+++ You live(d) together with a heart sick Labrador Retriever? Please get in touch with us! +++
Last but not least we would like to give you some important advice – if you decide for a dog from a breeder and not from an animal shelter – which should help you choose the right dog for you.
Please only buy a Labrador Retriever which was bred by one of the worldwide FCI recognized associations. In Germany it is either LCD (Labradorclub Deutschland e.V.) or DRC (Deutscher Retriever Club e.V.). In Switzerland RCS (Retriever Club Schweiz) is an association which is supported by the FCI. Please do not support a breeder who irresponsible breeds dogs. Just by doing that you really can make sure that Labrador Retriever are still going to be bred with strict rules regarding health and creature.
Independently from the predisposition regarding the tricuspid valve dysplasia or other heart diseases, it is necessary that you watch out that the dam as well as the stud of your potential puppy is not suffering from HD or ED. Furthermore the dogs’ health regarding EIC, CNM and prcd-PRA should be confirmed. Please also pay attention to the dams and studs siblings. A good breeder can give you information regarding these topics which you can also look up – if available – at the database from each association. In addition you should inform yourself about the already existing breeds from the dam as well as the stud. The health of those dogs can be a good indicator regarding the sire-quality of their parents.
Regarding the possible heart diseases we would urgently recommend that you ask the breeder for an ultrasound to prove that the dam and the stud have healthy hearts. Have a look at the according results! If either the dam or the stud had puppies before make sure you ask for their ultrasound results as well. Not all health results are recorded in the databases and not all breeder release sicknesses of their dogs on their webpage. We would only choose a breeder that is open about sicknesses in their breed! Furthermore you should precisely look at the line breeding of your planned dog and at least be careful if some middle-aged ancestors have died.
Unfortunately many breeders do not (yet) get an ultrasound of their dogs’ hearts because a heart ultrasound is not mandatory for breeding in Germany. Even though in the U.S. heart ultrasounds for Labrador Retriever are not mandatory as well, almost every breeding dog from the Labradorclub in the U.S. gets a cardiologic examination. Why there and not here in Germany? It really doesn’t make any sense for us.
Especially with diseases – compared to the in Germany mandatory dental chart report – which holds for the affected dog serious health effects as well as for the owner severe emotional and financial consequences, a responsible breeder should attach great importance to get his breeding dogs examined. According to the animal cardiologists from the Collegium Cardiologicum e.V. tricuspid valve dysplasia – similar to HD and ED – belongs to the Labrador Retriever breed predispositions and even some other heart diseases matter. Without necessary requirements of the breeding regarding this matter nobody is obligated to get an ultrasound not to mention to release a negative ultrasound result or to register the disease to the association’s database. This makes it difficult to get an idea about which dog is clear or affected in some way.
Sadly it is a vicious circle: as long as a small amount of affected dogs are made public the necessity of heart ultrasounds for Labrador Retriever are not enough being communicated. As long as the necessity is not communicated no further dogs can be identified with the disease…
However, there are some positive and excellent examples as well:
There are breeders and stud-owners that precautionary get their dogs examined by ultrasound and publish the results on their webpage. A little more effort while searching for a breeder is hopefully rewarded with a long shared life.