Monday, June 28, 2010

My yellow Labrador Retriever has Allergies

From: Joyce (USA)

Subject: My yellow Labrador Retriever has Allergies

Labrador Retriever Name: Jagger

Reader's E-mail - Joyce Writes:

Jagger is a Champion sired yellow Labrador Retriever, his sire is the late Champion Ghoststone's Louis Downtown, a very popular and great dog. He has allergies just like Jamie's Allie. His diet consists of Raw Venison and sweet potato. Balance It are his vitamins that is put into his food. It seems that the allergies get worse in the Spring and Summer.

He licks and intensely bites the inside of his legs and his lower belly. I have been bathing him with Malaseb shampoo, leaving it on for 10 minutes and rinsing very well. It started when he was about 6 months, little bumps on his back, then ear infections, then biting his paws, this year is the first time he has these intense itches.

I am going to try the vinegar in his food, We have been putting 2 tablespoons of vinegar into spray bottle with water and tried that, so far no luck, it may be just a touch better but not a lot. It is most frustrating to watch our beloved pet suffer with this. He crawls along the grass to scratch is belly, the inside of his legs are red. We just don't know what to do anymore. Please help. He's the best dog in the world, he's been bringing us our newspaper every morning since he was 10 weeks old.

He's an absolute joy to live with and we need some help. He's on clariten twice a day. I am beginning to think it is something in the earth that is causing this... when it is cold weather its not like this. If you have any more suggestions, please write back.

Best regards,

All About Labradors Answer:

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

As far as Jagger's problem goes it definitely sounds like a seasonal allergy. Atopy or atopic dermatitis is an allergic skin disease of dogs. In the allergic state, the dog’s immune system ‘overreacts’ to foreign substances (allergens) to which it is exposed. Most allergies are the inhalant type, also known as atopy. It results in itchiness, either localized (in one or several areas) or generalized (all over the dog). Common allergens that can cause atopy include tree pollens, grass and weed pollens, moulds, mildew, and the house dust mite.

Treatment of allergies:

Avoidance - in order to have any benefit with avoidance therapy, the offending agents must be identified through intradermal skin testing from your veterinarian. If pollen was an issue with Jagger (witch very well be) you could make sure you keep your grass cut short (keep him indoors when the lawn is mowed) , rinse Jagger's feet off after he has been outside and keep him indoors during periods of high pollen counts.

Topical therapy (which you are already doing) - using of shampoos, rinses and topical anti-itch solutions. Bathing with a hypoallergenic shampoo, colloidal oatmeal shampoo or hydrocortisone shampoo. Topical solutions containing hydrocortisone may be of help to Jagger, just make sure to watch him after applying as many Labrador Retrievers tend to lick off these preparations.

I would also make sure to wash off Jagger's feet and brush him when he comes in from the outside as this will remove any allergens.

Omega-3 fatty acids also might be of some help to Jagger. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the management of allergies in dogs.

I've added a link for a video that should also be of help to you. Atopy in Dogs, Environmental Allergies:

I would recommend a trip to your veterinarian (if you haven't already) as they have many options to manage atopic dermatitis. Your veterinarian can perform an allergen test to determine what allergens might be troubling Jagger and give you allergy medication which can help ease Jagger's symptoms during the seasonal allergy period.

I hope this is of some to you. Please keep me informed of Jagger's condition.

Take care of yourself and Jagger,


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Diane June 30, 2011 8:28 PM  

I have a Chocolate lab with all the symptoms of the other articles that "Fay" commented on. He is 3 years old now and for 2 years has had loss of hair under the leg pit areas and the skin gets very baggy like an elephant.The first year it happened was the worst, this year is a milder case. Hopefully he is growing out of it? He gets a little hair loss around his eyes and he gets an occasional ear infection. I took him to the vet and they weren't sure if it was food or Pollen allergies. So after going to a specialist we decided to start with food. He has been on Duck and Potato food only and does this "allergy" thing once or twice a year spring/summer. Otherwise his coat is thick and beautiful.I would love to know of a shampoo that I can wash him with that will rinse "clean" not leave a build up. I don't want that he has that already in some areas under his neck. I need to clean him and have him smell fresh. Please Please do you have a good shampoo that rinses clean that would help his dry skin. Thank goodness my 6 year old yellow Lab is perfect with his coat year round! Thanks in advance for any help! Sincerely, Labaholic

Fay June 30, 2011 9:15 PM  

Hi Labaholic, thank you for your comment and some good news with the Food Allergy (so far). As for shampoos, I am a big fan of Dogosuds from Dinovite, I use their shampoos on my two Lab girls.

Their shampoos have natural, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties. Great for sensitive skin and they are a natural flea deterrent with no chemicals. My favorites are Lavender and Essential Oil Blend, always leaves my girls smelling great! You can visit their website at:

Adding a little fish oil to his food will also help add essential fatty acids to his diet. Great for dry skin. Fish oil is widely available in capsule form but can also be found in liquid form for easier ingestion.

Let me know if you have any luck. Thanks for visiting All About Labradors.

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