Labrador retriever are king outgoing dogs that have been used for centuries on hunting. However, these
social companions are also prone to some conditions that affect their health.
These health problems may confine these dogs to their homes and restrict their outdoor life to a walk around
the block or house.
Common health problems that have been noted in Labrador retrievers are:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
These two conditions are common in most of the heavy breeds. In Labrador retrievers, this condition can
affect dogs of any age. Most breeders screen for the gene that carries this disease but even with effective
screening some cases are still reported.
This is a disease caused by malformation of the hip or elbow joint. It can be mild or severe causing a lot
of pain for the dog.
Diagnosis for this condition is usually by means of x-ray.
- Hereditary myopathy
This is a condition that affects the muscles. The muscles undergo degeneration resulting in greatly reduced
muscle mass. Signs of the disease will include abnormal posture, muscle wasting and intolerance to
Though this condition is not fatal it confines the dog to the house. It may be controlled through use of
For a puppy to suffer from this condition both parents must be carriers of the gene.
This condition is seen in many large breeds. It is due to trapping of gases in the stomach causing them to
accumulate. It may occur secondary to gastric torsion.
It is a condition that requires immediate veterinary attention. Symptoms will include excessive salivation,
unproductive vomiting and restlessness.
- Exercise induced collapse (EIC)
This is seen after strenuous dog exercises, where the dog
will show some signs of discomfort then collapse. Most dogs will be able to tolerate mild to moderate exercise,
however strenuous exercise is not advised.
Signs that the dog shows before collapse are disorientation, rocking gait and weakness of the hind limbs. If
the dog shows any sign of discomfort during exercise, stop and let the dog rest for some time.
- Progressive retinal atrophy
In this condition there is progressive degeneration of cells of the retina. It eventually results in
Signs will include bumping into solid objects and night blindness, this condition will affect older dogs
especially those between the ages of 6 to 8 years. This gene is usually detected by DNA tests and normally the
sample used is blood drawn from the test subject.
The conditions mentioned above are hereditary conditions which means, they are transmitted through genes of
parents. Labrador retriever can also acquire some conditions especially if they are not fed properly and given
enough exercise. Such conditions include
- Obesity in
All dogs love to eat and if given the chance they will eat a lot of food. This condition may develop in dogs
fed too much and do not get enough exercise. Labrador retrievers are sporty animals that will appreciate good
exercise if offered, however if you let the dog just lie down with no exercise, the dog will not complain and
this will result in excessive weight gain
Obesity predisposes the dog to other conditions such as dog diabetes and joint problems.
- Diabetes mellitus
This is caused by the lack of the hormone insulin. This hormone stimulates absorption of blood glucose by
the cells. In its absence there will be increased blood glucose levels.
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