LABRADOR HEALTH AND LIFE EXPECTANCY
By William Atherton / December 15, 2020
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To get us started, let's talk about the life expectancy of a healthy lab. The breed is generally a healthy one, and they have a reasonably average lifespan for a dog their size and tend to live 10-12 years. Now, let's get into all of the different health issues you might possibly see within the lab. The two conditions that are pretty common among almost all breeds are hip and elbow dysplasia. This is a condition that occurs when the dog's joints have a malformation. Either of these conditions can be genetic or environmental. This is why it is essential to research the parents of a litter you are considering getting a puppy from and reducing any environmental factors. Such as not allowing the dog to play too roughly when it is young to protect their fragile joints and feeding a good diet. There can also be some varied eye and heart issues within the breed. Though these are not incredibly common, they can still occur. This is why the breeds parent clubs do recommend all breeding stock be evaluated and certified for eyes and the heart before breeding any particular dog. The lab can also be susceptible to Hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the dog's thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones and can results in hair loss, weight gain, and lethargy. Another issue within the breed is Laryngeal Paralysis. This is caused by weakening in the muscles around the vocal cords and can cause the dog to have a hoarse bark. Or some even describe the bark as almost sounding like a honking sound. One of the more prevalent genetic diseases in the breed is centronuclear myopathy. This is a condition where the muscles degrade and cause the dog to lose appetite, awkward gait, and weight gain. Labs also suffer from Exercise Induced Collapse or EIC. This is, unfortunately, precisely what it sounds like. In individuals where EIC is a factor, the dog can get 5 to 15 minutes of strenuous exercise. But, much more than that, the individual starts to become weak, and if they keep going after that, they will collapse. The dogs are completely conscious during the collapse and but they will seem to be disoriented. This is a severe condition, and it can result in death if not managed correctly and if individuals with the disease are allowed to overexert themselves too much. Lastly, the lab is also a sufferer of cancer and some seizure disorders. The most common types of cancer for the breed is Lymphoma and bone cancer.