Thursday, October 29, 2009

Labrador Retriever Ear Infections

The skin of your Labrador Retriever's ear canal is just like that of his body, so that anything which causes irritation to his skin also has the potential to affect his ears. Anything that changes the environment inside his ear canal can lead to bacterial or fungal infection. You can't miss it when your dog has a sore ear - he'll shake his head and often whimper as he scratches his ear. Closer inspection reveals a red, painful ear and possibly excessive discharge from the ear canal.

Labradors may be more prone to ear infections for two reasons. The first is that they love to swim, and damp ear canals are an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Secondly, they have floppy ears, so any moisture is retained and the ear canals don't get the opportunity to dry out.

There are other causes of infection and inflammation in a dog's ears that aren't specific to Labrador Retrievers. Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism can affect the ears of any dog, and lead to infection. Also, while allergies usually affect a dog's skin and make it itchy and irritated, they can also make the ears inflamed.

If your Labrador has ever had an ear infection, you may already know that they can be very tricky to completely clear up. It can sometimes take several weeks to get those ears back to normal.

There are several steps to managing your Labrador Retriever's sore ears. Firstly, you need to identify what's causing the problem. The bacterial and fungal infections are usually secondary to an underlying issue, and unless that is resolved, the infection will recur.

You'll need to schedule a visit to your veterinarian. He'll have a look inside your dog's ear canal with his otoscope and take some of the discharge to look at under his microscope. This can give him a good idea of what germs are causing the infection. He may also recommend that the sample is sent to the lab to see what antibiotics are appropriate to kill the bacteria.

Treating your Labrador's ear infection is fairly straightforward.

Use a gentle cleanser recommended by your vet to clean away any sticky discharge. This will help the antibiotic drops to work better. Apply antibiotic ear drops once or twice daily according to directions to kill bacteria and fungi.

Preventing the ear infection recurring is often trickier. If your dog has skin allergies, you'll need to manage that problem or the ear infection will just keep coming back. This may mean the use of corticosteroids, hypoallergenic diets and fatty acid supplements to reduce inflammation.

If your Labrador Retriever is a real water baby, regular use of a product to dry his ear canals will help prevent the accumulation of moisture that predisposes to infection. Again, your vet can help you choose the right product.

Ear infections are painful and persistent, and can affect your Labrador's quality of life. Treat them quickly and aggressively and he'll be feeling better in no time.

Dog Fence DIY's staff veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright has written this article especially for you. Dog Fence DIY has a variety of innotek sd 2100 systems that will include proper installation and training. We offer a wide variety of pet containment systems at the best available price to you.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

"Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Labrador Retrievers" Preview

I received an e-mail from Kyla Duffy, founder and co-editor of Happy Tails Books. Kyla, along with co-editor Lowrey Mumford, founded Happy Tails Books as an effort to educate people about the joy of dog rescue and the horror of puppy mill breeding. She asks that you please help put an end to animal cruelty and shelter overpopulation by choosing adoption over pet store purchases and understanding the breed before adding them to your family to ensure your new dog is a good fit."

You can read more about Kyla, Lowrey and Happy Tails Books by visiting our previous post: Happy Tails Books

Well, Kyla wanted to let me know about a preview of their new book, "Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Labrador Retrievers".

I read through the inspiring stories in this book and they are amazing. You will be taken on journeys with the authors who are guardians and/or fosters of adopted/rescued Labrador Retrievers, making you cry and/or laugh along the way.

Kyla has been kind enough to share the stories with me (Thank you) and has let me post a link so all of the readers of the All About Labradors blog can read it also.If you would like to read the wonderful stories in this preview visit:

Lost Souls: Found! Inspiring Stories About Labrador Retrievers

Feel free to share any comments you may have about the stories!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dog Health Food Could Cure Your Dogs Dermatitis And Arthritis

Dog health food could be the answer you've been looking for. By making your own or getting truly natural food for your best friend, you can avoid the potentially life threatening side effects of commercial dog food. Labels with misleading terms can make it almost impossible to wade through the ingredients list and find a truly nutritional dog food.

So when was the last time that you actually looked at the ingredient list on your dog's food? Go ahead and have a look now. Do you know what meal is exactly? What about the preservatives? What are they doing to your dog?

Well, from a nutritional point of view you need a certain ration of protein, fat and carbohydrate to give your dog their full spectrum of nutrients. Often you'll see ratios like 40% meat 50% vegetables and 10% grain. While not wrong, this can be a bit confusing. The actual ratios that you want to achieve are based on protein (25-30%), fat (30-35%) and carbohydrate (35-45%). Then you need to look at exactly what ingredients make up those ratios. I mean, lean meat isn't going to add much to the proportion of fat, compared to a really fatty type of meat.

Often you'll hear carbohydrates being dismissed as an unnecessary part of a dogs diet, however this is only true when an excessive amount of the food is made of low quality grain fillers.

Sometimes, pet food companies use cheap grains as a filler for the food so the ratio might be more like 70-80% carbohydrates, so this isn't going to be the best for your dog in the long run. And can lead to allergies and dermatitis just like in humans. After all it's a bit hard to imagine a German shepherd grazing on the African Savannah isn't it? They aren't herbivores so we shouldn't feed them like they are.

And what about preservatives? A common and hotly disputed one is ethoxyquin. This is used to preserve that fat component from breaking down, but it has been linked to problems ranging from dermatitis to cancerous tumors and dramatically shortened life spans. Unfortunately pet food labeling requirements aren't as strict as human ones, so some companies are adding this horrible preservative but aren't actually listing it on the label. Which makes it pretty difficult to track down, if you want to keep using commercial dog food but keep your dog healthy. This is one of the most dangerous additives but not the only one that is routinely added to dog food and hidden.

But what about the actual protein and fat content? What exactly are the proteins used? Some research has found a range of horrible animal parts that have been put into dog food. Offal and by products of other animals and even euthanized pets, their plastic tags and lethal chemicals intact! So just because there's 30% protein, that doesn't mean that it's something you'd be wanting your dog to eat!

It's easy to see why more people are beginning to make their own dog food. In many cases it'll be cheaper and far better quality. You can give your dog a variety of meats, you can control the quality and you can eliminate all those nasty chemicals. And it doesn't take long either. Many people cook up a batch once a week and freeze it. Or you can opt for a baked biscuit type of food with all your dog's favorite goodies in there.

Dog health food is fast changing from a luxury for pampered pooches to an essential component of keeping your best friend healthy. They trust us to give them what they need, so it's up to us to get educated about what really goes into their food.

How would you feel if your dog died at a young age and it was completely preventable, could dog health food help to save them? We need to know what goes into the food that we feed our dogs and if it's making them sick. Our newsletter is chock full of tips for healthy eating, delicious recipes and information about what really goes into commercial dog food. Click here to subscribe

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Free N-R-G Dog Food Sample

"The N-R-G dog food family is dedicated to using the science of ingredient driven nutrition to provide balanced nourishment for canines. Our dog food diets have evolved over 15 years.

For generations we have been breeding, working, and interacting with canines while providing balanced whole
food nourishment.

N-R-G dog food founders pioneered the dehydration of canine diets. We have spent a decade developing our process to maximize nutrient retention.

N-R-G dog food is truly an artisan pet food. Our whole food diets are hand made using free range meats and fresh vegetables to maximize the availability of micro nutrients. Our squash and oats are grown here on our farm and sourced from growers that are committed to minimizing the use of chemical weed control."

Visit the N-R-G Dog Products website to learn about the benefits to giving your four legged best friend N-R-G dog food and to request your free N-R-G dog food sample.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Free Dog Cookie sample from Exclusively Pet

Exclusively Pet, Inc is offering a free sample of their dog cookie treats.

Information from Exclusively Pet, Inc: "Designed to look like popular people cookies but formulated specifically for your dog, Exclusively Pet creates treats for the most finicky of dogs! Have your dog try our vast assortment of treats."

Visit the Exclusively Pet website to learn more about their products and to request your free dog cookie sample (.5 ounce sample).

Samples available for U.S. residents only. One sample per household. Don't forget to hurry with this one as free samples go extremely fast!!!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

How to Select a Labrador Retriever

When selecting a Labrador Retriever, consider the amount of energy required to maintain the breed, as labs are generally quite active sporting dogs who are great around children. Discover the Labrador's wonderful and playful temperament with helpful information from an experienced dog trainer in this free video on dog breeds.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Nutro Pet Food Voluntary Withdrawal of select Puppy Foodss

Nutro Pet Foods have posted a press release on their website in regards to the voluntary withdrawal of select puppy foods.

Below is the press release from Nutro:

Q: I heard that there may be plastic in some NUTRO® products. Is this true?

A: Small pieces of melted plastic were recently found in the production line of select varieties of NUTRO® dry dog and cat food products. We immediately retrieved the affected pet food from our distributors, and only three sku’s reached retail stores. These were delivered to a small number of PetSmart and Petco stores. The specific products are listed below.

Upon discovery of the melted plastic, we immediately halted manufacturing and performed a thorough search of all equipment. We identified the source as a worker’s “bump cap,” similar to a hard hat, which inadvertently made its way into our manufacturing process.

Based on our extensive review, it is highly unlikely that any pieces of plastic made it into finished product. However, upon learning of the incident, we voluntarily retrieved all potentially affected products.

We strive to produce pet food of the highest quality and safety standards. Consumers who believe they have purchased potentially affected product should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® product, or contact the Nutro Products Consumer Care team at 1-800-833-5330.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support for Nutro Products.

As of this post they are dealing with the following products:

NUTRO® ULTRA™ Puppy food for dogs

NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® Chicken Meal, Rice and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites Puppy

The products made it to select Petsmart store (CA, AZ, CO, TX and NM ONLY) and Petco stores in (CA, NV, HI and UT ONLY).

Visit the Nutro website at above link for UPC's and bag size and to watch if they do post further withdrawals of their products.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Free sample of Nutri-Dog Chews

Here's a free sample of Nutri-Dog™ Chews from 3M.

Information about Nutri-Dog™ Chews - "Nutri-Dog™ Chews combine the fun of giving your dog a treat with benefits like all natural ingredients or pill strength glucosamine or Omega 6 & 3.

These chews are designed with a unique shape to help reduce gulping & choking. All treats are low calorie and gluten free."

You have three different type of Nutri-Dog Chews treats to choose from:

Hip & Joint Chew - Promotes healthy joint function.

Skin & Coat Chew - Helps reduce shedding, itching, and flaking.

All Natural Dental Chew - Reduces plaque and tartar through chewing, helps freshen breath, naturally-sourced ingredients.

FYI: "OFFER GOOD UNTIL October 14, 2009, OR WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. This offer is only open to legal residents of the United States who are over 18 years old and who complete all required information (name, address, etc.) in the offer form."

Samples go very quickly so you have to act fast.

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