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Common Illnesses in Labrador Retrievers

Our labs are not only pets, but companions. So we would want to keep them healthy and avoid them getting sick.

It’s important to know the common ailments in labs so we can watch out for early symptoms. Regular visits to the vet and a healthy lifestyle are also important to keep our labs in tip top shape.

The table below shows the most common diseases a lab can contract. So be careful, and make sure your lab’s vaccinations are complete.

Canine Hip Dysplasia
Stiffness or pain in the rear legs, awkward stance, reluctance to walk or jump.
Worsens over time
Bone structure problem related to the hip bone
Gastric Torsion
Rapid bloating of the stomach accompanied by serious pain.
Occurs when the stomach twists and traps the contents inside.
Can cause death in under an hour.
Patellar Luxation
Temporary or permanent lameness, awkward stance, reluctance to move around like jumping or walking.
Occurs when the knee cap becomes displaced.
Liver Shunt
Seizures, depression, tremors, drooling.
Blood in the urine or pain urinating.
Occasional vomiting and loss of appetite
Known as a Portosystemic Shunt, it is caused by a problem or restriction of the blood flow through the liver.
Retinal Dysplasia
From partial to total blindness, dependent on severity.
Deformation in the eyes right from birth.
Tracheal Collapse
Dry cough that gets worse over time, sometimes worsened by various activities.
Weakening of the airway which affects breathing.
Thickened footpads, involuntary muscle twitching or seizures, blindness, paralysis and vomiting.
Contagious Viral Disease – Prevention by vaccination
Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers.
Contagious Viral Disease – No real cure.
Shivering, muscle tenderness, vomiting, dehydration and kidney or muscle pain.
Bacterial disease ? transmitted through bites and other body fluids.
Coughing, sneezing, runny nose and other respiratory problems.
Airborne virus, much like the human flu virus.
Vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargic, loss of appetite.
Viral Disease – Transmitted through body fluids and stool.
Fever, loss of appetite, aggressive behaviour, disorientation, drooling and foaming saliva.
Viral Disease – Transmitted through saliva or bites.
Similar to Parainfluenza.
Bacterial disease which attacks the upper respiratory system.
Loss of appetite, depression, nausea, vomiting and severe diarrhea.
Intestinal virus transmitted through contact or stool.
Lyme Disease
Fever, swollen glands and joints and loss of appetite.
Bacterial disease transmitted through tick bites.
Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargic, loss of appetite and dehydration.
Parasitic disease transmitted through infected stool.
Similar to Coccidiosis.
Parasitic disease transmitted through any water that comes into contact with infected stool.

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Image credit: Andreas


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