Tuesday, October 09, 2012

4 Common Skin Problems with Labrador Retrievers and How to Treat Them

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog by registered owners in the United States and Canada, and why not? Labradors are easy to train to play with kids, and understand commands very well. Furthermore, labs also have few health problems, except for the fact that they are susceptible to skin problems. If this sounds close to home, then here are four common skin problems with Labrador Retrievers, and how to treat them.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Lots of breeds become bothered by fleas, and labs are no exception. In fact, many labs are allergic to fleas, which cause serious skin irritation. Because of this, many dogs will suffer injuries by gnawing or clawing at the irritated area. Labs are not allergic to flea bites though - the problem comes from the flea saliva. this makes it difficult when it comes to treatment. There are numerous ways to treat a dog that has fleas though, so be patient. The first step most people take is to buy a flea collar and flea spray, but it doesn't work for all dogs. If that does not work, take your dog to your local vet, who can figure out how to start an effective treatment. Don't hesitate either, because though fleas bother many breeds of dogs, they bother Labs much more than the average dog.

Lick Granuloma

Lick Granuloma is one of the most frustrating conditions a pet owner will experience. The disorder is psychological, which makes treatment almost impossible. Lick Granuloma is the condition in which a dog constantly licks an area of their body, until the area becomes inflamed. In most cases, dogs lick an area near their paws. The issue can be caused by an infection, but is likely a compulsion. Unfortunately, there are few treatment options. Find out if the dog has any allergy problems and a healthy diet. If the issue is psychological, the dog needs more attention and time, and it will include some kind of negative reinforcement. Lick Granuloma is difficult to treat, but not impossible.


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body does not release enough hormones - specifically of the T4 and T3 variety. This condition is more common in middle-aged dogs, especially in Labs. Symptoms of Hypothyroidism include stubborn hair growth and excessive shedding. Your dog will also likely be lethargic and constantly tired. A veterinarian can do a battery of tests to determine the cause of Hypothyroidism, and rest assured that they will prescribe the dog an effective medicine.


Parasitic mites cause mange, which bothers many breeds of dogs. These mites will embed themselves in the Labs fur, and bite the skin frequently. This is what causes the ugly patches of missing fur on dogs that could be described as "mangy". Most vets can treat the dog with a treatment every two weeks, and this should be successful within a few weeks, meaning the dog's hair will return to normal.

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