Food Allergy is Probable Cause for Lab's Big Itch
By Dr. Michael Fox, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 12/27/2009
Dear Dr. Fox — We have a chocolate Lab who is 4 years old. She appears to have allergies or dry skin because she is constantly licking her paws and bottom. Also, after she eats or goes outside, she rubs her face on the couch and floor. We have taken her to the veterinarian several times, changed her food three times, and she is on Benadryl twice a day, but nothing seems to help. She has licked her paws so much that she has bare spots all up and down her legs.
A: There are many reasons why dogs (and cats) develop this condition. For details, check the archives of this column at my website. Presuming that the veterinarian has ruled out mange, a parasitic skin infestation, your poor dog probably has a food allergy. An elimination diet, which your veterinarian can help you with, is called for.
Second, this might be a contact allergy, so spread cotton sheets — washed in scent-free, eco-friendly, phosphate-free laundry detergent — where your dog lies and sleeps. Stop using floor cleaners other than white vinegar, borax and Orange TKO organic concentrate.
Third, supplement her diet with 1 teaspoon (or 1,000 mg) of fish oil such as New Chapter or Nordic Naturals in her food, plus 1 teaspoon of local honey or bee pollen that can help dogs with non-food related allergies…