Labrador diagnosed with atopic dermatitis

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  1. My 4 years old Labrador has just been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis. Does anyone ever experienced this?
    I'm about to start a new therapy to see if things can get better, but I know that there's no solution for this. I'm just really really sad.
  2. I've never dealt with this, but wanted to offer you some suggestions. First of all, (((hugs))):hugs:, I know this can't be easy.

    If I were you, I would look for a holistic health group for dogs/cats (or breed specific) on yahoo to talk with people who are dealing with this and gain some knowledge how to handle it.

    This subject has come up a few times on the boxer forum and a few have recommended this book-

    Some say liquid salmon oil helps their dogs with this condition. I give it to my dogs everyday for all the wonderful health benefits (heart, joints, skin, coat).
    Here is the product I use (I avoid capsules because the capsules can be a source of allergens)-

    I pump it in a bowl and they lap it up as a bedtime treat! They LOVE it!:biggrin:

    Also, another great supplement for skin and coat is coconut oil. Yes, you can give both salmon and coconut. ;)
    I use this in their food (one tsp per 15lbs of bodyweight).

    Start out slow with the coconut oil, it can cause loose stools in the beginning. I started with a one tsp and worked my way up slowly over a few weeks. Don't worry about it causing weight gain, it is great for the metabolism. I can help a fat dog lose weight (humans too)!

    Here is an article from the Whole Dog Journal about the benefits of coconut oil for your pet.

    Also, if you decide you want to try both coconut and salmon oil, start with one for the first week or two. You want to see how your dog will react to each supplement. Some dogs are allergic to fish.
  3. I searched yahoo groups for you and came up with this....

    I belong to K9 nutrition group, although I don't read it much. I read mastiff health (I have a mastiff puppy) and RAW-lite everyday.

    There are some very knowledgeable members on the RAW-lite discussion group and they won't judge you for feeding kibble. Several members feed and combination of RAW food and kibble.
    They may try to persuade you to change your dog's diet but they will not judge you if you can't do it. RAW is not for everyone, but I can tell you it helps alleviate many allergy problems.
  4. Thank you so much boxermomof2!
  5. So sorry you're going through this OP!

    We had a dog that had eczema too. After a prick test we found out she was allergic to wheat as well as contact dermatitis! So no more store bought dog food for her and chemicals for cleaning the floor!! Even then, poor girl had itchy spots still!

    Vet gave her cortisone shots once a year and put her on a fatty diet and it did lessen the severity and frequency of flare ups.. So things like salmon, lamb, hard boiled eggs, cod liver oil.. Raw fatty meats!

    I hope the new treatment works OP.. All the best!
  6. #6 Oct 21, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
    Give the eggs raw with shells! An egg is a perfect food whole (shells are calcium and balance the calcium- phosphorous ratio). :biggrin:

    Soft boiled is fine if your dog won't eat them raw. Just keep the yolk runny.
  7. We've had rescue dogs with atopic dermatitis. Weekly bathing does wonders in helping clear things up, especially if you use a shampoo like Selsun Blue. Need to let the dog sit a few minutes after you lather him up. That seems to clear some of the nasties out of the dead skin and clear out the allergens they pick up. What happens in atopic dermatitis is that there's irritation under the dead layers of skin and that just keeps getting worse; Selsun Blue loosens and removes some of that dead skin so the irritation can clear up.

    We had one dog that was being given steroids for the dermatitis--prednisone I think. But still he was getting terrible outbreaks. We started bathing him every other day with some special shampoos from the vet, I think Malaseb was one, along with Selsun Blue once a week. While slowly weaning him off the steroids. After about 4-5 months he was looking fantastic and he never had another skin outbreak. But we did continue to bath him once a week for the rest of his life.

    I've heard that keeping dogs away from food with corn is also important as many dogs are allergic and the allergy is evidenced in the skin outbreaks.
  8. My dog developed it once we moved to Florida a year ago. We now live in FL part of the year. It's all about maintenance. He has flare ups every now and then but we try to control it as best as possible. We have him on Atopica as per out vet. We also bath him regularly with Duoxo Calm shampoo (the pink one) and use the Duoxo Micro-emulsion Spray. We also give him Benedryl as well when he's flaring up. Occasionally we also spray Vet's Best Hot Spot Spray on irritated areas. All this combined has really helped him be as normal as possible. I know it can be difficult at times but it is possible to control it. You just have to find what works for him. Wishing you lots of luck and best wishes for your doggy!
  9. #9 Oct 23, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010

  10. I was going to suggest a raw diet as well. I don't have experience with the condition, but I've read a lot about raw diets and it almost always alleviates allergies and other ailments.
  11. Thanks for all your help!! I hope things will get better.
  12. Our 15 months old lab ***** Emma had problems with dermatitis and we started to change her food to orijen 6 fish because it's without meat and wheat and after a couple of weeks the itching and skin flaking stopped. After that we tried different meats as treats to find out to which food she's allergic to and it turns out that her skin just can handle horse and every kind of fish. When the big bags of the orijen 6 fish arrives (13.5 kg) we make little bags of her daily portions out of it, so that very portion is airtight and can't be contaminated with food mites who develope in open bags of dried dog food. The vet advised us to do it. Since we changed the kibble to orijen and make the little bags her skin has gone back to normal.It might not be a solution but may be it's worth a try. I hope your poor dog will get better soon because Labs are such wonderful gentle dogs.
  13. #13 Nov 6, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
    Sorry double post:blush:
  14. Tania,

    I'm so happy you found the solution to Emma's needs. :smile: I believe health begins from within and nutrition is key.
    I wanted to post a link to Orijen's white paper. It debunks the high protein myth and describes why our dogs/cats should eat a grain free diet.
  15. Boxermom,
    I believe so, too and because Emma has ellbow dyplsia on her left elbow with an athrosis the omega 3 and 6 acids in the food help to strengthen her bones. There is a theory out there that cereals make athrosis worse so it can't hurt Emma to have a cereal-free food.
    She's a poor soul with her already operated elbow because in her first year she was 6 months in recovery after her operations and she wasn't allowed to play with other dogs. Now everything is ok and she enjoys playing with other dogs but I always have to make sure that she doesn't overdo it because she wouldn't stop on her own. Her most favourite dogs to play with are other labs, golden retrievers and boxers because they all play a lot with their bodies and enjoy pushing each other. We feed a lot of fresh vegetables, too so that her stomach is full but she doesn't get fat. IMO Orijen is one of the best dog foods available even though it's expensive and hard to get here in Germany. Our vet always advices to feet the Orijen 6 fish to dogs with dermatitis as a lot of the time that solves the problem and if this doesn't help you can try a special diet with just horse meat and patatoes for 6-8 weeks as a basic diet. After the 6-8 weeks you can give one different sort of meat into the mix like this you can see what kind of food causes the dermatitis because the skin will react pretty soon if your dog is allergic against it. That's how German vets tests food allergies on dogs.