Common Health Concerns Facing The Labrador

There are many health concerns facing the Labrador due to their fast rate of growth as well as congenital issues due to over breeding. When considering making a Labrador a member of your family keep in mind some of the more common problems.

Allergies and Skin Conditions

One of the most common Labrador health concerns are allergies and skin conditions. For a number of Labradors these conditions are a problem from the time they are a young pup. One of the most common skin condition/allergy a Labrador can suffer from is pyotraumatic dermatitis also known as hot spots. This is made worse by the dog scratching and biting at the area due to discomfort. Labradors show an increased rate of hot spots as it is often brought on by other allergies.

In order to properly treat this condition and other common allergies it is best that you make a visit to your local vet and have them determine exactly what is causing the hot spots and administer proper treatment. Labradors are also known for having very dry skin which also causes a great deal of itching. If the problem is just dry skin this can be corrected by using a conditioning shampoo and making a few dietary changes.


Because a Labrador grows at such a quick rate, arthritis is one that causes great concern in Labrador health in their later years. The most common cause for of arthritis among Labradors is hip dysplasia. There is no known treatment that will completely prevent arthritis in your Labrador but some vets are now recommending feeding them puppy food with extra nutrients for two years instead of the usual one. There are also some natural remedies that are being offered to help relieve the pain but always consult your vet about this or any health concerns facing your Labrador.

Congenital Conditions

One of the most troubling Labrador health concerns that have come to the surface since the 1970’s is widespread congenital disease. While it is not contagious it is debilitating. Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM) is found in many Labradors that are bred for show but it is not limited to show dogs. It is found that risk of CNM is greatest among pups that have both parents as carriers. There is no known cure for this condition at this time and if you are looking for a breeder ask for DNA tests from both the mother and father.

CNM is one of the most devastating Labrador health problems at this time. If you intend to breed your Labrador then you should consider having them tested for CNM. Testing can’t be certified without some kind of permanent identification such as a microchip or tattoo so for young pups you may want to wait until they are old enough for such identification.

Never try to home medicate your Labrador, unlike humans your pet can’t tell you where it hurts or if it feels any better. Labradors are notorious for allergies and if you use something that your Labrador is allergic to, you can make him worse or even cause death.
Find a good vet and if possible maintain a relationship with that vet throughout the life of your Labrador. Seek profession assistance when dealing with any Labrador health problems and know how to choose a vet for your Labrador.

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