Skin Problems In Labrador Retrievers

Skin Problems In Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrieversOpens in a new tab. are very well recognized dogs all over the world and especially in the United States. They are well known for their playful, active, and friendly ways. Labs make wonderful family petsOpens in a new tab. and want to be the best pals with everyone, including other dogs.

The Lab is generally pretty low maintenance and also quite healthy too. However, there are a few health conditions that they can be prone to and some are skin-related. Just as in humans, many are hereditary and can be linked back to their family tree.

In the following post, I will concentrate on identifying skin problems in Labrador retrieversOpens in a new tab.. Also included will be Labrador skin allergies symptoms in dogs and home remedies for Labrador skin allergies.

To check your labrador Retrievers’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet Opens in a new for all the help you may need.

 Skin Problems In Labrador Retrievers
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Skin Problems In Labrador Retrievers

Skin problems are not major issues for Labrador retrieversOpens in a new tab., but from time to time they may develop some type of skin conundrum.

These may be caused by something easily identified and eliminated by either removing the source of irritation or treatment of the problem.

Some skin conditions have an underlying medical cause that needs to be addressed and treated to eliminate skin maladies. Below are some of those conditions.

Lick Granuloma

This causes a dog to lick a certain area or area until they become red, raw, and inflamed. Unfortunately, this is psychological in nature and causes your pup to lick constantly when nervous, anxious, or bored.

Topical ointments can help but helping the root cause is necessary to stop and cure it. Usually, a veterinarian or behavior therapist is the place to turn to for help and advice.

Hypothyroid Alopecia

Hypothyroidism is a health issueOpens in a new tab. that is common in Labs. The thyroid hormone helps to control metabolism and when it doesn’t produce enough of that hormone, hypothyroidism is the result.

This has many symptoms such as lethargy and weight gain along with skin issuesOpens in a new tab. like dry, flaky, itchy skin leading to scratching and alopecia or hair loss.

Once it is diagnosed, the hormone is replaced with daily levothyroxine in the proper dose for your pup. The skin should begin to improve as well as regrowth of fur.


Seborrhea is an affliction that can be treated but never entirely cured so it is handled with ongoing remedies. With seborrhea, your retriever produces too much sebum.

Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands. It is a waxy and oily matter that protects and moisturizes the skin.

When overproduced, skin dryness, flakiness, and oiliness can occur. Areas, where seborrhea can develop, are elbows, hocks, knees, neck, and ears. Seborrhea only causes skin-related issues and is treated with antibiotics and/or medicated shampoos.


Pyoderma is a skin infection, bacterial in nature, appearing as crusty patches that develop on your Lab’s flanks, back, and hips.

Pyoderma results from scratching due to flea bites, dermatitis, etc., which in turn causes infection. Topical and/or oral antibiotics will be prescribed for pyoderma.

Light-Responsive Alopecia

This type of alopecia does not affect the health of your Lab, just their appearance. Too little sunlight may cause a loss of fur in patches on your retriever’s body.

This can occur in locations with long, dark winters with very little sunshine. Your veterinarian may also suspect hypothyroidism and take a scraping of the skin to analyze and differentiate between the two.


This is a common condition that develops with inflamed hair follicles and is generally caused by a bacterial infection. It appears as red bumps around hair follicles which will develop into pustules. Antibiotics are needed to treat folliculitis.


Another common condition seen in dogs is a lipoma. This is a mass made up of fat cells that is benign. These are located right under the skin.

They can be surgically removed but most times this is not necessary unless they become problematic. Lipomas are mainly found in older dogs and female dogs that over overweight make up a higher percentage.

Skin Symptoms and Conditions of Allergies in Labrador Retrievers
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Skin Symptoms and Conditions of Allergies in Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers do seem to be more prone to allergiesOpens in a new tab. than other breeds. Also more prone are female Labs over males. Below are listed some allergy skin symptoms and then I will cover some possible allergy causes.

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Flaky, dry skin
  • Itchy skin (mainly armpits, face, abdomen, genitals, and paws)
  • Scratching
  • Licking
  • Chewing
  • Biting of skin
  • Hotspots
  • Loss of fur
  • Itchy feet, legs, face, armpits, and ears due to pollen allergy
  • Itchy hind legs, above tail and neck due to flea allergy

Along with skin issues, environmental allergies may cause sneezing and coughing and food Opens in a new tab.allergies may bring about gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Labrador skin conditions are caused by allergies.

Labrador’s who have sensitive and delicate skin often suffer from allergOpens in a new tab.y-related issues such as dermatitis which is caused by contact with certain substances like wool or leathers, food intolerance reactions (such as those allergic to dairy products), seasonal problems such as pollen sensitivity in springtime when the air carries petals into homes and workplaces; not forgetting dust mite allergens too!

A few skin conditions are caused by allergies. They are listed below.

  • Atopic dermatitis

Caused by environmental allergens such as dust and pollen, atopic dermatitis is inherited with the immune system overreacting to these offending particles which are harmless to many people and animals. Rashes, itchiness, and flaky dry skin occur, and sometimes sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose as well. Fabric softener in your pet’s bedding can also be a culprit.

  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Fleas are an annoying problem and no one wants them on their dog or in their home. Some dogs are allergic to fleas. It is not a reaction to flea bites but to the flea saliva that causes uncomfortable symptoms.

This can be a big issue with itching, scratching, and sores which can lead to skin infections. You need to rid your dog of the fleas to solve the problem with a flea shampoo or flea dip.

You may need a flea bomb or exterminator for your house if you have a major infestation. Eliminating fleas in your Lab won’t solve the problem if fleas are still in your house. Don’t forget to wash your pup’s bedding and clean their sleeping area as well.

Food allergies can cause many of the skin problems listed above as well as gastrointestinal issues.

  • Changing Foods

When dealing with food allergies, you and your veterinarian will need to identify the offending allergen. After that, changing foods is a no-brainer! Your Lab’s skin and any other symptoms should clear up when the ingredient they are allergic to is eliminated.

Home Remedies For Skin Allergies

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be mixed with water, half and half, and sprayed on itchy areas with a spray bottle. It is an excellent antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial.

If your pup has any open sores, do not use them because they will burn. Have your veterinarian check those sores to avoid infection.

  • Baking Soda

Two cups added to a bath will soothe irritated, inflamed, and itchy skin.

  • Apple Cider vinegar plus baking soda

Mixed together half and half this becomes an excellent remedy for fleas. Spray on areas that are affected and massage. Avoid eyes and ears with this solution. Rinse completely.

  • Oatmeal

For an oatmeal bath, you can either purchase colloidal oatmeal or actual oatmeal dog shampoo. Oatmeal is proven effective for itchy, dry irritated skin and even humans use it. Oatmeal soothes and relieves itching.

  • Coconut oil

Used topically, coconut oil moisturizes your Lab’s skin while healing cuts and sores. It helps clear up dermatitis and eczema very well.

  • Aloe Vera

This is commonly used for sunburn with its cooling effect. Aloe vera also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial qualities, while soothing and cooling itchy skin.

  • Epsom salts

Soaking your pup for ten minutes in an Epsom salt bath will calm and heal the skin. Rinse your Lab off after bathing.

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be added to your pup’s food to help with dry skin issues. It can also be applied topically. Check with your veterinarian before feeding vitamin E because some foods already contain it.

When choosing a Labrador retrieverOpens in a new tab., use a responsible breeder. Some breeders use less than reputable techniques that cause genetic health conditions as well as hereditary skin issues. Opens in a new tab.

Some of the above skin problemsOpens in a new tab. are hereditary in nature and others like flea allergy dermatitis are caused by parasites.

Even though your retriever is covered in fur, check their skin regularly to make sure there are no issues and catch them before they get out of hand.

Home remedies for Labrador skin allergies are a good idea in some cases but sometimes your pup may need something stronger.

If your Lab’s skin is red and they are constantly scratching, have your veterinarian check them out. This can avoid severe problems down the road.

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