Health Issues To Watch Out For With a Lab

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Health Issues To Watch Out For With a Lab

by John Grimes

Labradors [?Labs?] are one of the more popular family dogs and rightly so. If you own one or are considering getting a pup, there are some health issues you need to know about.

Labs are great dogs. They are friendly and have an excellent temperament overall. They also have a very strong personality and tend to bond tightly with their owners and kids. Overall, they are a fairly hardy dog, but health issues can arise. Here are few common health problems for Labs that you should keep an eye out for.

Ear Infections ? For some reason, Labs have a tendency to get ear infections. The breeds with floppy ears have the most problems since the flopping ear can trap moisture. This is particularly true if the pup sleeps a lot on their side. To prevent infections, you can clip the hair around the inner edge of the ear to improve airflow. Also, clean your pups ears one a week at a minimum.

Hip Problems ? As with many large dogs, Labs can suffer from hip problems. The biggest problem is hip dysplasia. Dysplasia is a genetic disease that presents in a couple of ways. The first problem is the hip socket is loose, which leads to wear and tear. The second is the bones at the hip intersection are formed irregularly, which again leads to wear and tear. In both situations, you lab will eventually start suffering arthritic conditions that limit range of motion and cause pain.

Although hip dyspasia is a genetic disorder, there are things you can do to minimize the impact. First and foremost is keeping your lab trim. Labs love to eat and are very social. Many people treat a lab like a family member and feed them just about anything. A fat lab is one that it is putting pressure on his or her hips. If you can keep the weight of your lab down, you can minimize the wear and tear on his or her hips.

Knee Problems ? Labs are unique in that they can suffer knee problems typically found only in small dogs. The problem has to do with the patella tendon. Some labs are born with a genetic condition where the groove for the patella in the bone is not deep enough. As a result, the tendon can pop out and limit range of motion. In humans, this is called a trick knee. If this happens rarely with your pup, there isn?t really a need to do anything. If it happens frequently, surgery is the best option. In the procedure, the recess for the tendon is deepened to stop the problem.

A health lab should live 12 to 14 years. Keep an eye out for the above problems, which can start showing up quite early. If they do, speak with a vet to find out what steps you can take to keep your pup in tip top shape.

John Grimes is with All Terrain - makers of all natural pet care products.

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