Image Credits: Pixabay
It’s no secret that Americans love the Labrador. It didn’t become the most popular dog in the United States for no reason. Labrador’s make excellent dogs because they’re friendly, playful, loyal, and mild-tempered. The breed has a pretty sound construction. However, it’s a purebred dog, and like other purebred dogs, the breed is prone to certain health issues. Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Hip Dysplasia – Hip Dysplasia isn’t an exclusive ailment to the Labrador. In fact, it’s common for many medium to large dog breeds. Hip dysplasia is when the hip socket forms abnormally which results in it deteriorating. Dogs with hip dysplasia usually develop canine arthritis and sometimes lose their joints function. Hip dysplasia isn’t an issue for most dogs until their later years. However, it has been observed in dogs as young as 5 months. There’s not much you can do to prevent hip dysplasia. However, you can make sure that the puppy you take home has a low chance of developing hip dysplasia. Ask the breeder for the hip scores of the parents of the puppies. A responsible breeder will have these scores. Look for low scores which are even on each side.
- Ear infections – Anyone who’s owned a Labrador in the past will tell you that their large and floppy ears give the breed a comical look. The intrinsic structure of the Labrador’s ear makes ear infections common in the breed. Preventing ear infections is simple. All you need to do is make sure that your dog’s ears are clean and dry after baths or swimming. In addition to this, look for signs of infection regularly.
- Obesity – Labrador’s eat their food quite quickly. This habit puts them at risk of developing gastric distention which is called bloat. Gastric distention puts Labrador’s at risk of death when their stomach rotates. This puts pressure on their internal organs and also stops them from being able to vomit. Veterinarians advise watching your dog to make sure he/she eats slowly and feeding your dog on the ground level.
All of these issues may make it seem like the Labrador Retriever has a myriad of problems. However, this is far from the truth. The Labrador Retriever has much fewer problems when compared to other breeds. It is a breed that was bred for heavy-duty work, and it excels at that. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t suit a Labrador. Make sure you feed your dog the best food you can and make sure your dog gets a lot of exercises. If you train your dog when he/she is a puppy, you’ll be able to avoid many problems as he/she gets older. Remember that sometimes you need to act like a parent to your dog.