Common Labrador Health Problems

A Lab is a beautiful dog and having one can be very rewarding, but there are a few Labrador health problems that may occur. Being aware of these problems is essential so you can get veterinary help when needed. When you get the Labrador puppy, you will have to make sure the breeder is reputable, so that the parents don't have diseases that could possibly be transmitted to the puppy. However, there are a few conditions that Labradors may be predisposed to.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a health condition that is more likely to affect Labradors. Hip dysplasia is a problem of the hip joint, which is not properly developed and the bone doesn't fit perfectly in the socket of the pelvic bone. If your dog is affected by this problem, you may notice a few symptoms such as hip pain, limping or lameness in the rear legs. Some dogs may not present any symptoms. The condition may be solved with surgery and applying prosthetics that will make the bones fit perfectly. If left untreated, the condition will lead to severe joint pain.

Elbow Displasia

Elbow displasia is a condition that is more frequently met in Labradors. This condition is due to the abnormal development of the bones. It can be controlled with anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers, but in some cases, surgery may not be avoided.

Bloating and Twisted Stomach

Labradors may often suffer from bloating due to a twisted stomach. The condition can be fatal, as the waste materials cannot be eliminated from the system. The symptoms of a twisted stomach include severe pain in the abdominal area, swelling of the abdomen and constipation. The twisted stomach should be immediately treated, because it can lead to death.

Eye Cataracts

Cataracts may be inherited in Labradors and may occur at any age. Frequent ophthalmologic exams can detect the presence of a cataract. The cataracts can be surgically removed.

Retinal Problems

Retinal dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy are vision problems that are common Labrador health problems. Retinal dysplasia may be due to an inherited problem that leads to an unusual retina development. Progressive retinal atrophy is a term designating a series of problems with the retina that will ultimately lead to the loss of vision. The dog will manifest symptoms such as inability to see during the night. As the disease progresses, the dog's vision during the day will also be affected. An examination of the retina (retinoscopic exam) should be performed at least twice per year to detect possible problems and administer treatment and possibly even reverse the loss of vision.

Dystrophy of Muscles

Dystrophy of muscles can happen gradually and will manifest through muscle weakness at first. As the condition develops, the dog may be unable to perform certain movements. The condition can be detected during the early stages by performing blood tests, muscular biopsies and an electromyography.