Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: December 13, 2016
Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retriever

Animal file: Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most beloved breeds in the world; these dogs are known for being endearing and big-hearted creatures. Labradors love being showered with attention and hugged by everyone, especially children.

Although Labrador Retrievers are overall very healthy dogs that don't get ill too often, there are some hereditary diseases that you should know about and bear in mind in order to better understand your pet. They are also prone to obesity, so you should be familiar with the amount of exercise they need.

If you have a Labrador or you're thinking of adopting one in the future, we suggest you to keep reading this AnimalWised article in which we explain the most common diseases of Labrador Retrievers.

You may also be interested in: Common Diseases of Persian Cats
  1. Eye problems
  2. Caudal myopathy
  3. Muscular dystrophy
  4. Dysplasia

Eye problems

Many Labradors suffer from eye problems, from minor ocular defects to cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy. These are hereditary diseases that impair the dog's vision.

It's important to correct problems like cataracts as soon as possible, because they can worsen to such an extent that it causes glaucoma, uveitis or dislocation. Dogs can even go totally blind if such a problem is not treated. Depending on the case, there are treatment methods that can correct them and even surgical procedures to eliminate them completely.

Retinal dysplasia is a deformation that can cause anything from reduced visual field to total blindness, and it's an untreatable condition. It's important that you discuss this with your vet beforehand, because many eye diseases are incurable. However, they can be delayed with good treatment and the inclusion of foods and products with antioxidant properties in their diets.

Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers - Eye problems

Caudal myopathy

This condition, which can scare many Labradors Retriever owners, is also known as "limber tail syndrome" and is commonplace among the breed, but not exclusive to it. Myopathy in this area is characterized by a flaccid paralysis in the tail.

Myopathy can occur when a dog is over-trained or physically overstimulated. It also occurs when, for example, they are kept in a kennel for a long journey or if they are bathed in very cold water. The dog feels pain when it is touched in the area, so it's important to allow it to rest and give it anti-inflammatory treatment in order for it to regain all of its abilities.

Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers - Caudal myopathy

Muscular dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy is an hereditary disease. The problem takes place in the muscle tissues; there are deficiencies and alterations in dystrophin protein, which is responsible for keeping the muscle membranes in correct condition.

This condition is more common in male dogs than in females, and the symptoms can be seen from the tenth week of a Labrador's life, when it is still a puppy. The of symptoms of muscular dystrophy in dogs include stiffness, weakness when walking, refusal to exercise, increased tongue thickness, excessive drooling and others. Serious symptoms can include breathing difficulties and muscle spasms.

No treatment can cure this disease as such. However, veterinary experts in the field are working to find a cure, and have conducted studies where it appears that muscular dystrophy could, in the future, be treated with the administration of stem cells.

Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers - Muscular dystrophy


Dysplasia is one of the most common diseases of the Labrador Retriever. It is an hereditary condition that is usually transmitted from parents to children. There are several types, but the most common are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. It happens when the joints do not develop properly; in most cases this causes degeneration, dysfunction and wear on the cartilage.

Labradors that suffer from pain, marks on their hind legs or primary or secondary injuries in one or both elbows must undergo a thorough physical analysis and an X-ray scan to determine if they are suffering from a dysplasia. If so, the phase of the disease must also be determined.

Basic treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and rest, but in the face of a very advanced case, they may need to undergo surgery.

Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers - Dysplasia

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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Wts the medicine fr this kind of infection can u pls tell me soon as possible!
Administrador AnimalWised

We cannot tell you. We are not a replacement for veterinary advice and only they can carry out a proper diagnosis and prescribe the correct course of treatment.
I have female and male labrador and the age is 7 years. Male gets frequent infection on the knees where it rubs and pawns (between the toes) . He is very active and very playful and healthy. HOW TO OVER COME THIS REPEATED INFECTION ISSUE .Photo attached
len von see
what can be done
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Common Diseases of Labrador Retrievers