The Labradoodle has quickly won over so many hearts in the last few decades. And with good reason! They’re generally incredibly friendly, intelligent, and simply a joy to have nearby. Did you know that they were originally meant to be hypoallergenic guide dogs?
The first Labradoodle was supposedly bred by a man named Wally Conron of the Royal Guide Dogs Society (Australia). He wanted to create offspring between a Labrador and a poodle with the best traits of both. That first result was great! It was a dog with the Lab’s sociable nature and the low-shedding coat of a poodle. No wonder Labradoodles are so loved and wanted today.
However, whenever humanity tries to control biology, there are always anomalies that appear. And we see some of those results in the Labradoodle too. Like any other breed/hybrid, they can develop health issues.
Today, we want to take you through an insightful guide on Labradoodle health issues. We hope this information will help you be a better parent and nurturer if you own a Labradoodle. Even if you don’t own one, you’ll be much better off being more informed about them.
Labradoodle Health Issues: Everything You Must Know
The first fact we have to remember is that any dog breed or hybrid can develop health issues. Just like we humans are subject to disease depending on our genes, lifestyle, or misfortune, it’s the same with our canine companions.
So, the Labradoodle is also equally capable of developing physical complications just like any other breed. When we talk about a Labradoodle’s most common health issues, we don’t just mean diseases that only these dogs get.
On the contrary, some of these complications are common across various breeds and varieties. The important thing here is to stay informed of these risks and conditions. That way, even if your Labradoodle develops any signs or symptoms, you can quickly take it to the vet.
If you’re looking for a Labradoodle, it’s critical to get it from the right source. Reliable breeders will usually have a health guarantee on their puppies. Reputable breeders will normally be forthright about any health complications the parents may have too.
The best breeders will even offer you certifications from Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Canine Eye Registry, or other similar authorities. Some may even offer DNA tests for potential conditions. Getting your puppy from the right source is like preventing many of these health conditions before they even appear.
Also, we must remember that Labradoodles can develop health issues faced by both Labrador Retrievers and Poodles. Hybrids can sometimes fail to reconcile the physical traits of both parent breeds. For instance, Labradoodles can develop hip/elbow dysplasia, which we will discuss in more detail below. But it happens because the different physiology of the parents may not form healthily in the puppy.
Finally, remember that most Labradoodle health issues are curable. It’s just a matter of taking timely and regular visits to the vet. Also, being prompt with medication and nurturing is essential. However, if you’re Labradoodle has a congenital disability that’s not curable, don’t worry. Remember that it’s not the dog’s fault. Just give him/her as much love and attention as you can, and you’ll get twice in return.
So, we now know that Labradoodles can develop health issues of different kinds. And that it’s essential to stay informed of your dog’s condition. We’ll take a more detailed look at some of the most common labradoodle health issues and what we can do about them.
The first item on our list of possible Labradoodle health issues is cancer.
Cancer in dogs is more common in old age (above ten). Research suggests that more than 40% of deaths in older dogs may be because of cancer. Although that figure sounds terrifying, it’s not all that bad. They’re about as prone to cancer as humans are. So, it’s sad, but the odds are only natural, not unfair. As far as Labradoodle health issues go, cancer isn’t the most common.
Therefore, your Labradoodle puppy isn’t in any more danger than any other dog breed. On the off chance that your Labradoodle does develop cancer, the approach should be the same as with any other pet – a lot of care and medical help.
Cancer in Labradoodles
It’s always sad to learn about cancer in your pets, regardless of breed or type. If you find out your Labradoodle puppy has cancer, it means you’re already at the vet. That’s the best place to be at this time. Cancer in your dog may be one of many types. It commonly occurs in body organs, bones, or skin.
Just like in humans, some cancers grow faster and others slower. Sometimes, you may detect them too late. But the treatment isn’t as harsh or intensive as for humans. So, that can serve as a small consolation.
The general approach to cancer in dogs is not to cure it. The main aim here is to treat it to remission. This is because trying to cure it adversely affects the dog’s quality of life. You can’t really convince a dog to undergo pain now so that he may or may not get better later on. But the good news here is that cancer survival in dogs is common too.
Make sure you consult with your vet before making any decisions. The treatment may range from chemo, radiation, surgery, or merely supplementing medication. It depends a lot on the type of cancer and your dog’s condition. Also, veterinary medicine has developed new treatments such as immunotherapy and antibody therapy. Although these are expensive, they give you more options for treatment.
Finally, the mental health of you and your dog is a crucial part of the treatment. Make sure you keep a normal routine in terms of walks, playtime, etc. It would be great if you also learned about the treatments, terminology, symptoms, etc.
If you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track. And try your best to keep your pet’s quality of life at par or better than the pre-cancer phase. Whether it’s a nice swim or a warm cuddle, make your dog’s day more often than not.
Labradoodle Joint Problems
Unlike cancer, Labradoodles and joint problems can often come together. And most of the time, it’s because of breeding issues. These joint issues can include knee problems, pain in the joints, hip dysplasia, or elbow dysplasia. We’ll talk about the last two conditions later because they require a bit more detail. But other joint problems can still appear in your Labradoodle puppy.
Questionable breeding methods are often to blame for these problems. So, it’s vital to get your pup from a reliable and trusted source. However, Labradoodles can also develop these conditions because of their hybrid nature. So, sometimes it’s merely a biological cause. Either way, it’s good to stay informed about how it happens and what you can do.
Labradoodles and Joint Problems
The signs of your dog’s joint pain can sometimes be easy to miss. Just because your Labradoodle isn’t yelping or immobile doesn’t mean he’s in pain. Common symptoms include irritability, excessive lying down, limping, lagging on walks, reluctance to climb stairs, lack of enthusiasm for play or walks, etc.
Dogs don’t naturally slow down in old age (unless really old). And most of these symptoms can pass right under your nose as you go about your day. Thus, it’s helpful to keep an eye out for small but unusual changes in your Labradoodle puppy. If you see some of these behaviors, it may be time to take your doodle to the vet.
The good news here is that canine rehabilitation is one of the fastest-growing methods of veterinary science. It’s quickly becoming one of the most successful approaches in doggy treatment. It’s not surprising to see dogs learn to walk or run again. Even at the very least, there are ways and means to help your dog live a full life even with the condition.
Various anti-inflammatory medicines can help relieve joint pains. Of course, you should only use the meds recommended by your vet. Don’t use human meds on your dogs without medical advice. If your vet allows, you can also use joint supplements as alternatives. There are also therapeutic foods that can help boost your dog’s health per the treatment.
Also, one of the most positive actions you can take is to watch your Labradoodle’s weight. Obesity in your dog can cause or aggravate any existing joint problems. Since Labradoodles are an active bunch, this isn’t hard to do. But if you do need it, work with your vet to design a weight loss plan that involves the right diet and exercise. This way, your Labradoodle gets the best of medical and homely help.
Labradoodles can inherit eye conditions from their parents. And Glaucoma can undoubtedly be one of these problems. But you should know that Labradoodles and Glaucoma aren’t really a common combination.
Glaucoma is generally more present in purebreds. Of course, this doesn’t mean Labradoodles never develop this condition. They can certainly inherit cataracts from their genes. But if your Labradoodle does have Glaucoma, it’s good to stay on top of the latest information.
Glaucoma in Labradoodles
Labradoodles can develop Glaucoma when there is increased pressure on the eyes. The main effect is that the dog’s eyes will not drain fluid properly. Glaucoma has the potential to become severe enough to cause permanent blindness. However, this isn’t always the case. Either way, there are ways to prevent or partially rectify the issue.
A common cause of Glaucoma is when the eye’s filtration angles do not develop well. But other causes include lens slipping, tissue inflammation, or eye injuries. If it’s an eye filtration problem, you have primary Glaucoma. All the other reasons here are called secondary Glaucoma.
Glaucoma symptoms in Labradoodles can vary depending on severity. But common signs include eye pressure, excessive blinking, cloudy appearance, dilated pupil, the recession of eyeballs, etc. Like any other Labradoodle health issue, you may notice a lack of interest in an activity or play.
Your vet will decide on the treatment for Glaucoma depending on the Labradoodle’s condition. The general approach is to try lowering the pressure to save their vision. But if there is damage in the optical nerve, it may be permanent or require surgery at the least.
Methods can include draining of eye fluid or, in severe cases, removal of the eye. In the first case, surgery can restore some vision. However, in the second instance, your dog will have an orb instead of an eye. Although this sounds tragic, dogs can adapt to vision loss without as much trouble as humans.
Your Doodle’s hearing and sense of smell are way better than ours anyway. But you can certainly help by making the transition as comfortable as possible. You may have to watch over your dog more when outdoors. But small responsibilities like these are easy for anyone who loves their pets.
Labradoodle Vision Problems
Although Glaucoma can be a dangerous condition, there are other vision problems that Labradoodles can develop. Symptoms usually look similar. But your Labradoodle’s vision problems can come from a host of factors.
Keeping an eye (no pun intended) on your dog can help you detect problems early. This way, you can start timely treatments.
Labradoodles and Vision Problems
Labradoodles can experience vision problems because of eye diseases, injury, or old age. Labs and poodles can sometimes have genetic eye disorders, which they pass on to offspring. So, correct diagnosis is crucial before beginning treatment. The wrong diagnosis can take your dog through a lot of pain and trouble for nothing. Worse yet, it can even cause permanent loss of vision. For an accurate diagnosis, your vet has to detect the symptoms correctly.
Common symptoms include redness, excessive fluids, cloudiness, low vision, squinting, eye color changes, etc. There may also be behavioral changes that imply vision problems. These include bumping into things, aversion to light, confusion, pawing the face, etc.
Depending on what the symptoms are, your Labradoodle may have one of many vision problems. This can include cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), Corneal ulcers, etc. Other times, vision problems can also come from Diabetes or high blood pressure.
The precise treatment will depend on the source and cause of the eye problem. For instance, Diabetes will require a change in your Labradoodle’s diet and lifestyle or even insulin shots. Corneal ulcers may require medication such as Topical antibiotics or surgery for severe cases.
For PRA and SARDS, few known methods work. But your vet can suggest supplements that might help your Labradoodle. But these vision issues are not painful problems for your dog.
Your Labradoodle can easily adapt to its changing eyesight. As mentioned earlier, our dogs have a keen sense of smell and hearing. So, a little loss of vision isn’t as difficult for them as we imagine. Of course, their motor skills may not be as efficient as before. But they can still live full and wholesome lives as long as they get the proper care. On our part, all we have to do is make their day better by continuing to nurture them and care for them.
Labradoodle Hip Dysplasia
Labradoodles and Hip Dysplasia are commonly heard together in today’s dog forums. But this does not mean that only Labradoodles develop Hip Dysplasia. It’s a condition that appears a lot in larger dog breeds. And it’s a condition that can really alter the quality of life for your dog.
Furthermore, the effect on a loving owner can also be disheartening. But the important thing here is to know your Labradoodle well and learn more about the disease. Hip Dysplasia is a common condition that need not be life-threatening if you know what to do.
Hyp Dysplasia in Labradoodles
Hip Dysplasia is, essentially, a bone and joint problem. Your Labradoodle’s joints, like any other dog, have a ball and a socket to match. With Hip Dysplasia, the socket and ball develop into a shape that doesn’t fit correctly. So, instead of sliding together well, they start to grind and rub against each other. This means their mobility, movement, or posture may become abnormal.
Over time, the condition can also lead to the joint becoming fully dysfunctional.
Hip Dysplasia can have a number of causes. The common ones are genetic disorders, unethical breeding, obesity, harmful diets, or too much/too little activity. In Labradoodles, Hip Dysplasia usually comes from poor breeding processes. So, you must adopt your puppies from trusted breeders who know what they’re doing.
The symptoms usually include a decrease in physical activity and a limited range of motion. It can also mean your Labradoodle hesitates to jump, climb, or rise. Another common sign is a ‘bunny-hop’ type of walking/running. The thigh can also lose muscle mass because of this condition. You can see the shoulders enlarged as the body tries to compensate for the hind legs in some cases.
Potential Treatment for Hip Dysplasia
Your vet may perform an examination, mobility inspections, radiographs, x-rays, etc. He will then recommend changes in lifestyle or surgery, or both, depending on the severity and condition. A common treatment is to reduce the Labradoodle’s weight to put less pressure on the joints. Your vet may also advise limited exercises on harder surfaces.
Medication can include joint supplements, pain relief, fluid modifiers, or anti-inflammatory prescriptions. Surgery can consist of osteotomy, osteotomy, or total hip replacement. It is crucial to choose wisely based on your dog’s condition, the vet’s advice, and your financial responsibility.
Labradoodle Elbow Dysplasia
Another health issue associated with Labradoodles is Elbow Dysplasia. It’s very similar to Hip Dysplasia, but it happens in the front and not the hind legs. Just like Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia is not a solely Labradoodle problem. You may see it in bigger breeds who struggle with physiology or obesity. Also, it can come from genetic or unethical breeding practices.
Elbow Dysplasia in Labradoodles
In Labradoodles, genes and poor breeding are more common causes of Elbow Dysplasia. But there are working treatments available. Although no method has guaranteed success, your dogs can still live a wholesome life if you take the right measures.
Elbow Dysplasia in Labradoodles is mostly because by some abnormal skeletal growth in the elbow. The condition can become worse with age. And the older it gets, the more painful for your Labradoodle. So, it’s essential to detect the signs early and seek your vet’s help.
The main symptom of Elbow Dysplasia is an evident decrease in the range of motion. Also, you may notice that your Labradoodle shows discomfort or pain when you flex its elbow. You may also see episodes of lameness that appear once in a while. Some Elbow Dysplasia cases also have fluid retention in the joints. But this isn’t so common in Labradoodles.
Potential Treatments for Elbow Dysplasia
If your Labradoodle has Elbow Dysplasia, your vet can confirm the diagnosis through radiography or x-ray. Many times, vets can also detect it through inspection and evaluation. If the Elbow Dysplasia is a mild case, the vet may prescribe more moderate medical options.
Medication can include joint supplements or anti-inflammatory drugs. Your vet may also suggest fatty-acid supplements to decrease inflammation or lubrication of the joint.
However, severe cases may need a combination of surgery, medication, and therapy. Common approaches for surgery include arthroscopy and the open-joint procedure.
You can also get rehabilitation treatments carried out by professionals. These can include underwater treadmills, swimming, and other relevant exercises. But all of these treatments should come from the vet’s recommendation. You’re better off acting on professional advice since it may also be expensive.
The great news is that Elbow Dysplasia has a higher recovery rate than other illnesses. So, there’s reason to be optimistic here. On your part, just ensure that your Labradoodle stays in a healthy frame of mind. And with it, give it your best in nurturing and caring for your dog. After all, that’s all that your Labradoodle wants at the end of the day!
Labradoodles, like any other breed of dog, can be prone to certain infections. Some examples include:
- Ear infections: Due to the shape and position of their ears, Labradoodles are prone to developing ear infections. Symptoms include head shaking, scratching at the ears, and a foul odor coming from the ears.
- Skin infections: Bacterial and fungal skin infections can develop due to a weakened immune system or a break in the skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, and hair loss.
- Urinary tract infections: These can cause discomfort, frequent urination, and sometimes blood in the urine.
- Gastrointestinal infections: Gastrointestinal infections can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
It’s important to take your Labradoodle to the veterinarian for regular check-ups and if you suspect they may have an infection. Early treatment can prevent more serious health problems from developing.
Other Labradoodle Health Issues
There are other types of probable issues with your Labradoodle’s health.
Addison’s disease, also known as adrenal insufficiency, is a condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. In Labradoodles, this can result in symptoms such as:
- Weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle tremors or weakness
If left untreated, Addison’s disease can be life-threatening. Treatment involves supplementing the missing hormones and monitoring the dog’s condition to keep their levels within a normal range. It’s important to work closely with a veterinarian to properly manage this condition.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) is a bleeding disorder that is caused by a deficiency in a blood protein called von Willebrand factor (vWF). In Labradoodles, vWD can lead to:
- Easy bruising
- Prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery
- Bleeding in the gums or in the gastrointestinal tract
The severity of vWD can vary, and some dogs may only have mild symptoms, while others may have severe bleeding episodes. Treatment for vWD may include the use of medications to increase the levels of vWF in the blood or to help the blood clot more effectively.
It’s important to work with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and manage this condition.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is characterized by recurrent seizures. In Labradoodles, epilepsy can cause:
- Uncontrollable muscle contractions
- Loss of consciousness
- Urination or defecation
The cause of epilepsy in dogs is often unknown, but it can be hereditary or caused by head injury, infection, or other underlying medical conditions. Treatment for epilepsy typically involves the use of anti-seizure medications to control the frequency and severity of seizures.
In some cases, a combination of medications may be needed to effectively manage the condition. It’s important to work with a veterinarian to properly diagnose and manage epilepsy in your Labradoodle.
Sebaceous adenitis is an autoimmune skin disorder that affects the sebaceous glands, which produce oil to keep the skin and coat healthy. In Labradoodles, sebaceous adenitis can cause:
- Hair loss
- Dull, dry, or flaky skin
- Scaling or crusting of the skin
- Itching or redness
The exact cause of sebaceous adenitis is unknown, but it is believed to be related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Treatment for sebaceous adenitis typically involves the use of medications to suppress the immune system, as well as topical or oral therapies to improve the condition of the skin and coat. In severe cases, a special diet may also be recommended.
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