside from the food thing he is a smart obedient dog.

Thanks for any help
Electa and Furgus the Hungry

All About Labradors Blog Response:

Hello Electa,

How are you. Thank you for visiting the All About Labradors blog, I hope you find it to be of help to you and Furgus.

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Please don't think you are rambling on, as the more information you let me know, the better.

I have a couple of things to ask.

What king of food do you feed Furgus (name brand and flavor)?

Do you feed him any treats?

Has Furgus had any injuries or other condition that required him to take steroids?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Does he drink excessive amounts of water?

Please list anything else you can tell me that you think will be helpful.

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 with the answers to these questions and I will see what I can find out.

Talk to you soon.
Fay

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

Thank-you so much for getting back to me. We feed him Holistic Blend. We give him the Lamb formula. He does get treats. Mostly pig skins or we get these disgusting cartilage chew things. They don't have a brand to them as we get them at this Mom and Pop place and they look like they just came out of a pigs knee. No bone, just cartilage sinew and fat. I don't even like to touch them, but Furgus loves them and they are supposed to be great for tartar. They also last more than five seconds so they keep him busy if need be.

He has had no injuries and he is as healthy as a horse. He is only 8 months old and has been neutered if that helps. No vomiting, but he does get diarrhoea every once and a while if he gets into things.

I don't think he drinks excessively. We can't leave water down for him as I have a two year old who thinks it is funny to play in it, but I stay home all day and I make sure I give him water on a regular basis.

He does have a kennel and he is put in it at night and whenever we go out, or if I am really too busy with the kids to keep an eye on him. He isn't allowed to be in a room by himself as he can't be trusted.

He knows the word off and he is 90 percent with it. If he is chewing something he shouldn't I can usually get him to drop it with that command. We try not to leave anything around but as with kids just when you get everything "puppy" proofed he finds something else to get into. He will eat anything.

It is hard with the kids as they are young and love to feed him. He has never been fed from the table. I have tried to train him by leaving traps around. Like food on the counter and watching him until he tries to get it and them yell off. He will get down, but it is constant.

He acts like he is starving to death. It is extreme behaviour. I know a lot of dogs like to eat themselves sick if given the chance but Furgus is crazy for anything he can chew and swallow.

He will literally try and move our couch if there are a few bread crumbs under there. If I am sweeping (mostly his hair) I have to kennel him because he will eat the dirt I am sweeping.

There is one thing, we have a cottage on a lake (lab heaven). He loves the grass down there. Now I know most dogs eat grass but he is like a cow. He will climb over rocks to eat the reeds in the water and he loves the ones with the purple flowers. I just hope those aren't dangerous as there is no way I am going to be able to keep him out of the water.

I just want to say again that Furgus is a smart dog. He knows a lot of commands. Come, sit, down, paw, kiss, back. I work with him a lot as he is more than easily motivated by food. If I say kennel up he will walk over and get right into his kennel. The fact he is so well behaved except for this food thing is very frustrating. Any help would be helpful.

Thank you very much
Electa and Furgus

To read the second part of this e-mail visit: Yellow Labrador Retriever is Crazy for Food - part II

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