I have two Labrador Retrievers. One has been on Prednisone for approximately three years for allergies, but I’m not exactly sure what he’s allergic to. He chews, scratches and loses hair. He has spots of hair that still have not grown back, especially on his legs. I try not to give him medication unless he has a really bad outbreak.
I also need help with my other dog, who has a lick granuloma that he won’t leave alone on his front paw. He usually gets one twice a year. I have tried everything. What about reishi for both? How bad is this herb, and will it really help for the dog that has allergies?
For the lick granuloma, I am applying an herbal hot spot spray and giving him Benadryl twice a day.
Congratulations on being canine mother to two Labrador Retrievers. They are one of my favorite breeds of dog! Unfortunately, they are also a breed very well known for having allergic skin disease.
As our skin is our largest organ, there are many factors that contribute to skin problems. Environmental allergens (seasonal or non-seasonal), flea (or other biting insect) allergies, food allergy (usually to processed protein or carbs in dry dog foods), infections (bacteria, yeast, etc.), metabolic disease (hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease) or other health problems can all contribute to itchy skin. Rarely is there one cause.
Because the reishi mushroom provides immune system support, and skin problems virtually always come down to some form of immune system abnormality, it is likely a safe bet to improve the health of your dogs’ skin. If you try it and don’t see an improvement over a period of three to four weeks, then discontinue it. Additionally, should either dog worsen or have vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite, then discontinue it.
Both dogs should have a physical exam with your veterinarian at least every six months due to their chronic problems.
Since your allergic Lab has been suffering with skin problems for three years, make sure that a thorough blood panel is done to check for underlying metabolic problems. Additionally, ask your veterinarian for a referral to a veterinary dermatologist, which is the way I go when trying to manage chronic skin conditions.