Most dog breeds have their specific genetic health problems that usually have to do with the way their bodies are designed. The Labrador Retriever is not an exception. The most common health problems in this breed are hip/s & elbow/s dysplasia, also ocular defects such as cataract, P.r.c.d. (progresive retinal cone atrophy) & retinal dysplasia.

Canine hip/s dysplasia: a problem for many breeds of dogs, especially for medium to large size. Small breeds are not exempt, but as they weight very little, they don't use to be affected. Hip/s & Elbow/s dysplasia is the disease in the Labrador Retriever, better known by Breeders, Veterinarians and therefor Owners. Hip/s dysplasia is an hereditary disease, polygenic and multifactorial. All the pups have healthy hips when they born. So, the first few months of the puppies life are crucial in the development of this genetic disease to a greater or lesser degree, for which environmental conditions influence, as food, excess of calcium and over nutrition (overweight). The aged 3 to 9 months, are part of the most critical period for the occurrence of a possible hip/s & elbow/s dysplasia. An exercise and excessive bodybuilding for that growth, if there is also overweight, can produce a constant pressure on the shaft of the femur with respect to the engagement of the same (acetabulum) and cartilage wear yet formed. Excess of calcium, important to choose adequate food can harden the growth plates prematurely causing pain and causing the dog adopt abnormal postures as front open, hands towards the outside, in order to reduce pain, but that cause abnormal wear joints. Some people tend to buy all kinds of supplements, some hurt more than less, such as calcium, terrible as a supplement since it is assumed that a good feed and is regulating the balance between calcium and phosphorus. This scientifically established free phenotypically dysplasia dogs can transmit the disease to their future litters by 20-25 %, then if that is so in responsibly bred dogs, imagine how it would be uncontrolled dogs in 5 generations or more.

Canine elbow/s dysplasia: is another Labrador Retriever genetic disease, although there are some studies that it committed no proved that its hereditary for the elbows. The issue is still not as advanced as for hip/s dysplasia that is hereditary. But we don't know when the dog born, if in the case he have an inheritance for the hip/s dysplasia, if it will be a B/C or D or even more !!! so depending on what we said before, the food, the excess of exercise, the bodybuilding, etc... a dog that hereditary would have been in a B can be in a D or more, that correspond to this 20 or 25 %. Its ability to grow quickly is another reason why they are prone to it. The bone growth while they are young, it accelerates ahead of time and do not properly. Usually involves the humerus and the ulna. Any change in the rate of growth of these centers, either individually or together, lead to the appearance of an inconsistency at the level of the elbow joint surfaces. Elbow/s dysplasia can also be caused by trauma, as well as metabolic and genetic factors. Overfeeding with a diet high in calcium. In the case of elbow/s dysplasia, the number of Labradors that can suffer it, is even greater than for hip/s dysplasia. Beeing mainly, due to poor control of their own growth in recent month. If you plan to do agility or footings with your Labrador during the age of 3-8 month, skip buying a Labrador Retriever and virtually any other breed, which also has these problems, except for the tiny to not have to endure the weight caused by the explosive growth, that doesn't mean that small breeds have not dysplasia, this just mean that as they don't have to endure their weight, they don't have normally pain.

The eye defects in the Labrador Retriever are not more frequent than in any other breeds. Just to be a very popular breed in Countries like Great Britain, Europe and the USA, they have been more controlled than some other breeds.

Eye/s diseases that most affect the Labrador Retriever are: Cataract, P.r.c.d (Progresive Retinal Cone Distrophy) and Retinal dysplasia. For us the most important is the P.r.c.d.

The Labrador Retriever is one of the breeds most vital and good health. Diseases we spoke above, occur in many other breeds, but perhaps due to successful breeding of the Labrador, we have a better understanding of the diseases that may develop but this doesn't means that the health problems are more frequent with that breed.


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