Commonly Occuring Labrador Retriever Skin Problems

Labrador Retriever skin problems are generally caused by allergies of one kind or another.

Your pet's skin problems are unlikely to be life threatening, but they will have a major bearing on its overall health and therefore its well being.

You can just imagine what it must be like being itchy all day long.

The problem with this is that there are so many different types of allergy that could affect your dog that it is very difficult to pin point exactly what might be causing the problem.

The most common cause is without doubt fleas. Flea bite hypersensitivity is caused by the saliva of fleas. One bite from a flea is enough to cause a reaction for up to a week.

Dogs that have this problem will bite and chew their backs and tails incessantly especially at the base of the tail.

Treatment is available in the form of flea sprays and dips. For any kind of lasting solution to the flea problem, a total flea eradication program needs to be implemented. The places where the fleas breed needs to be treated.

Care should be taken when using any strong chemical as this could also harm your pet.


The next type is inhalant allergy or atopy. This type of reaction is quite often seasonal and is caused by pollens from grass, trees or pretty much any plant.

It could however also be caused by dust or mould.

Atopy will normally become noticeable when you see the dog constantly worrying its feet, scratching, biting or licking.

Atopy can't be cured as such but it can be managed by using special medicated shampoos. Bathing should be frequent as this reduces the antigen exposure.

The affected dog can be treated with steroids to reduce the effect.

Antihistamines may also be administered to reduce the reaction.

Although this is sometimes impossible, removing the source i.e. the cause of the problem from the immediate surroundings as far as possible, providing you know what that source is, is highly recommended.

Finding the source can be extremely difficult, and may require a bit of detective work on your part.

Dogs the same as humans can be allergic to certain food stuff, and Labs will eat almost anything that they come across, which makes life just that small amount more difficult.

Dog Mange

Dogs can be negatively affected by foods such as fish, chicken, pork, anything containing chemical preservatives, artificial sugars etc.

Food allergies cause the Lab to scratch their ears, shake their heads, lick and worry at their back legs. You could see the ears becoming inflamed. And of course there is the possibility of vomiting or diarrhea.

Lastly there is bacterial reaction, also known as pyoderma. The blame for this can be laid at the door of a bacteria by the name of Staphylococcus.

Staphylococcus will not harm the dog provided its immune system is operating normally.

The problem begins if your dog's immune system has taken a knock. As soon as the dogs immune system is not coping, you will start to see pustules forming, the dog will lose hair and big red spots will appear.

If this happens get your dog to the vet ASAP.

I would suggest that should you come across Labrador Retriever skin problems, consulting your local vet is always a good idea as a first resort rather than as a last resort.

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