Labrador: Are there any typical diseases?

A Labrador may experience joint problems due to its size, and occasionally the breed also suffers from eye diseases. Otherwise, the likeable dogs are robust and agile. The Labrador tends to have joint problems - Image: Shutterstock / Dmitry Kalinovsky

Many of the typical diseases of the Labrador can be avoided, hereditary incurable diseases are very rare. It is important that adult labs get enough exercise and employment.

Joint problems with the Labrador

Like other large dog breeds, the Labrador is prone to joint problems. Serious breeders make sure that they only mate healthy parents. Nevertheless, it can happen that Labradors are born with a predisposition to so-called elbow or hip dysplasia. The disease is incorrectly grown joints that cause great pain to the dog when he moves. Since labradors generally like to move a lot, this is a corresponding burden for the four-legged friend.

The outbreak of the disease can, however, be avoided or at least delayed by the right nutrition and treatment in puppy age. The small Labrador babies have to be fed as needed so that their bones do not grow too quickly. Otherwise, these will become unstable and undesirable developments may occur. In addition, Labrador puppies should not climb too many stairs or perform similar movements that strain the still young joints.

Other diseases of the Labrador

Labradors may also suffer from diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or Hereditary Cataract (HC). The eye diseases are inherited and can lead to blindness. This can be avoided by also making sure that you get a good breeder who has his parents regularly tested for hereditary diseases and only breeds with healthy dogs. Be sure to have the current veterinary findings of the Labrador parents present before you buy.

Labrador Retriever: A great family dog

Very rare, but typical diseases for the Labrador are axonopathy and fibrinoids leukodystrophy. Excessive movements and frequent falling over are symptoms of axonopathy. The fibrinoid leukodystrophy affects the spinal cord and manifests itself in the first year of life through movement disorders to paralysis.