Wednesday, May 09, 2012

3 Common Skin Problems with Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. As one of the most trainable and well-disposed breeds out there, it's no wonder they've held the most popular breed spot for over a decade. While Labradors are a wonderful breed and certainly have earned that top spot on the list, this has also caused some issues with the breeding of these precious pups. In high demand, some breeders have resorted to harmful breeding techniques that cause genetic issues in their pups.

That being said, Labradors have slew of genetic disorders and common illnesses that plague them and their owners. While hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy are more common diseases found in Labradors, there are several less worrisome skin problems and diseases that Labradors can suffer from. Keep an eye out from these three skin irritants in your pup at home, so that you can treat it early

Hypothyroid Related Alopecia

Thyroid issues one of the more common health issues found in Labrador retrievers. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not secrete enough of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine. This hormone plays a major role in controlling metabolism and is necessary for proper growth. Hypothyroidism can cause many health ailments in a dog, including dry skin, hair loss, weight loss, and lethargy. Alopecia is just another term for hair loss. Labradors usually lose hair on sides of their body between the front and rear legs. For the most part, this hair loss is harmless and is mostly used as an indicator of the greater issue. Your veterinarian can diagnose thyroid issues with a simple blood test. Treatment is relatively simple with thyroid hormone replacement drugs. This dry skin and hair loss can be agitating to your pet and can appear worrisome, but if properly diagnosed, is usually effectively treated.

Lick Granuloma

The lick granuloma can be one of the most difficult conditions to deal with for a pet owner and pet. The most common cause of this disorder is psychological. This skin issue is a form of self-trauma where a dog constantly licks a specific area of their body until that area become inflamed and raw. Typically dogs do this licking on the lower portions of their extremities near their paws. The fact that lick granulomas are usually caused by a compulsion in dogs makes it very difficult to treat. The issue can also be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, allergies, and joint disease, but these are far less common. Lick granulomas are particularly common in large, active dog breeds (the Labrador). There are several treatments available for this disorder and it is essential that affected dogs be seen by a veterinary professional.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

As if fleas and pesky parasites weren't issue enough, some dogs can be allergic to fleas, causing unfortunate skin irritation. Dogs that are allergic to fleas will experience significantly more irritation from the parasites and will typically cause further damage to themselves from constantly gnawing at the itchy, irritated area. Interestingly, Labradors that are allergic to fleas are not allergic to the bites themselves, but rather the flea's saliva. This means that the irritation can occur even in areas that have not been bitten. Thankfully, there are a variety of effective treatments on the market for canine fleas and ticks. These treatments help prevent flea infestations and can deter fleas from even approaching your pet.

3 Common Skin Problems with Labrador Retrievers is a Guest Post by Laine Harrison:

Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez @gmail.com.

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