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7 Common Silver Lab Skin Issues + 5 Essential Tips (2023)

Silver Lab Skin Issues

Like other dogs, Silver Labs can suffer from skin problems.

Their rare coat color doesn’t exempt them from those.

Thus, if you have one at home or planning to adopt…

You should know the usual conditions they get.

And what you can do to help them in such cases.

Keep reading to discover:

  • 7 common skin issues of Silver Labs.
  • If their rare coat color affects their skin health.
  • 5 simple tips on how to treat your Silver Lab’s skin.
  • And many more…

7 common Silver Lab skin issues

#1: Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD)

This is the most common skin issue in Silver Labs.

Although any Fido can suffer from it…

A study suggests it’s mostly inherited.

And it’s often seen in dog breeds like:

  • Golden Retrievers.
  • Labrador Retrievers.

But in one research,  chocolate-colored Labs are revealed to be the most prone to this skin condition.

This is when you compare them to Yellow and Black Labradors.

Now, you might wonder…

“How’s this related to Silver Labs?”

Many people believe these gray Fidos are a cross of Labradors and Weimaraners.

Thus, they stir some controversies.

But breeders argue they’re a diluted or paler version of Chocolate Labs.

So if it’s the case, Silver Labradors are also at high risk of CAD.

It stands for canine atopic dermatitis.’ And it happens when a dog inhales an allergen in the environment.

Some common examples of it are the following:

  • Grass.
  • Pollen.
  • Dust mites.
  • Mold spores.
  • Dog bed stuffing.

These are usually harmless. But some dogs’ immune systems can overreact to them.

And this results in an allergic reaction. Which then makes Fidos itch all over.

Check out also: Why do dogs lick their paws?

#2: Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD)

According to vets, this is a common skin condition in dogs.

So Silver Labs are no exception to it.

“But how do fleas cause an allergic reaction?”

When adult fleas infest a Fido, they feed on their host’s blood to reproduce.

However, as they bite, experts say they inject their saliva too.

And most dogs are sensitive to its proteins.

Thus, one flea bite can make your Silver Lab itch for a period of time. Especially in the area around their:

  • Hind legs.
  • Middle spine.
  • The base of the tail.

Also, these parasites don’t usually stay on dogs.

They only stick to their host as they feed on their blood.

That’s why your Silver Lab may still have this allergy even though you can’t see any fleas on them.

So also watch out for these other symptoms:

Warning: This can lead to skin infections if not treated right away. So get your Lab checked by the vet asap. Then do the tips I’ll share later on to get rid of pesky fleas.

#3: Food allergies

Food Allergies Silver Lab Skin Issue

Does your Silver Lab often bite and scratch themselves?

If so, the culprit must be in what they eat.

Usually, the top reason for this is protein.

 Based on a study, 34% of dogs are sensitive to beef.

Then it’s followed by:

  1. Dairy products – 17%.
  2. Chicken – 15%.
  3. Wheat – 13%.

“How do these kinds of food affect dogs?”

Like atopic dermatitis, their immune system reacts to a substance in the food. 

Say a protein or carbohydrate.

Because of it, the dogs will release antibodies. Or proteins that protect the body against foreign substances.

Then that’s when signs of food allergy show up. 

Note: Besides itchiness, Silver Labs with a food allergy may also display:

#4: Pyoderma

This refers to skin infections in dogs.

They can be either due to bacteria or fungi like yeast.

And based on specialists, it could happen for 4 reasons:

  • Damaged skin.
  • Poor skin blood supply.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Long exposure of the skin to moisture.

As I said earlier, Silver Labs are prone to atopic dermatitis or an itchy skin disease.

Suffering from it can damage the layer that protects their skin.

So it puts your dog at a higher risk of infection.

#5: Hypothyroidism

Next, Silver Labs may also inherit this skin issue.

It’s when a dog’s thyroid gland stops producing enough hormones.

Because of it, their metabolism slows down. Or the process of turning food into energy.

Then, later on, this will affect their skin and coat.

However, in other cases, VCA says that a Fido’s immune system may also attack their thyroid.

But the exact reason isn’t known yet.

“How will I know if my Lab has this skin condition?”

Besides having a dull coat, you’ll also notice these other signs on your dog:

  • Bald spots.
  • Intolerance to cold.
  • Sudden weight gain.
  • Inability to regrow hair.
  • Dark pigments on the skin.

Reading tip: 7 Common Silver Lab Health Issues + 5 Vital Tips

#6: Color dilution alopecia

Sometimes, the rare coat color of Silver Labs may also come with a skin condition.

This isn’t always the case.

But according to experts, this is often seen in dogs with light coats.

For example, tan or gray fur like what Silver Labs have.

Apart from itchy skin, dogs with this issue will also suffer from hair loss.

And the symptoms usually show at 6 months old or above.

“What causes color dilution alopecia in dogs?”

Since most cases of the affected Fidos have a pale coat color…

Vets say it could be due to the ‘dilute gene.’

It makes the coat color of a dog paler. And also their eyelids and noses.

#7: Hot spots

Lastly, a study shows Chocolate Labs have a high chance of getting these painful sores.

And again, Silver Labs are a lighter version of those dogs.

Thus, your gray Fido may also get this common skin issue due to genetics.

Hot spots are red, aching wounds on a dog’s skin.

They get it by constantly licking and scratching a part of their body. Which then results in open injuries.

Warning: Hot spots become bigger quickly. Also, you may not see them as they’re under your Lab’s fur. So carefully inspect your Fido’s body for any wounds.

Silver Lab skin treatment: 5 tips

#1: Avoid and soothe

First, have your Silver Lab checked by the vet.

They’ll determine if your dog has allergies like canine atopic dermatitis.

If so, keep these 2 things in mind:

Avoid allergens

In the meantime, avoid walking your Lab on lawns or grassy areas. As these might have chemicals or pollen that can cause allergies.

Also, wash your Lab’s area and bedding.

Note: You can replace the latter to see if the stuffing inside causes your dog to itch.

Soothe their skin

Give your Fido a vet-prescribed antipruritic drug. Or the one that helps reduce itchiness.

Also, give your Lab a bath to soothe their irritated skin.

For this, use an antibacterial shampoo.

But if you have whole oats at home, you can also use them.

Experts say oats  have ‘beta-glucan.’ 

It’s a natural moisturizer. So an oatmeal bath can help ease your pooch’s itch and pain.

To know how to do it, check out the short clip below:

Learn more: 17 Best Home Remedies For Dog Scooting (Itchy Bum)

#2: Do a food trial

Food allergy is hard to diagnose.

So to confirm it, your vet may perform several  blood tests on your pooch.

And they’ll also ask you to do a ‘food trial.’

What to do?

Slowly switch your Silver Lab’s diet to something they never had before.

But changing your dog’s food abruptly can upset their tummy. So do it within 7 days.

Start from 75% old meals and 25% new food. Slowly adjust per day,  until everything in your Lab’s diet’s new on the 7th day.

Then see if your Fido’s skin gets better or not.

If so, gradually reintroduce their diet.

Your Lab has a food allergy if they start showing signs again.

Note: Consult your vet about the new diet before the trial. Also, avoid any food with colorings or additives that may worsen your dog’s skin condition.

#3: Keep the fleas away

Your vet may recommend a flea treatment control that suits your Silver Lab.

But you can also use dog-safe remedies at home to kill these parasites.

Option #1: Vinegar

  1. Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. (Either apple cider or white).
  2. Transfer the vinegar solution to a spray bottle.
  3. Put some on your Lab’s hair.
  4. Leave it for 20 minutes.
  5. Brush your dog’s hair to get rid of dead fleas.

Option #2: Baking soda

This doesn’t only kill fleas but also soothes a Fido’s skin.

  1. Pour water into 1 tbsp (14.3 g) baking soda.
  2. Stop until it’s thick enough as a paste.
  3. Apply it to the affected areas on your Lab’s skin.
  4. Allow it to settle for around 15-20 minutes.
  5. Wash it thoroughly.
  6. Dry your pooch with a clean towel. (Avoid rubbing it hard.)

#4: Give oral and topical medications

For pyoderma, vets will give antibiotics to affected dogs.

But washing your Lab with a shampoo with the ingredients below can also help relieve itch:

  • Chlorhexidine.
  • Benzoyl peroxide.
  • Sulfur with salicylic acid.

#5: Manage their skin condition

There’s no cure for some ailments, like:

  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Color dilution alopecia.

But you can manage them.

What to do?

For hypothyroidism, your vet can give your Lab a drug. Specifically with an artificial thyroid hormone.

For alopecia, experts will suggest you:

  • Antibiotics.
  • Shampoos.
  • Topical creams.
  • Essential fatty acids.
  • Vitamin A supplements.

Fortunately , you can treat hot spots.

Ask your vet for a dog-safe topical cream. Then apply it to the wounds.

Next, ensure your Lab can’t lick or touch their areas by doing these:

Now, find out what causes your Fido to itch all over.

It could be any of the other reasons I mentioned earlier. Say allergies or hypothyroidism.

Then your vet can help you cross out the least possible ones.