Labrador Retrievers – Choosing a Labrador Retriever

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Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that primarily affects the spleen, liver or heart.

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder which develops between the ages of two and five years.

Interdigital Dermatitis, also known as pododermatitis, is an inflammation of the paws involving the feet and nails.

Atopy is an itchy skin disease of animals that is caused by an allergy to substances in the environment.

Food Allergy affected pets develop skin allergies due to a variety of food ingredients.

Mast Cell Tumors are malignant tumors that can occur in the skin or within the body.

Perianal Fistula is an infection and fistulas of the anal glands and tissues around the anal area.

Lymphosarcoma (lymphoma) is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system.

Cataracts are opacities within the lens of the eye that affect vision.

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases.

Lipomas are benign benign fatty tumor of the subcutaneous tissue.

Other diseases that are found more commonly in labs than in other breeds are osteochondrosis, seborrhea, hot spots, diabetes and hypothyroidism. They are also prone to melanoma, a type of cancer. Labradors that hunt and swim are prone to foreign bodies becoming embedded in the ears and under the eyelids and ear infections.

In addition, although these occur infrequently, the following disorders have also been reported:

Tricuspid valve dysplasia – is a congenital developmental problem associated with a valve in the heart.

Osteocondrosis of the shoulder is congenital problem that causes degenerative joint disease of the shoulder joint.

Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament is a problem that results from tearing of the cruciate ligament, causing lameness that may be severe.

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.

Hyperadrenocorticism is a disorder affecting the adrenal glands. When overactive, the adrenal glands secrete excessive cortisol, resulting in illness.

Nasal Depigmentation – may affect some yellow Labradors. Seasonal depigmentation is also seen in this breed.

Cutaneous Histiocytoma – is a benign tumor of the skin that can affect young dogs.

Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina, the innermost tunic layer of the back of the eye.

Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.

Ectropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes eversion of the eyelid margin. It most commonly affects the lower central eyelid.

Congenital Idiopathic Megaesophagus – is a dilatation of the esophagus caused by decreased contraction of the muscles, causing food regurgitation.

Lick granuloma is a condition in which the dog licks an area excessively, usually on the front leg, until a raised, firm ulcerated lesion is formed.

Myasthenia gravis is a disorder characterized by muscular weakness that is aggravated by activity and relieved by rest. It is caused by an impairment of transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles, which results in muscle weakness.


The average lifespan of the Labrador Retriever is 10 to 13 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.


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