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Further relevant diseases in Labrador Retriever

In addition to the heart diseases, there are other diseases and topics that are relevant to the Labrador Retriever, which we would like to introduce to you at this point.


Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) is a hereditary muscle weakness (myasthenia) characterized by lack of tendon reflexes and a lower weight gain compared to other puppies at the age of 4 weeks. First clear symptoms, e.g. stress tolerance, abnormal head/neck position, stiff walking, collapsing in the cold, and difficulty in eating are shown in an age between 12 and 20 weeks.


Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a neurological disease of the spinal cord, which predominantly occurs in older dogs from the age of 8 years. It manifests itself in symptoms such as fall down or stumbling in turns, spontaneous knuckling or walking on the tops of their feet and later also pulling behind of toes.


The elbow joint dysplasia (ED) is a chronic disease complex of the elbow joint, which subsequently leads to mild to severe lameness and arthrosis. The ED is hereditary, but can also be encouraged by external circumstances such as rapid growth or early overload. The methods of therapy available today are numerous but can only contribute to the relief of symptoms, but not cure the disease. An osteoarthritis is inevitable sooner or later, but the disease process can often be delayed by means of various therapeutic possibilities, so that most dogs can still enjoy a normal life for many years. At the German breeding associations LCD e.V. and DRC e.V. an X-ray examination of the elbow in the framework of the breeding confirmation is obligatory, an investigation of the offspring at least 12 months is desired.  


The Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) is a hereditary neuromuscular disease with initial diagnosis between half a year and three years. EIC attacks occur after a long-lasting exertion of more than 20 minutes, mostly from the hind legs, and are characterized by an unnaturally fluctuating walk which can extend to the front legs and lead to the collapse.


Idiopathic epilepsy is the name given to seizures, which were caused by brain disorders. Compared to healthy dogs there is a lower threshold for overexcitation in affected dogs. Concering Labrador Retriever and some other dog breeds a heredity is proven, wherefor affected dogs should be excluded from breeding. Usually the first epileptic seizure occures at an age between 1,5 to 5 years. According to the size of the affected area of the brain, the externally visible seizures can vary from spastic limbs to impaired consciousness like catching nonexistent flies. Besides the idiopatic epilepsy it also exists the secondary epilepsy, which is caused by different underlying diseases like for example liver and kidney diseases, hypothyroidism or even tumor or inflammation of the brain. The secondary epilepsy can occur in every age, but especially seizures in very young or very old animals are suspected. 


The hereditary cataract (HC) is the most common cause for cataract. Usually the HC occurs in affected dogs until the 6th year of life and mostly on both eyes. If the dog suffers from hereditary cataract its lense increasingly dims from bluish-white to finally snow white. For the owner a significant vision loss is noticed not until also the second eye is strongly affected. 


The hip joint dysplasia (HD) is a skeletal disorder, that comes along with deformation of the hip joint. It is characterized by changes at the femoral head or at the hip joint socket or even both of this bone material, so that it doesn't properly fit together. Among other things symptoms could be: pain while going for a walk, frequently sitting down, insecure walk, difficulties to get up or lay down, painfully howling when playing with others... In the further course usually arthroses occur. Hip joint dysplasia is a hereditary disease, but also can be encouraged by external circumstances like growing too fast or premature physical overburden. The presently available therapies are numerous, but only are able to contribute symptom relief but no cure of this disease. An athrosis sooner or later is inevitable. However, usually it is possible to effectively delay the disease process, so that most dogs can enjoy a normal life for many years. At the german associations LCD e.V. and DRC e.V. a X-ray examination of the hip within the breeding confirmation is binding. An examination of the offspring at the age of at least 12 month is encouraged. 


The hereditary nasal parakeratose (HNPK) is a genetic defect that leads to dehydration of the dogs nose. Thereby it forms a dry and barky layer of skin especially on the bridge of the nose, that is connected to the nose and couldn't be removed. First symptoms of HNPK already occur in the second half of the first year of life. 


The malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a hereditary metabolic disorder of the skeletal muscles. In everyday life the affected dogs are symptom free. The symptoms of this disease will be initiated by numerous trigger substances like for example volatile anaesthetics and demoralising muscle relaxants. That's why the malignant hyperthermia often occurs as a anaesthesia complication. Even 5 to 30 minutes after administration of such medicine the affected dogs show massiv contraction of the skeletal muscles, followed by an increased oxygen consumption and thus an increased production of CO2 as well as massiv thermal release. First noticeable symptoms caused by this metabolic disorder are for example subsidence of blood pressure, increased heart rate, rise in body temperature as well as cardiac arrhythmia. If no countermeasures will be initiated, permanent damages of the muscle cells, acute renal failure, brain injury, lung dysfunction or defective blood clotting and finally cardiac arrest and death follows as a result.


Narcolepsy is a hereditary neurological disease, that is characterized by malfunction of the rhythm of sleeping and waking. First symptoms of this sleeping sickness like for example temporary loss of muscle tension in the conscious state occur at the age between 14 and 24 weeks and mostly are triggert by cheerful emotional events like feed intake or playing.


The progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a progressive hereditary eye disease. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of the mesopic and scotopic vision at first and in the further progression also of the color vision by daylight, until finally the dog goes blind. For the owner it could be noticeable symptoms, when the dog frequently pounds at unknown objects or suddenly appears more devoted. Further symptoms are the incomplete closure of the pupils when light falls on it and a stronger luminescence of the eyes during darkness because the retina becomes thinner and thinner. The late form of the progressive retinal atrophy, most commin in Central Europe, is called progressive rod cone degeneration (PRCD-PRA) and occurs in Labrador Retriever from the 3rd to 5th year of life.


The retinal dysplasia (RD) is a heredity disease of the retina, that can occur in three different forms, which however are already determined at birth and doesn't progress any further. The RD is not painful and unfortunately unaidable. At the multifocal RD (RD1) the retina shows slight wrinkling, the geografic RD (RD2) is characterized by irregular parts of abnormal retina and the total RD (RD3 or oculosceletal disease OD) ist characterized by complete retinal detachment and blindness. This severe form occurs rarely and comes along with sceletal malformation. 


The sceletal dyspkasia 2 (SD2) is a hereditary disease in Labrador Retriever, which leads to premature standstill concerning the bone growth of the  long tubular bones. The SD2 is characterized by shorten forelimbs and higher hind legs while the fuselage length and body depth remains unaffected. As known so far, the SD2 causes no health porblems, no pain and has no impact on the affected dog itself. 




Additionally there is a special issue, which is very close to our hearts because of our own experience. We want to give you an understanding of this disease as well. 


In dogs with Addison's disease a destruction of the adrenal glands and therefore a reduced or absent production of two vitally important hormones (glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoide) occurs. Because these two hormones have an influence on cells in the entire body, her absence has a dramatic influence on the processes in the entire body as well. In addition it comes to a shift of sodium and potassium. In most cases Addison's disease occurs as a result of an autoimmune disease with unexplained reason itself. It happens that the endogenic immune system identifies the adrenal glands as exogenous and starts attacking and destroying them. In rare cases Addison's disease is caused by tumors and infections infiltrating and destroying the adrenal glands or by circulatory disturbances. Moreover it exists an iatrogenic type of Addison's disease, which occurs drug-induced after abrupt withdrawal of previous longtime therapy with glucocorticoids. The disease itself and its symptoms develop little by little over weeks or even month. It can occur in dogs of every age and both gender as well as neutered or intact dogs, but accumulates in young and medium aged female dogs. In some dog breeds, as in Labrador Retriever, Addison's disease occurs cumulative. Symptomes of Addison's disease include reduced appetite, severe tiredness, vomit, diarrhea, loss of weight, muscle weakness as well as reduced thirst and reduced urinary sales. To make a conclusive diagnosis the ACTH stimulation test by blood test is needed. The therapy is carried out by so called maintenance therapy by using medicine in addition to the administration of sodium chloride.