Common health issues
- GDV (or bloat) describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.
Tricuspid valve dysplasia
- Tricuspid valve dysplasia is a heart condition which appears to occur more often in Labrador Retrievers than in the general canine population. The most common initial clue to diagnosis will be a heart murmur found by your vet during a routine exam.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.
Microphthalmia and Ocular Dysgenesis
- These conditions are commonly associated with a merle coat with excessive white. Microphthamlia is a small eye which appears recessed in the eye socket, and can come with defects in the cornea, lens and retina. Partial deafness can also occur with this condition. Affected pups are often blind, but can compensate well for lost vision.
- Wobbler Syndrome results from instability of the vertebrae in the neck. Chronic compression of the spinal cord leads to weakness in the hind limbs, and if severe, can progress to weakness in the front limbs, as well. Wobbler syndrome can be managed medically if it is mild, but often requires extensive surgery and physical therapy to correct.