Dog Illnesses

Dog illnesses will affect most dog owners at some point in life. My hope is that you are just reading this section so that you are better prepared for possible future occurrences. Knowing what to look for and having an emergency plan in place can make all the difference.

If your Labrador is showing signs of any of the serious dog illnesses, I would urge you to get it to a vet as soon as possible. In most cases getting rapid treatment can mean the difference between life and death, especially with puppies and smaller dogs.

Luckily most people are very close to their pets and can detect subtle changes in behaviour early on. Behavioural changes are often the first sign of a problem and these can be as slight as a lack of energy.

With all that said, I wouldn’’t rush my Lab to the vet if she didn’t eat her dinner, but I would know to look out for other symptoms and to make note of how long she hasn’t eaten for.

Labrador Retriever Health Problems

Most breeds of dogs have certain common ailments that are often associated with them. Unfortunately our Labradors are also believed to be associated with a few common Labrador health problems.

These common Labrador health are, Canine Hip Dysplasia, Retinal Dysplasia and Gastric Torsion. Some dog illnesses, like Gastric Torsion, are prevalent in many of the large breed dogs.

I don’t wish to scare anyone off at this point; there is every chance that your beautiful Labrador will live a full normal life. Just take a look at some of our readers’ pictures and read their stories about life with their Labs.

Below is a list of the most well known dog illnesses together with some of their main symptoms and a brief description of what the illness is.

Disease NameSymptoms and Description
Canine Hip DysplasiaStiffness or pain in the rear legs, awkward stance, reluctance to walk or jump. Worsens over time

Bone structure problem related to the hip boneGastric TorsionRapid bloating of the stomach accompanied by serious pain.


Occurs when the stomach twists and traps the contents inside. Can cause death in under an hour.Patellar LuxationTemporary or permanent lameness, awkward stance, reluctance to move around like jumping or walking.


Occurs when the knee cap becomes displaced.Liver ShuntSeizures, depression, tremors, drooling. Blood in the urine or pain urinating. Occasional vomiting and loss of appetite


Known as a Portosystemic Shunt, it is caused by a problem or restriction of the blood flow through the liver.Retinal DysplasiaFrom partial to total blindness, dependent on severity.


Deformation in the eyes right from birth.Tracheal CollapseDry cough that gets worse over time, sometimes worsened by various activities.


Weakening of the airway which affects breathing.DistemperThickened footpads, involuntary muscle twitching or seizures, blindness, paralysis and vomiting.


Contagious Viral Disease – Prevention by vaccinationHepatitisLoss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers.


Contagious Viral Disease – No real cure.LeptospirosisShivering, muscle tenderness, vomiting, dehydration and kidney or muscle pain.


Bacterial disease – transmitted through bites and other body fluids.ParainfluenzaCoughing, sneezing, runny nose and other respiratory problems.


Airborne virus, much like the human flu virus.ParvovirusVomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargic, loss of appetite.


Viral Disease – Transmitted through body fluids and stool.RabiesFever, loss of appetite, aggressive behaviour, disorientation, drooling and foaming saliva.


Viral Disease – Transmitted through saliva or bites.BordatellaSimilar to Parainfluenza.


Bacterial disease which attacks the upper respiratory system.CoronavirusLoss of appetite, depression, nausea, vomiting and severe diarrhea.


Intestinal virus transmitted through contact or stool.Lyme DiseaseFever, swollen glands and joints and loss of appetite.


Bacterial disease transmitted through tick bites.CoccidiosisDiarrhea, vomiting, lethargic, loss of appetite and dehydration.


Parasitic disease transmitted through infected stool.GiardiosisSimilar to Coccidiosis.


Parasitic disease transmitted through any water that comes into contact with infected stool.

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Author: All About Labradors

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