Labrador skin problems can present themselves in several ways. Skin parasites, such as fleas, mites and lice can lead to allopecia -hair loss mainly at the sides between the front and rear legs, lick granuloma, caused by constant licking of sores, acral lick dermatitis and dandruff.
Thyroid problems can also lead to problems with hypothyroidism that can also lead to dry itchy skin and hair loss.
Parasites, ticks and mites can be a problem for all dogs and are a common cause of Labrador skin problems.
Fleas and demodex mites- which live on the skin of all dogs - demodectic mange, which usually only affect puppies but can appear on older dogswith weak or undeveloped immune systems can pose more problems for your Lab.
Sarcoptic mange, better known as scabies, is another affliction and is spread by the sarcoptic mite.
This mite is quite capable of spreading the disease between animals and from animals to humans.
In short, it can cause severe discomfort to the Labrador as well as its owner. These mites burrow into the skin, causing irritation and hair loss.
It is important that any potential skin problems are sorted out straight away as, unless dealt with promptly, they could lead to self mutilation by your dog as he gnaws away at his skin, trying to rid himself of discomfort.
Ticks and fleas remain the most common parasite likely to affect your dog and are a major cause of problems for Labs. A flea lives off the dog's blood, and is a rapid breeder.
A Labrador which has become infected with fleas will scratch constantly, especially at his ears, base of the tail and stifle. Incredibly, the irritation a Labrador receives is not from the fleas bite, but its saliva.
Labs with an allergy to saliva develop inflamed skin, a situation worsened as the dog tries to relieve the problem by gnawing away at itself..
If your Labrador skin problems are a result of fleas, it is important that you use a broad spectrum treatment that kills off both fleas and eggs.
To avoid more skin problems, it is important to look at the Lab's diet. Labrador retrievers need high quality protein and high quality fats that are easily digested.
The protein helps the Lab maintain their high energy levels, while the quality fat provide the nutrients for a healthy coast and skin.
It should always be remembered that the first step to ensuring your Labrador Retriever avoids skin problems is through a healthy diet.