Labrador - Common Problems

All dogs are prone to internal and external parasites, although serious gastrointestinal conditions are rare in this inveterate scavenger. Labradors lopped ears, however, can lead to regular infections, while their love of chewing causes more tooth fractures than seen in smaller breeds.

Typical Canine Complaints:
With any breed, many health problems can be prevented. Routinely inspect your dog’s skin, ears and teeth, and keep all vaccinations up to date. If heartworm is a threat in your area, provide appropriate medication as directed.

Ears disorders air does not circulate as freely in the Labrador’s lopped ear as it does in erect ears such as those of the German shepherd. Humidity in ear canal increases the incidence of uncomfortable infection; therefore examine the ears regularly for wax, odour, discharge, or inflammation.

Tooth chips and fractures Labradors enjoy chewing sticks, bones – even stones. Unfortunately, their powerful jaws often cause the teeth to chip or even fracture, making eating painful. Gnawing or fetching hard, rough objects may be good fun for your dog, but to avoid dental damage or mouth lacerations and punctures, try discouraging unsuitable play items.
Intestinal parasite intestinal worms and other internal parasites may cause weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea with or without blood and mucus. A dull coat, bloated abdomen, or chronic dragging of the hindquarters can indicate worms. Consult your vet on effective worm prevention.
Joint disease joints are vulnerable if a young dog carries too much weight during its growth phase. Hips, knees, hock, and ankles can become inflamed, leading to painful arthritis. Prevent this with routine exercise and a healthy diet.

Painful strains your Labradors muscles, tendons, and ligaments are designed to support an active dog at optimum weight. Obesity often leads to injuries, as can excessively vigorous exercise in normally sedentary dogs. Torn knee ligaments is a serious injury most commonly found in older, overweight Labradors. Unfortunately, it’s a complex condition requiring surgery.

Skin Parasites:
Labradors, particularly working ones, contract fleas, ticks, lice, and mites from other dogs and wildlife. Always check your dog’s coat thoroughly when returning from the countryside.
Flea infestation this common parasite injects saliva when it bites, causing skin irritation and scratching. Use flea – control methods recommended by your vet.

Tick – Borne Disease ticks, carried by sheep and deer, may transmit infectious disease. Visible to the eye, they can be killed with a dab of alcohol and removed with a quick twist.

Obvious Signs of Discomfort:
Persistent licking all dogs lick to groom themselves, but Labradors in Particular may do so obsessively, causing skin inflammation and hair loss. Called “lick granuloma”, this exaggerated grooming disorder often responds well to anti – anxiety drugs.

Scratching dogs often scratch because of parasites, but allergies or injuries can be additional causes. Always have any irritation checked by your vet, who will prescribe suitable treatment, which may include anti – inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, medicated shampoos, dietary changes, and varied grooming.