Labradors are hardy animals. They are sociable and cheerful. They are able to charge everyone with energy and optimism. The pets have excellent temperament and good health. They practically do not cause difficulties even for novice dog breeders, since they are easy to care for and rather picky. But, dogs are characterized by hereditary diseases that can lead to disastrous outcomes. Labrador paws need to be given great attention, systematically examined and x-rays taken annually.
Diseases: Acquired or Congenital?
Diseases of the limbs or damage to the spine can be either acquired or hereditary. Various kinds of injuries resulting from excessive physical activity, and unbearable physical exertion can provoke bumps on the labrador’s paws. As a result of the injury, inflammation of the connective tissue and degenerative processes in the joints can occur.
Hereditary diseases, such as, for example, Labrador hip dysplasia, have an irreversible process, aggravating over the years. Treatment of such pathologies is possible, but rather difficult and most often aimed at maintaining a stable state, eliminating pain and progression of the disease.
Both one and the second type of pathology, as a rule, can be determined at a very early age of the puppy. To do this, first of all, it is worth buying puppies from experienced breeders, so that you can make sure of the health of the offspring and parents, trace the pedigree line and learn about hereditary diseases.
Important! Pets with degenerative diseases and diseases of the joints of a hereditary nature are not allowed to mate in order to improve the pedigree line. Of course, we are talking about responsible breeders who work closely with the club.
The next step is to take a close look at the puppy. If a Labrador puppy is limping or there are bald spots on the front legs of the Labrador, this is the first, alarm signal.
Don’t be fooled by breeder stories, failed couch-jumping, or other incredible stories about receding hairline or limp. It is better to refuse to purchase a puppy so that in the future you will not have to spend half your life in veterinary clinics.
Labrador Paw Diseases
If you have a Labrador dog, paws require special attention. After each walk, inspect the limbs of the animal, once a year undergoes an X-ray examination in order to identify the occurrence of pathologies in the early stages. Most often, dogs of this breed suffer from the following diseases:
Osteoarthritis in a Labrador retriever. This is a rather serious degenerative disease characteristic of aged animals. It consists of the destruction of cartilage tissue and synovial membrane. Visually, the sore spot is deformed, and in the absence of proper treatment, the paws of a Labrador may fail.
The sick animal refuses to walk, the joints swell, lameness appears, and when bending, a distinct crunch is heard. The dog feels a strong pain syndrome when touched, even if it is the area of the labrador’s paw.
In treatment, as a rule, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy procedures are used. The patient is prescribed a strict diet, a sparing regimen is established, walks are minimized.
Labrador arthritis. Arthritis is not a senile disease and can develop even in young animals. Improper diet, excessive exertion, hypothermia, weakened immunity, injury, and even sleeping on a cold and hard floor can provoke illness.
The main symptoms are pain, the Labrador limps, tries not to stand on the limb, the activity of the animal decreases and edema appears. Making an accurate diagnosis (after all, there are a huge number of types of arthritis, ranging from traumatic to purulent) and prescribe treatment yourself will not work. Be sure to contact the veterinary clinic where the correct treatment will be selected for your pet. As a rule, it consists in taking painkillers, anti-inflammatory, vitamins, and chondroprotectors, in severe cases – an operation. Also, dogs are prescribed diet and physiotherapy, which show good results in treatment.
Dysplasia in a Labrador Retriever. The signs of this disease are obvious from the earliest childhood of the animal since the disease is hereditary and is transmitted from the parents. If you notice that the dog feels discomfort from active walks and training, painful sensations when climbing stairs, and begins to pull the Labrador’s hind legs – these are all alarming signals for contacting a veterinary clinic. In addition, dogs become sensitive to weather changes, are less active, and try not to succumb to stress once again. The Labrador’s joints swell, it is difficult for him to give the command “give a paw” and there is an asymmetry of the body, as the pet tries to transfer the load to healthy limbs.
Dysplasia in a Labrador, alas, does not lend itself to full treatment, and it will only be possible to get rid of the problem with the help of surgical intervention. Chondroprotectors and vitamins – will significantly alleviate the course of the disease and eliminate the symptoms that bother the animal, but they will not completely cure.
Vitamins for Labrador Joints
At the moment, there is a huge variety of vitamins and chondroprotectors for Labrador Retrievers. The main focus of vitamins is to maintain healthy joints. Therefore, taking them during the treatment of labrador dysplasia or arthrosis does not make sense, since you will not get the desired and proper result.
Chondroprotectors and drugs that suppress inflammatory processes act directly on the joints in Labradors, therefore, treatment with such drugs is most effective.
From the above, we can conclude that if the animal is completely healthy or has undergone a full course of treatment, vitamins can be given. If the labrador’s paws hurt and there are changes in the joints, do not waste time, vitamins will not help here.
It is not difficult to guess that the Labrador has joint pain. The Labrador may pull the front legs or transfer the load to the hind legs, limp when walking, or refuse to walk up the stairs, may gain excess weight. All symptoms do not occur overnight, therefore, if you observe unusual pet behavior, provoked by painful sensations in the limbs, be sure to seek help from your veterinarian. Remember, early cure is always easier!