When I was a young lad I suffered terribly from some kind of allergy that manifested itself in different forms.
My first eye infection happened when I was just three months old. You’ll see from my pictures it looked pretty bad. It gave me, and my pawrents a bit of a fright.
The vet suggested it may have been something I came into contact with whilst walking through the summer grassy field. That was a reasonable explanation. That was until my second infection occurred around two months later, and a third when I was six months.
A human antihistamine helped me on these occasions. Be very careful as many over the counter antihistamine brands contain a decongestant which is dangerous for dogs, so always administer upon your vets recommendation.
The evening after my third eye infection I developed what looked like dandruff (dry flaky skin). It soon developed into something quite serious when it became itchy and blistery. I was in so much pain I had to be soothed with coconut oil. My break out began late at night so coconut oil was the only thing my pawrents had that seemed safe and natural to try and ease my discomfort, and thankfully it did. I went straight to the vet the next morning. My skin had began to heal but my pawrents had taken photos of my breakout to show the vet. It turned out I healed pretty well overnight.
They started some tests to try to illuminate different factors. At first fleas and mites were ruled out. The vet, like my pawrents, didn’t find any sign of life from using the flea comb and I wasn’t showing signs of scratching. Nevertheless, the whole house was disinfected just in case.
On my check-up visit a different vet noticed my flaky skin and thought it could be a form of mites known as ‘walking dandruff’ the medical term ‘cheyletiellosis or cheyletiella mange’. Unlike other mite conditions this disease results in virtually no itching at all. This is an extremely contagious, non-seasonal skin disease of dogs, cats, rabbits and sometimes people caused by surface-dwelling parasitic mites. Well this caused panic in our household. The vet had prescribed a precautionary flea and mite medicated shampoo treatment. A skin-scraping sample was taken to detect the mites that are not visible to the eye. But my mites tests were negative.
Food allergy – hypoallergenic dog food
This left two further main possibilities; my environment, or my food. Was my house too hot, was I allergic to the washing powder or something else in the house. It turned out my allergy was due to food sensitivity. My pawrents started to look at alternative natural food options moving me only a locally sourced dog food called Millies Woofheart (www.millieswolfheart.co.uk). They produce a bespoke recipe dog food formulated without gluten and grains, and are naturally hypoallergenic. Luckily for me their mixes are extremely tasty – the countryside mix is my favourite. After a few weeks my skin condition cleared up and my coat was looking glossy. Be careful though; the key to changing our food is to do it gradually. My new food was extremely rich and the change needed to be more gradual than the brand suggested, this was probably due to my sensitive tummy. It’s just trial and error at this stage I’m afraid.
I’ve been happier and healthier since changing my food. Thank goodness it wasn’t my environment – I love my family home. And I’m so glad I found this delicious new cuisine too. After all I am a Labrador, so I’m ruled by my belly!
Common allergies in Labrador Retrievers
According to thelabradorsite.com Labradors tend to be more allergic that other dog breeds due to their immune system. Check out more at https://www.thelabradorsite.com/common-allergies-in-labrador-retrievers/