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Skin problem with Lab

October 9th, 2007, 10:48 PM
I am new to this forum, I have a problem with my 5 y.o. black lab/golden mix, Maggie. She developed a skin rash about 45 days ago. The rash started on her tummy with red pus filled welts and spread all over except her face and ears. The pus dries and crust over and the spots flake off when I brush her. The vet said that it was most likely an allergic reaction. No recent dietary changes had been made. He prescribed prednisone and simplex(antibiotic) Changed her diet to lamb and rice. She got better right away, but as soon as the medicine stopped it took about a week for symptoms to come back. Vet put back on meds (stronger)for 2 more weeks, this is the 2nd week and she is not clearing up as quickly. Has anyone had similar problems, I am contemplating switching vets.

October 9th, 2007, 11:13 PM
hiya cbrown, not too far from my neck of the woods. :) welcome to

have you guys tried an elimination diet? any other diet change with with the new drugs? your vet say what they think he is allergic to?


Roscoe's Mom
October 10th, 2007, 12:00 AM
We also have a lab mix - possible with a golden, not sure. He's 12 now, and several years ago he started with rashes and terrible itching, his coat was dull and bare skin in spots. He had been living with my daughter while my husband and I drove OTR truck. We took him with us, changed his food to a better grade, eliminated all soy and corn and treated him for fleas. He began to fatten up and his coat just glistened. As he's gotten older though he seems to have bouts of allergy attacks. We have treated with steroids from our Vet - to no avail. We find that benadryl works better. In fact he's having a bad night tonight - that's why I'm still up at this hour - so I'm open to others' thoughts as well. I do know that some dogs are allergic to soy; and older dogs seem to be more susceptible to corn allergies.

October 10th, 2007, 12:26 AM
What are you feeding Maggie? I would try giving her one of the grain free kibbles and my first choice would be Orijen ( There is also Innova EVO ( and GO! Grain Free ( I would also add a little coconut oil to her food. You can get it at the health food store and make sure it says "organic extra virgin" on the label. :pawprint:

Roscoe's Mom
October 10th, 2007, 12:59 AM
We feed the Innova Evo to Roscoe, our diabetic - he thrives on it!

October 10th, 2007, 07:12 AM
This may or may not be relevant to your case but I felt I should post it just in case,
About 15 yrs ago I raised a large amount of Guinea pigs,
One Day I got a call from a Women a few miles from me who raised Chinchillas, She also had about a dozen Guinea pigs, Problem was They were costing her a small fortune and risking the health of her chinchillas farm, Her vet had exhausted all avenues of trying to correct the problem with her guinea pigs, She didn't want to kill them and she knew I had lots of pigs, So she called me and asked me if I would take them or she would have to have them killed.
Of course I immediate went and got them.
Guess I wasn't really prepared for what I saw, But I took them anyways,
They were completely bald, Very hard ruff scales all over there bodies, She said it had gone thru stages and ended in this, Hairless scaly hard bodied little creatures that sometimes flaked the hard stuff off, anyways I sat wondering what To do, Then it hit me, A very old old book a vet had wrote concerning his days of being a vet and the cases he encountered in his yrs, One such case was a small dog, Started with sores, puss, then crusted over, skin turned hard and scaly, till the point the dog became totally hairless, He didn't know what to do for the little dog, The family was going to put it down, But he asked if he could have the dog, He took it home And thru an accident he spilled Iodine on it one day, The next day to his amazement every spot the iodine touched was completely healed and tiny hair particulars was growing in,
So back to my guinea pigs, To do a Dozen in iodine was gonna take a lot of it, So I called my vet told him my situation and asked if I could get an Iodine shampoo, 1 treatment cured all my pigs like new, For safety measures I bathed them two more times in iodine, I then put them with my other pigs and never had another case of this skin disease in my pigs. Needless to say every time I encounter a skin problem in any of my pets/animals I reach for the Iodine first, Before I venture to any vet, It has saved me tuns of money :thumbs up

October 10th, 2007, 07:26 AM
HI CBrown...I have an 8 year old chcolate lab..For the past 7 years he has the spots you are describing...on and off...prednisone was the drug that always worked but I hated having to give that to him so much...Finally I was given an education from many people about dog foods...alot of info from this board. Winston was on vet prescribed food which was garbage!

I changed him over to Orijen....the spots are gone and he now has a beautiful coat. Also my boy always had the itchies! not anymore...I really couldnt tell you exactly what it was that fixed the problem but the 2 main issues with Orijeen food were NO GRAINS..NO GLUTEN..and NO BY PRODUCTS..I think my boy had a grain or gluten allergy. By the way...he loves the food...I have him on the fish formula.....he is a much happier boy! I also tried eliminating household things but I would reccomend the food first because your symptoms are identical..

Good Luck


:thumbs up

Roscoe's Mom
October 10th, 2007, 09:18 AM
cbrown, how is maggie doing today?

I don't want to hijack your thread, but I think our problems are pretty similar. So my questions may also be similar to yours and maybe we can get some light shed on an issue I know is something Labs are pretty pre-disposed to.

On the response regarding the Orijen. Would Innova Evo be the US equivalent to the Orijen. The Orijen is not offered in Michigan where we live. I haven't looked at all the online stores it's in, but have to believe the expense would be prohibitive. As it is I'm paying almost $50.00 a bag for Roscoe's Innova Evo.

Also, on the iodine application - how would you treat a 60# Lab with it - Do you dilute it and bathe them with it?

Ben doesn't have the welts, but he does twitch and itch during these episodes. Maybe he's developed an immunity to the food he's on (which isn't cheap,either!)

Thanks for any replies.

October 10th, 2007, 09:30 AM
have any of you tried the elimination diet? start with one protein source and work from there?? heck even with cooked chicken, ground up egg shells and raw eggs... if they still are having this reaction then go with a different animal you are SURE they havent ever had before. that would tell you if its a food issue or not.

i would think that would be a better idea then prednisone. thats a pretty dangerous drug. my sisters father has to take it for cluster migraines.


October 10th, 2007, 09:46 AM
To: Roscoe's Mom
Also, on the iodine application - how would you treat a 60# Lab with it - Do you dilute it and bathe them with it?

Thats where Iodine Shampoo is more cost effective,
Contact your local vet and see if they can supply you with some,

Unfortunitly for me here in Canada where I live I tried to get my hands on some more iodine shampoo and they told me You can't get it anymore, Not sure where you live but you can check it out and see,

Both of my shi-tzu's awhile back developed terrible itching on the backs, rumps , belly generally all over, I knew it wasn't fleas, So I tried to get the shampoo again, to no avail, So I hit the drug stores, (kinda expensive doing any sized dog in regular iodine,) Anyways I ended up buying a bottle of BETADINE Solution (10% povidine-iodine topical solution USP) I mixed it with some water in a basin and sit my dogs hind legs in it, using a rag I rubbed it all in, (catching any drippings back in the basin so I could re-use it) Did this for three days straight and whatever it was it cured them of the itchy itch.

October 10th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Thanks to all of you for replying. Maggie is a little better today, but I am really uncomfortable with the prednisone, I can tell she is getting bloated since she has been on it.

Chicklet, I like the iodine(betadine) bath idea I am going to try it. I have been bathing her with a shampoo from the vet.

I changed her food from chicken based to lamb and rice but it has only been about 10 days, should I notice a difference right away?

Ashley, I am going to try the elimination diet, do you start with fresh food?
I don't know if we have Orjen here either, but I will look into it.

Thanks again for all your help, I will keep you posted.:lovestruck:

October 10th, 2007, 05:21 PM
i also had this problem with one of my bullies i tried everything nothing worked till my son came home with poison ivy and the dr gave him
BURO_SOL so i decided to try it on chopper guess what it really cleared it up
BURO-SOL its for humans
rapid relief of skin inflamations, itching, rashes, and infection
due to eczema dermatitis,poison ivy,insect bites, ect,ect

Roscoe's Mom
October 10th, 2007, 06:30 PM
Here is the orijen site for stores located in US - nothing for South Carolina, but one in North Carolina. If you check out the home site they do have online stores.

want4rain are you talking about a raw diet?

We have prednisone on hand but only as a last resort - too many problems and we've found it doesn't work anyway.

October 10th, 2007, 08:17 PM
I changed her food from chicken based to lamb and rice but it has only been about 10 days, should I notice a difference right away?

If she has seasonnal allergies too (like a lot of goldens , like my Bailey , allergies : chicken , corn , and seasonnal) switching the food won't be enough. Bailey is on Vanectyl until the ground frozes. :shrug: So if she is still itchy , it doesn't mean it's the food. Most goldens with allergies do well on lamb and rice , as long as it doesn't have any corn.

October 10th, 2007, 09:17 PM
I'm wondering that since she responded to the antibiotic, if she might have an allergy to a bacteria like staphylococcus. While staph is normally found on dog's skin, she may just have an overdevelopment of it recently which triggered the allergic reaction. Might be worthwhile to ask your vet for a blood test if her symptoms persist.

October 10th, 2007, 11:06 PM
we have Mister on a raw diet because it makes life easier. i dont have to add veggies, they just get all the parts of an animal i can find and that gives him what he needs. when you cook meat, it takes away some of the vitamins in the food which is why you have to add other things...

but that doesnt mean you HAVE to use raw. some people dont feel comfortable feeding raw. admittedly its kind of scary.

start off with lightly cooked chicken and try for 8 weeks to stick to one protein source. it strongly preferred to to keep them on a protein that they have never had.

for a raw-ish diet, nice middle ground would be the animals muscle meat, liver and then any of the other organs you can from that same animal, all of those cooked lightly. sort of like rare meat. make sure the bones dont touch heat and that they can be chewed and eaten, if not, supplement with calcium pills. i am NOT qualified to tell you how much calcium they need per pound of meat. it depends on the animal and the phosphorus content.

my vet also said that when you have a dog with allergies, it aggravates other allergies and that sometimes taking care of one of them will help with the other. :shrug:

i know that when Mister had fleas (as like 5 of them... :rolleyes:) he had issues eating chicken. now that he doesnt have fleas, the chicken issue is gone.

good luck with it and keep us posted! im a little surprised your vet didnt suggest an elimination diet already.


Roscoe's Mom
October 11th, 2007, 10:47 AM
Raw isn't an option for us at this time; we have eliminated all table scraps, and corn, soy, etc. as Labs, like the Goldens, are sensitive to those, especially as they get older. I have an appointment with Ben on Saturday and am going to ask about the iodine shampoo and other suggestions offered here. Thanks to all! :)

October 11th, 2007, 01:07 PM
oh! emilinaiton diet doesnt hase to be raw!! heck it USUALLY isnt raw, usually its lamb and rice or beef and rice or some other single protein cooked with rice which is very unlikely to be an allergen. talk to your vet abotu it and see what the other options are for an elimination diet. ok??