Taking care of your Labrador

 The Ear Inspection and General Grooming

Grooming and health Labrador Retriever must be a necessary part of your routine in order to keep them healthy. There are different aspects to grooming your Labrador. These include:
- Brushing of the coat weekly.
- Bathing, only three times a year
- Teeth cleaning with a tooth brush weekly
- Nail clipping every three months

Checking your Lab’s ears twice each month

From a health perspective, most attention must be paid to a Labrador's ear check. Labs are prone to ear infections because of their folded ears. Your Labs ears do not stick straight up, therefore, they do not receive the same air circulation. This can lead to a moisture build up, bacteria growing in the ear and causing ear infections. And this can be very painful. It can result in loss of hearing if left untreated or treated incorrectly. If your Lab’s ears are troubling him, then he will scratch his ears and shake his head. If you lift his ears, there will be an odour, redness in the skin and a buildup of wax.

 

 

 

 

Clean your Labs ears to keep them clean and healthy

Their skin should be a pale pink, not red, brown or black. If you notice a foul odor then take your dog to the Vet to check them out. To keep your Lab's ears are clean, use a cotton bud with warm water or mineral oil to clean the flaps of the ears, and the opening to the canal. Be very careful if you probe deep into the dog’s ear canal. It can result in pushing wax further into the ear, which may lead to infection. Labrador care is not particularly time consuming and it is easier than you might think when you do it regularly.

 

Potential injury before 14 months

Once the puppy leaves our care we have no control over how it is reared. We are completely unaware of the contributing factors which may lead to injury or displaygia. Until the pup is 14 months old their joints are not properly set, therefore you must be care not to over exercise them.

Labrador puppies can easily injure themselves in the fast growing stages of their early life with their heavy bone structure unless looked after properly. Puppy buyers need to ensure optimal health, prevent potential environmental hazards and avoid situations which may be harmful to their puppy, such as slippery floors, staircases and jumping in and out of cars. Take care not to over-exercise your dog and maintain an appropriate diet. Avoid feeding young puppies household leftovers or varying their diet. Advance or an equivalent puppy food is highly recommended.

Desexing your dog

For the health of the puppy, we recommend that they are not desexed before 8 months so as to promote proper growth.

 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease of the retina in dogs, in which the eyes are genetically programmed to go blind. PRA occurs in both eyes simultaneously and is not painful. PRA occurs in most breeds of dogs and can occur in mixed breeds also. It is recessively inherited, and found primarily in male dogs. A clear parent bred to a clear parent will always result in clear offspring. The claim "Clear by Parentage" simply means that the parents of that particular dog or bitch were both tested clear of PRA. That individual offspring must also be genetically clear of PRA.

 

A genetic test for Labradors to test for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can determine if a Labradors is PRA clear (normal) as breeding stock. Dogs that are carriers can still be used in a breeding program as long as they are mated to a dog that is clear and subsequent progeny screened to ensure only clear dogs are bred from. Dogs who are affected must not be bred from. Our dogs are checked at 12 months for PRA and other eye problems.

 

Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

Exercise-induced collapse EIC is a genetic syndrome predominantly occurring in Labrador Retrievers. Affected dogs show signs of muscle weakness, in coordination and life-threatening collapse when participating in strenuous exercise or activity. Affected dogs can tolerate mild to moderate exercise, but just 5 to 20 minutes of strenuous activity, or even extreme excitement such as that seen in field trials or hunt tests, can induce weakness or collapse. Dogs affected with EIC usually cannot continue with intense retriever training but can live normal lives as house pets.

Dogs that have EIC are prone to mild to severe collapse that can range from dragging of the hind legs to complete collapse. Signs become apparent in young dogs as they enter heavy training - usually between 7 months and 2 years of age. Dogs of either sex can be affected. Dogs with this condition are always normal at rest and are usually described as being extremely fit, athletic specimens of their breed. Nervous system, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal examinations and routine blood analysis are usually normal during an episode of collapse. There is a DNA test available to identify the EIC mutation among the several breeds affected by this genetic syndrome.



Contact Details

Jude Tankard
North/Upper Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]