Labradors are beautiful dogs characterized by their friendly nature.
They are widely used as guide dogs or take them hunting with them.
But like any other living creatures, these animals are susceptible to various diseases that need to be able to recognize at an early stage.
What diseases are labradors susceptible to?
If we talk about the emotional state of dogs, then in general they are very cute and friendly animals. Good dog care also affects the health of pets. But it happens that a pet from an early age is defeated by various infections due to a weak immune system. In such situations, you need to monitor the condition of the animal more carefully.
Among the most common diseases to which representatives of this breed are susceptible, the following are distinguished:
- food allergy – caused by the use of products that are among the allergenic;
- interdigital dermatitis – redness of the skin, itching and swelling between the fingers;
- lipoma – tumor-like formations of a benign nature;
- eczema – the formation of a pustule;
- epilepsy is a disease provoked by excessive activity of brain neurons, characterized by the appearance of seizures and the release of foam from the mouth;
Often animals suffer from diabetes and myasthenia gravis.
It is known that the animal inherits most of these diseases, so when selecting puppies, special attention should be paid to their pedigree.
Infectious diseases are always associated with the spread of viral infections, the proliferation of bacteria, various kinds of fungi.
After penetration into the body, the infection does not make itself felt for several more days. But as soon as the owner notices violations in the general condition of his pet, you will need to consult a doctor for advice. Timely diagnosis of the disease is the first step to its cure.
Maintenance and care
The rules for the care of this breed of dog are very simple and no different from others. The main feature of labradors is the huge need for the attention and care of the owner.
The Labrador needs regular inspection of the ears due to the hanging shape in order to protect the dog from inflammatory processes and ear contamination. The examination will help to avoid the danger of parasite penetration and limit infection.
Due to the specific wool cover, a very dense waterproof undercoat, the dog absolutely does not need to be washed unless absolutely necessary. Wool has a characteristic feature of self-cleaning. It is enough to comb such wool 1-once a week, and when molting 2-3 times more often than usual, removing all dead hairs. Stick to all these simple procedures, and your pet will be well-groomed and absolutely healthy.
Feeding rules do not differ from most other breeds, like any other breed Labradors need meat and fresh vegetables, or balanced professional feeds.
Labradors tend to gain extra weight, so you should not spoil them with sweets and goodies. Inappropriate for Labradors will also be pasta, which lead to obesity and bring absolutely no benefit.
The main feature of Labradors remains the need for physical activity. With dogs of this breed, you should not neglect active walks in nature.
The Labrador Retriever loves water, brings any abandoned object with great pleasure. If you have the opportunity to go out of town to a lake or river, the dog will support such a decision with joy.
The main symptoms
Most Labrador owners are used to their animal always enjoying life. Usually, Labradors eat well, have a healthy glossy coat. The ears of a healthy pet are erect, he has a regular stool, a normal body temperature.
But the diseased individual’s vital processes are disrupted, which leads to a general deterioration of the animal’s condition:
- the dog does not eat well;
- inactive on a walk;
- the body temperature is disturbed;
- pulse is often lost;
- an extinct look;
- sticking out tufts of wool;
- mucous or purulent discharge from the eyes.
Problems with the gastrointestinal tract
In the list of the most common gastrointestinal diseases in labradors:
- chronic gastritis;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
Acute gastritis in pets often occurs without disruption of the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Very often, such diseases occur due to changes in the diet of psa, as well as the use of salicylates and sulfonamides.
Symptoms of acute gastritis are manifested as follows:
- poor assimilation of solid food;
- vomiting with blood is characteristic;
- the animal’s activity decreases;
- the fur stands on end;
- the shine in the eyes disappears.
Since acute gastritis leads to a decrease in acidity in the gastric juice of psa, the disease is treated by the introduction of calcium chloride and glucose. Almagel helps quite well in such situations.
Enterocolitis is understood as simultaneous inflammation of the mucosa of the small and large intestines. Enterocolitis can be recognized by psa secretions. They contain pus and blood. The labrador has an inflamed anus, which causes painful sensations. He begins to move, pressing his ass to the ground.
The course of treatment consists in the appointment of fasting for 1-2 days. During this period, the animal is given strong-brewed tea or oak tincture. Milk, eggs and fat will be well absorbed at this time.
Lack of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus contribute to the development of rickets. As a result of the disease in animals, there is a malfunction of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, bone tissue is depleted, lameness appears. Labradors suffer from increased appetite, constipation, and their fur grows dull.
Prevention of rickets are daily walks, special vitamins and minerals, and a diet tailored to the age of the dog.
Mostly puppies get sick, older individuals – less often.
Treatment is prescribed by a veterinarian. Usually, a vitamin complex, full nutrition are prescribed, and in the autumn-winter period, training is carried out with an ultraviolet lamp.
Running rickets is almost incurable.
Labradors are particularly susceptible to skin infections. Diseases associated with the reproduction of bacteria or fungi are often observed.
The most common diseases include eczema. If this pathology is not cured in time, then, most likely, it will develop into dermatitis. Eczema progresses under the influence of external factors, especially when bathing in dirty reservoirs. Only an experienced veterinarian can cure eczema, to whom you need to consult when the first signs of the disease are detected.
Seborrhea is associated with hyperfunction of the sebaceous glands. Excessive sebum secretion leads to clumping of the fur and causes an unpleasant odor. Dandruff can often be seen on the dog’s fur. The pet begins to comb the inflamed places. Prevention of the disease is associated with the use of degreasing and astringents.
Skin parasites (fleas, ticks, lice), provoke follicular alopecia – hair loss in the area of the hind and front paws. In addition, parasites cause scabies, which most often develops in puppies or animals with a weak immune system. In these pathologies, a wide spectrum of treatment is used, antiparasitic drugs are used, which simultaneously kill both adults and their larvae.
To prevent skin diseases, it is necessary to monitor the pet’s diet, as well as regularly comb out the wool. Only proper pet care will provide him with a carefree life.
Perhaps the most dangerous diseases are inherited. They are more difficult to recognize and it is impossible to prevent them. The cure of genetic diseases is a more complex procedure.
Such diseases include:
- eye diseases.
Many owners like to pamper their pet with fatty foods. But such a diet very often causes obesity. In cases where the dog overeats, it is necessary to reduce the portions of the animal.
The second cause of obesity is a decrease in thyroid function. It is very easy to recognize such a disease by doing a blood test. It is possible to prevent this disease only with the help of medications. It is also necessary to take care of regular physical activity of the pet.
Most infectious diseases are caused by viruses. It is best to prevent the progression of infections, as it will be much more difficult to cure the disease.
First of all, it is necessary to observe the rules of hygiene. Timely vaccination of the animal is required. During a walk in the fresh air, you need to make sure that the animal does not drink from puddles, and also does not eat products of unknown origin.
One of the most common infectious diseases is parvovirus enteritis. Pathology develops as an acute contagious disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease is accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. If preventive measures are not taken in time, the dog may die. For help, you need to contact a professional veterinarian.
Dysplasia is understood as a violation of the normal functioning of the hip bones or other joints of the skeleton. One of the causes of dysplasia is considered to be the incorrect location of the spherical joint in the acetabulum. It is possible to recognize a violation in the work of the joints based on X-rays.
Often the treatment is carried out by surgical intervention. If the disease progresses strongly, then a complete replacement of the articular tissue is carried out. During treatment, the animal is given Aspirin to relieve painful symptoms. Very often, the degree of joint exit is determined based on the PennHIP diagnostic principle. It allows you to measure the deviations that have appeared in centimeters.
If dysplasia was formed in the area of the elbow joint, then, most likely, the lameness of the pet made it known. It is possible to diagnose the degree of development of the disease only with the help of a detailed X-ray.
During the treatment period, the dog should be at rest as long as possible. The affected area is treated with a special lubricant. For example, Chondroitin Sulfate, Aminoglucose or Polyglycosaminoglycan. Aspirin is used as an analgesic.
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and spine
This group of diseases is saturated with various genetic defects that cause hereditary pathologies.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Dysplasia is a congenital abnormal development of the joint. It leads to early destruction of cartilage, ligaments, and then the bones themselves that form the joint. Without appropriate treatment, inflammatory processes in the joint turn into degenerative.
It is very difficult to cure dysplasia of labradors. Conservative treatment is usually ineffective, so surgical treatment is more often resorted to.
The term “osteochondrosis” literally means “non-inflammatory destruction of cartilage.” Labradors with osteochondrosis usually suffer from cartilage in the joints of the limbs and spine. This occurs due to age-related changes in cartilage tissue, therefore it is more common in old labradors.
Less common are post-traumatic osteochondrosis, when the joint was damaged as a result of injury.
The true and unambiguous causes of osteochondrosis have not yet been identified, but it is customary to include:
- age-related changes;
- improper feeding and maintenance;
- heredity (dysplasia);
- injuries are obvious and hidden.
Treatment of osteochondrosis is long-term, but more effective, unlike dysplasia. Basically, these are conservative methods aimed at eliminating inflammation and soreness in the joint, and restoring cartilage tissue.
Osteochondrosis does not belong to hereditary diseases, since the causes of its occurrence are not transmitted from parents to offspring.
Erosive damage to the cartilage of the elbow joint in the medial region is called medial compartment syndrome (MCD). It is usually registered with dysplasia of the elbow joint and less often as an independent disease.
The true causes of the development of MCD have not been established, but the most likely are considered increased load and incongruence of the elbow joint (anatomical mismatch of articular surfaces).
The medial compartment in Labradors is most often found in combination with dysplasia of the elbow joint (sometimes as one of the independent forms of dysplasia). This disease is attributed more to hereditary than to acquired. But it happens that MCD develops in Labradors after an elbow injury or due to excessive physical exertion that injures the joint.
The syndrome of the medial compartment in Labradors is expressed in lameness on the forelimb, acute or chronic, which increases after physical exertion. Sometimes the dog does not limp, but shows pronounced stiffness of movements in the morning or after a long rest.
MCD manifests itself starting from the age of 5 months, but more often – in middle age. Treatment can be conservative or surgical, depending on the extent of the lesion and the age of the labrador.
Labradors often suffer from an infection of the middle and inner ear. Bacterial infections are considered to be the cause of such ailments.
You can recognize a progressive disease by secretions from the auricle. The dog constantly strives to comb the sore spot. If there is a suspicion that the dog is suffering from such inflammation, then you need to conduct an X-ray and a detailed examination of the auricle.
Treatment often consists of taking antibiotics and vaccination. If you start the disease, it will be necessary to perform surgery. Usually, a small incision of the eardrum is made. In some situations, the auricle is completely removed.
Causes of rapid breathing
Frequent breathing in an animal is caused by various pathologies. If rapid breathing is not associated with physical exertion, then most likely the pet has problems with the heart or respiratory tract. It is possible that the respiratory tract is affected by an infection.
Other factors that lead to the Labrador breathing frequently, sticking out his tongue, include an increase in ambient temperature. If it rises above 25 degrees, then the dog’s body requires cooling. The pet begins to drink a lot, the salivary glands are actively working. There is definitely no need to worry.
To determine the correct cause of rapid breathing, you need to consult with a specialist. He will prescribe the necessary medications and advise preventive measures.