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My poor little pup! She is scratching like the dickens. She's a black lab, 5 months old, so the dandruff really shows up. We brush her at least 3 to 4 times a week, but right now at this time of the year she is really showing some dandruff. I can't tell if it's a food allergy, or environmental, or a little of both. We live in NJ and even I am sneezing a lot lately and have the whole runny nose thing with all the stuff blooming outside. Our pup has been on Pro Plan Chicken and Rice since the breeder started her on it, and that is what we have been feeding her all along. (Although I am seriously considering switching her to something with better quality ingredients and less grains.) Anyway, I guess a visit to the Vet is in order. I feel so bad for her to be so itchy! In the meantime, I was just wondering if anyone else is experiencing the springtime allergy fun like we are! (I have read that Benadryl helps but I don't like to always resort to meds if I don't have to. Is there something I can do to give my girl some relief before we are able to get to the vet? Does oatmeal shampoo really help?)
Thanks in advance!
 

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I would change her food. You have asked about other foods before i think, i would try a grain free food like Orijen (its the ony one i've used) and see if that helps with the itchies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You're right, I HAVE asked about other food before. It gets a bit confusing to me..........She's 5 months old..........so if I switch her food, do I switch to a large breed puppy food or adult? The breeder suggested switching to adult at 5 months old but I am still feeding her large breed puppy Pro Plan. I will check out Orijen and see if they make a large breed puppy formula. If I may ask, at what age do you recommend switching to adult formula? Thanks for your response!
 

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true food allergies in dogs are rare. I would wonder if its environmental. Do you use fabric softener? Detergent?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We have only bathed her a couple of times since we got her 3 months ago....maybe twice. Even then we used very little shampoo. The shampoo we are using is called Perfect Coat, Gentle Formula. I'm sure there is a better one out there, and one specifically for dry skin? Her skin was dandruffy in the winter, then got better, and now is dandruffy again. She scratches herself a LOT lately, and I feel so bad because I know that feeling when your skin is so itchy and it drives you NUTS. We brush her often to get the oils up but she is pretty dandruffy right now. I wash her bedding with Arm and Hammer, Sensitive solution, no perfumes or dyes, same stuff I use for us. I don't use fabric sheets for her things. Hmmmmm. Maybe it's the pollen in the air? Change of seasons? I would like to try a more natural approach before just popping Benadryl in her mouth, but I also don't want her to suffer. What do you guys think of Oatmeal shampoo? Worth a try?
 

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I don't think much of ANY shampoo. I have an 18 month old dog here that has never had a bath. Well heck, none of my 6 dogs, ranging in age from 13 years to 18 months, have ever had a bath. They just don't need regular bathing. Try brushing the dog once or twice a week instead. :)

She's prolly dandruffy right now because of the baths and because its shedding season and they tend to get a bit of dandruff when they are blowing coat.
 

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Orijen does make LBP formula, i wouldn't switch to adult untill the pups a year old and done most of the actual 'bone' growth. I know its been said that most dogs don't have actual food allergies but alot of dogs develop allergy symptoms from the chemicals & processing used in dog foods with alot of grains and dogs are carnivores so they don't need much for carbohydrates. Good Luck.
(There are many other grain free foods besides Orijen its just the one i know.)
 

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loriwolfelabluv said:
alot of dogs develop allergy symptoms from the chemicals & processing used in dog foods with alot of grains
Can I see the scientific proof of this? Thanks.
 

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Riley is 6 and started exhibiting allergy symptoms at 2 years old. I have tried the lot, various diets, fish oils,de sensitisation jabs, benadryl,oatmeal shampoo..... she gets VERY sebaceous and thats hards to shift without a little shampoo occasionally. I am now trying Aloe vera gel on her food which humans have tried with some success. Her eyes are better than usual at this time of year, but its too soon to say we have found the answer.
 

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Labby
I am not a scientist just a reader ::)... i am only stating what i have read and heard from fellow raw/grainfree feeders, once they switched to raw/grain free the allergy symptoms and ear infections went away, never to return... - may be cheaper than allergy testing and healthier too!
 

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loriwolfelabluv said:
I am not a scientist just a reader ::)... i am only stating what i have read and heard from fellow raw/grainfree feeders, once they switched to raw/grain free the allergy symptoms and ear infections went away, never to return... - may be cheaper than allergy testing and healthier too!
If you have read so much surely you have stumbled across some scientific proof..?? Or at least organized studies...? Not just the opinions of some.... right?

I would also be interested to see it.

More to the point:
I have also been told that Labs do not need baths, that it strips the coat of the natural protective oils, leading to itchiness, etc.
 

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I had a similiar problem when my black lab (in NJ) was about 5 months old. The dandruff was totally food related - changed the food, dandruff went away. The itching ended up being flea dermatitis - even one flea bothered him a lot. We are about 1 month from the point he started to itch last year - so I will be able to rule out other environmental factors very soon.'

I used LB Orijen and really liked it. It has the right calcium and phos levels for a LB pup with no grain. It does have high protein, but there is not one study that says high protein is bad for pups. I started him on it around 12 months though and we just switched to the adult at 14 months. I would not hesitate at 5 months to try that food.

PLUS it is now available in Nj - mikes feed farm has it, and your local pet shop can probably order it if you ask.

So I would agree with many others. Switch the food- but gradually over 2 weeks. Usually a food with lower fat contents causes dandruff. Use Frontline plus...give baths, but once every 6-12 weeks is fine. The more you bathe, the more likely the skin will dry up. You can also add a little olive oil (teaspoon) to the food to see if that helps with the dandruff. Now I use Dermcaps (just one a day). Fish oils are one of the only proven supplements by the fda to have a significant benefit.
 
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I've had my Lab for 6 months - have not bathed him even once and he is perfectly clean. He smells quite good - his coat is glossy and healthy. I brush him now and then.

My Shepherd on the other hand is in need of a bath now that the weather is nice. I bathe her 3-4 times a year. She's a little stinky.

They are not children nor Pomeranians. They do not need a lot of grooming.
 

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maybe your vet should check the thyroid levels? my dog was doing it too, flaky skin, dandruff like stuff etc. and it turned out he is hypo thyroid and now he's on medication 2 times a day - cheap pills thankfully! Just a suggestion. Could me so many things.
 

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baloo317 - there are many many holistic vets that advocate grain free and /or raw and the info is all over the web. :)
 

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loriwolfelabluv said:
Labby
I am not a scientist just a reader ::)... i am only stating what i have read and heard from fellow raw/grainfree feeders
That doesn't impress me much. I could put on a website that my dogs have done wonderfully by feeding them left overs from a dumpster and it would hold the same weight as what you have posted.
 

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labby-large dog food companies have money to do all there tests etc and "try" to find the right balance in bag- as cheaply as they can so that they can make a profit of course. Actually there are vets that have reported tests and research with regard to holistic, raw alternative feeding but as i'm sure you know this is a political issue as the dog food companies make money selling dog food which in turn they pass on to vets, colleges, universities in the form of grants textbooks, free dog food etc. some vets only learn about nutrition through purina. What in the heck did dogs eat before the invention of cooked dog food. Why are you so hung up on scientific proof, for me the proof is in the pudding... ::)
 

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You make claims like the one above regarding chemicals, yet you don't provide any proof. I'm just saying show me some of the proof in what you are saying. I guess you're saying you can't. Fair enough.
 

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I would test, test, test. I learned the hard way with an itchy dog to not skip this practice. It only took me 5 years!!
Skin test, serum test for allergies, run blood test for other problems. Food allergies are rare.

My girl was so itchy that she could not even sleep most nights because that was all she would do. We lived like that off an on for 5 years. Our vet would give her cortisone shots and they would offer temporay help but they were only masking the problem and NOT fixing it.
 
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