Labs, Ear Problems, and Diet

Labs are particularly affected by ear problems. Many labs spend their life itching their ears and shaking their head. Otitis Externa is one of the most frequent diagnosis in our Labs, and is treated with ear ointments, antibiotics, and cortisones. The treatment is usually temporarily successful, but not permanent, because the allergies that cause the infections in the first place are not understood or addressed. The veterinary literature explains that food allergy can cause ear problems, but fails to really talk about the ingredients that cause the problems.  Over the past ten years, I have learned simple economical, nutritional changes to the daily diet to help those dogs affected with chronic ear and skin problems.

I really enjoy  receiving emails like this. I know I am helping people become part of the health care team and cure their pets instead of just “patching”the problem.

I just had to write and thank you for your wonderful book regarding pet nutrition. I have a 7 year old black lab whom we’ve had since the age of 3 months old. He has always been a large specimen of his breed, tipping the scales at 109 lbs at the tender age of 9 months.( He’s been described by our vet as a “box on legs”.) Which is also the age at which we discovered he that his hips were severely malformed. As devastating a diagnosis as it was at the time, it gave us information early on in his life to immediately start a routine of prevention, to at least put off the onset of arthritis for as long as possible. So, I have been augmenting his diet for almost his entire life, starting with nutritional supplements added to his kibble. But, as an adult dog it has been difficult to keep his weight in check. I’ve changed dog food brands, formulas and finally went the route of “Grain-Free” for a while. The latter did help to shed a few pounds but not quite enough. I should also add that he gets tons of exercise every day, walks in our neighborhood, hiking, & swimming during the summer as well as several games (per day) of fetch in our backyard. Needless to say, he is very muscular and has a ton of energy. I am constantly doing research online especially in the area of pet nutrition, if not for anything else but to try to stay one step ahead of the next pet food recall.

Then this past January (2012), I discovered and purchased your book on It has been a Godsend. I took my boy, Gantner off of the kibble merry-go-round and started the crock pot diet. I started out just giving it to him on Sundays which we called his “Sunday Brunch”. After a few weeks I gradually replaced his kibble altogether and in just 6 months he has lost 20 lbs. He just had his annual check -up yesterday and our vet was amazed at how great he looks! He is the leanest, shiniest and healthiest he has ever been. An added bonus, if you will, is before this diet, he was always susceptible to ear infections, especially during the hot summer months and this is the first time he has not been diagnosed with one in 5 or 6 years. He also gets a frozen raw chicken quarter or turkey neck a couple of times per week as a treat.

When my husband takes him swimming, people often ask how old he is and are amazed when told he is 7 due to his high energy level. We are amazed at how much older their dogs look in comparison and most of them are half his age. Attached is a picture of my beautiful boy. Thanks again for the fantastic book and your ability to make dog nutrition less intimidating and approachable. Oh, and it’s so much less expensive to feed too!

Dog Dish Diet has helped many labs recover from years of  ear and skin problems due to food allergies and unhealthy skin. The owners can become part of the health care team!


Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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