5 Major Health Problems That Arise In A Labrador Retriever

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Labrador is one of the friendliest and adopted dog breed all over the world. It’s a loyal, mild-tempered, playful and loving dog; these dogs can be trained quickly and are fast learners. Labs do not require high, maintained lifestyle, care or attention compared to other dog breeds. They easily adjust to the environment and climate but some health problems too arise with them.

5 Major Health Problems that arise in Labrador Retriever

Still, there are few health problems common in Labradors. Here are the few Major health conditions and common cures and some ways to prevent them.

1. Joint Problems

Labrador Retrievers mainly face two kinds of joint problems. Namely

  1. Elbow dysplasia
  2. Canine Hip dysplasia

Do Labrador face joint problems?

Labs are well proportioned, strong and healthy, but they do face with these two joint, severe problems. Dysplasia is a genetic disorder, cannot be entirely prevented. The way you feed your dog, its environment and the exercise of the dog are the key points to avoid this condition.

Joint Problems in Labrador Retriever
Joint Problems in Labrador Retriever

How to keep your Labrador free from diseases?

Maintaining a balanced weight, giving proper high vitamin and nutrient-rich diet and a proper regular exercise (swimming is the most recommended training) are few things to keep in mind.

Why My Labrador becoming fatty day by day?

Joint problems make a dog less active and enthusiastic, due to pain dogs prefer lying around with minimum moment, which may lead to obesity of the dog.

How to treat Joint Problems in Labrador retriever dogs?

It’s better to consider a vet opinion and get a vet can only prescribe proper treatment for your dog and medicines. Glucosamine supplements is recommended for dogs suffering from joint problems.

2. Bloat and Obesity

For Labradors, bloat refers to a severe medical condition which can be dangerous.

Labrador Retriever obesity and Bloat

What causes Bloat in Labrador dogs?

Overeating and overhydrating your dog can cause bloat in the stomach. As the leading cause of the bloat is not found, you can simply check on your dogs eating habits and make sure they don’t eat too fast or overeat, even exercising your dog immediately after eating can cause bloat.

What is Bloat disease in Labrador dogs?

Bloat is dangerous as it refers to distended abdomen due to a swollen or twisted stomach, and you may need to take your dog to a vet if this situation arises.

How Can I Fix my Labrador Dog obesity?

Obesity of your dog can be easily monitored and avoided by giving dogs a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Though obesity can lead to more fatal diseases such as diabetes and arthritis, this can be avoided by maintaining your dog’s weight. A healthy weight of a fully grown lab should be a bit lighter.

What are symptoms of Diabetes in Labrador dogs?

Diabetes is a common health problem in labs, and it can be avoided by keeping your labs at a healthy weight. Few symptoms of diabetes in dogs are increased thirst and urination, loss of weight despite improving the diet, diabetes can easily be monitored by testing the sugar level in blood or urine of the dog.

What are symptoms of Arthritis in Labrador dogs?

Arthritis is common in older labs and symptoms can be seen, such as swollen joints, lameness, licking of the joint area and loss of appetite or sudden weight gain.

As there is no specific cure for arthritis; well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and using joint supplements is the best way to avoid gout. Maintaining a healthy weight of your dogs can also prevent this situation.

3. Ear infections

Labradors are known for their big, floppy ears which give them an adorable look. However, there is a more significant number of the chance of having an ear infection as their ears provide a breeding ground to yeast and bacteria.

Ear Infection in Labrador Retriever
Veterinarian examining ear of labrador close up

What are types of Ear infections in Labrador dogs?

These three types of ear infections, namely Otitis externa, Media and Interna.

What are the symptoms of Ear infections in dogs?

You can identify if your dogs having an ear infection by simply watching its actions, some of them can be whining, scratching, head shaking are first symptoms of ear infection. Other symptoms can include redness or swelling of the ear canal, pain, odour and itchiness.

What are the causes of Ear infections in Labrador dogs?

Moisture, allergies, endocrine disorders, an autoimmune disorder, wax buildup, foreign bodies (ear mites), injury to the ear canal and excessive cleaning are some factors which may lead to ear infections.

Moisture is a common cause of ear infections; make sure you thoroughly dry your dog’s ears after bathing or swimming. Ear infections are common and reoccurring disease, therefore taking proper treatment and precautions you can help your pet friend!

How Can I Treat My Labrador ear infection?

Veterinarians will thoroughly clean your dog’s ears with medical cleaner, and if the infection is severe, they may also prescribe some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Listen and follow the instructions given by the vet to recover your dog’s conditions and do return to the hospital when scheduled for recheck-ups.

4. Heart disease

Heart disease is diagnosed in dogs when the dog has trouble pumping the blood to the rest of the body. Congestive heart failure is one of the effects of heart diseases; here, congestive means the dog was born with a heart defect. Other causes such as injury, infections and old age can also cause heart disease.

Labrador retriever heart disease

What are symptoms of Heart Disease in Labrador dogs?

First symptoms of the heart disease can be identified; tiredness of the dog, they find it difficult to breathe or exercise, increased number of breath in a minute, pacing before bedtime, having an unsettled behaviour and coughing while exercising or few hours before going to bed.

These symptoms are easily recognizable; taking proper medication at an early stage is always beneficial.

How to Treat Heart Diseases in Labrador Dog?

Visiting your dog to a vet and getting the dog examined is always best for your dog. Vets may ask you to take a few tests such as blood and urine test, X-rays, Heartworm antigen test, Holter monitor, etc.

Vets may ask you a few questions about the dog’s diet, other medicines or supplements given to the dog or even if the dogs using heartworm protection.

Same as humans, heart diseases of the dogs can be prevented by giving your dog a healthy diet, maintaining its balanced weight and exercising regularly.

5. Cancer

Labradors don’t face a high risk of getting cancer, but still, they can to get cancer.

Labrador Retriever dog cancer

What Causes Cancer in Dogs?

Cancer in dogs is caused due to genetic defects, the environment of the origin or any accidents.

What are the symptoms of Cancer in Labrador dogs?

Following are a few symptoms of cancer in Labradors

  • Bleeding from mouth, nose, ears and other openings of the body
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lumps, bumps and discoloured skin
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Continuous diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Unexplained swelling and pain
  • Changes in weight
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Lameness
  • Visible tumour
  • Difficulty in breathing properly

Cancer is abnormal cell growth in the body which leads to failing of mechanism of the body and losing standard control over the body. The excess mass of tissue formed due to not dying of old cells and growing out of control, developing new and abnormal cells is called as the tumour.

Cancer may occur in any part of the body. As cancer is diagnosed, it is further divided into types and stages. Stage generally refers to the severeness of disease and types are usually classified by the area affected by the abnormal outgrowing tissues.

What are the types of cancer in Dogs?

There are typically three types of  dog cancer, they are

  • Mast cell tumours in dogs
  • Lymphoma in dogs
  • Mammary tumours in dogs

These cancers have different stages and treatments.

What is Mast cell tumours in dogs?

Mast cell tumours are the most common skin tumours and affect 7-21% of the skin in dogs. Treatments on Mast cell tumours will vary as per the stages and type diagnosed through tests.

Surgery and radiation therapy are two methods to cure this cancer. If the area affected can be surgical excision, then undergoing surgery is the best option.

What is Lymphoma in dogs?

Lymphoma is a type of white blood cells, found in bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. Lymphoma helps to fight infections and diseases. There are different types of cancers which are caused by lymphoma.

When lymphoma cancer is detected, vets usually suggest chemotherapy, but the type of chemotherapy depends on disease detected. Vets may also recommend surgery or radiation therapy, including chemotherapy.

What is Mammary tumours in dogs?

Mammary tumours usually show up to female dogs. Higher breed dogs don’t face this kind of cancer, but the risk in lower female dogs is higher. Obesity may also be one of the reasons for developing mammary tumours. Other causes can be exposure to chemicals, environmental pollutants and the diet continents.

Vets suggest undergoing surgery and removing any affected area. Depending upon the stage of cancer, other tissues may also be removed.

Treatments are based on the type and stage of cancer; it is always a good idea to consult a veterinarian and to follow proper procedures.

What is average life span of a Labrador retriever?

Labs are known as gun dogs, military service dogs and therapy dogs. Being amicable and healthy kind of dog breed; with proper care, they have 10 to 12 years of life span. If the dog doesn’t face joint problems, labs are healthy and have a well-proportioned body.

As there is no guarantee of your dog not developing any of these diseases; its better to take precautions and get your dog regularly checked by a vet, as a precaution is better than cure.

Do maintain a healthy diet with the proper exercise of your dog. Its cleanliness and maintaining a balanced weight are also vital factors of having a healthy dog. Give your pet, active attention as it helps your friend to live a longer, healthy and happy life.


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