The Labrador retriever is a common pet in many homes in the United States and the UK. Agile, Even Tempered, Outgoing, Gentle, Intelligent, Kind and Trusting are just a few of the personality traits of the Labrador Retriever that make it a preferred companion in many homes. This dog breed is adapted to different weather types and that is why its coat is straight and short but has a soft undercoat that makes it dense.
The only colors that the Labrador Retriever can be found in are black, brown and yellow. There is controversy around the existence of Labrador Retrievers that have a sliver coat with some people claiming that it is as a result of a cross and others attributing it to pure mutation of one of the solid colors. They shed the coat rather rapidly and owners should maintain a weekly routine of brushing the coat to get rid of the loose hairs. A full grown dog of this breed will grow to a weight of between 25-36 kg and a height ranging from 55 to 62cm. the Labrador Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
Pet insurance and Labrador retriever health issues
Should you invest in Pet Insurance for Your Labrador Retriever?
The Labrador Retriever is a very active animal and will not sit still for a second unless it is resting. This is why these dogs get into trouble every so often because they always look for something to keep them busy. Due to the fact that they have so much energy, it is required that the get daily exercise preferable in heavy routines such as swimming and retrieval.
It is important for these dogs to be regularly tested for eye, elbow and hip diseases that are likely to affect them at some point in their life. Although there are minor concerns such as OCD and pyotraumatic dermatitis, it is important to be aware of major illnesses that affect the Labrador Retriever;
Gastric torsion: this is what is known in lay man’s language as bloating. The onset of this condition is often life threatening and a Labrador Retriever could die within hours of the stomach being filled with gas. Apart from twisting and appearing restless, often a dog’s abdomen will appear distended when it is bloated.
Hip dysplasia: this condition is hereditary for the Labrador Retriever. It is often characterized by a malformed hip joint at birth which gets worse as the dog becomes bigger and heavier. Eventually the animal becomes lame, constantly in pain ad may develop arthritis.
Elbow dysplasia: a hereditary condition that affects the formation of the elbow joint. The joint weakens as the Labrador Retriever grows and this leads to an abnormal gait.
Progressive retinal degeneration: a condition that has the potential to lead to blindness in a dog, progressive retinal degeneration causes gradual damage to the nerves that aid the eye in interpreting images for clear vision.
Cancer: Labrador Retriever is prone to cancer of the liver, heart and spleen commonly referred to as hemangiosarcoma.
Epilepsy: a Labrador Retriever dog that is epileptic with start to show signs of illness when they are between 2 and 5 years of age.
Interdigital Dermatitis: this condition affects the paws and nails of the Labrador Retriever. As the inflammation progresses, the dog is immobilized and unable to move. The condition is also known as pododermatitis.
Allergies: Labrador Retrievers are genetically predisposed to certain food and environmental allergens. The allergy manifests itself through the skin by itching so it is easy or a pet owner to identify that there is a change in animal behavior.
Lab diseases: it is not possible to identify diseases such as osteochondrosis, hypothyroidism, hot spots seborrhea, diabetes though regular lad tests will show their onset.
Labrador Retriever Health Tips
The Labrador retriever is a generally happy dog that brings an equal measure of happiness to a family. Though it is standard practice to take them for regular checkups and vaccinations, nothing prepares a pet owner for the pain and agony that they witness when their dog is in pain. Out of pocket medical bills seems attractive because they will cater for the occasional injury and cold, but what happens when you need to pay for surgery to ease the suffering of a Labrador Retriever?
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