The Labradoodle is a popular dog breed that has taken the pet loving community by storm! The Labradoodle is an adorable combination of the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, making them the prefer combination of scruffy, yet dignified.
These smart and playful pups make wonderful companions, but they do come with a list of health dispositions that all future pet parents should be aware of. Let’s break down some of the most common health issues seen in the Labradoodle below!
10 Common Health Issues Seen In The Labradoodle
Most Labradoodles live a long and healthy life around 12 to 16 years, but lets list some of the health issues they can develop throughout their lives.
1. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is incredibly common in the Labradoodle breed. Hip dysplasia in dogs refers to a misalignment of the canine hip joints, leading to instability and laxity within the hips. The hip joints will then rub and grind each time the dog takes a step, causing the joints themselves to break down over time. This process is degenerative and extremely painful for the pup affected.
A Labradoodle with hip dysplasia may experience joint stiffness in the hind limbs, muscle wasting around the hips, limping, lameness, difficulty jumping on furniture, difficulty getting up from a seated or laying position, leg sensitivity, and disinterest in exercise.
Amy Nicole Lewis, a veterinarian with Worldwide Veterinary Services told A-Z Animals that we always recommend performing diagnostic x-rays to search for any evidence of hip dysplasia when the Labradoodle is six months old or so. This can allow the veterinary team to establish a proper joint care plan moving forward.
2. Seasonal Skin Allergies
The Labradoodle has an increased risk of suffering from irritating skin allergies. Labradoodles can develop an allergy to a variety of plant materials and pollen that exist in the world around them, causing them to experience a variety of irritating symptoms. Some of the most common signs of seasonal allergies in Labradoodles include red skin, constant itching, chronic ear infections, increased shedding, patches of fur loss, skin odor, and even sores on the skin.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that many Labradoodles suffer from. Arthritis leads to the breakdown of the joints and the cartilage over time, making life much more challenging for the pup to maneuver. The Labradoodle is already more susceptible to osteoarthritis due to their genetic ties, but they are also more prone to obesity. Excess weight can exacerbate underlying joint disease due to the stress on their joints. Many Labradoodles benefit from the use of joint supplements from one year of age.
Some of the most common symptoms of arthritis in Labradoodles include stiff joints, occasional limping, difficulty getting up and down, joint swelling, leg sensitivity, and muscle wasting.
4. Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation in Labradoodles refers to a condition where the kneecap that pops out of place during physical activity. It is not only uncomfortable for the dog when the kneecap pops out of place, but it increases the risk of arthritis in the knee joint over time. A Labradoodle with patellar luxation may experience occasional limping, skipping while walking or running, and leg stiffness. The most common symptom of patellar luxation is sudden limping during physical activity that appears to resolve moments later on its own.
5. Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia in Labradoodles refers to the abnormal development of the canine elbow joint. This means that the three bones of the elbow joint (ulna, radius, and humerus) will not fit together properly, leading to high amounts of stress within the elbow joint. Labradoodles with elbow dysplasia are not only incredibly painful, but they can develop severe arthritis in the joint over time.
Elbow dysplasia can deeply impact your Labradoodle’s quality of life. Dogs with elbow dysplasia may experience limb stiffness, swelling of the elbows, disinterest in physical activity, and leg sensitivity. The dog may also hold their elbow at a strange angle when standing.
Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that causes seizures and tremors in dogs. Epilepsy is most often idiopathic in the Labradoodle, meaning there is no known cause of why the condition manifests. Epilepsy most often develops in Labradoodles between the age of 2 to 3, but it can develop sooner.
Some of the most common symptoms of epilepsy in Labradoodles include muscle tremors and twitching, seizures, hallucinations, disorientation, and changes in temperament. Epilepsy in Labradoodles can typically be managed with daily seizure medication.
7. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in Labradoodles is an eye condition that leads to eventual blindness. PRA often develops over time, with the first symptoms often involving difficulty seeing at night or reluctance to enter dark rooms. The dog will eventually become blind over time, but the progression to blindness is not painful.
8. Addison’s Disease
Addison’s disease, or hypoadrenocorticism, is a medical condition in which the adrenal glands don’t produce an adequate amount of corticosteroid hormones. It can be a bit challenging to diagnose in some canine friends, as symptoms can be vague and intermittent. Some of the most common signs of Addison’s disease including lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and unexplained shivering. When diagnosed and treated early on, most Labradoodles can live a full and happy life!
9. Cardiac Disease
Cardiac disease is a blanket statement that refers to a variety of medical conditions that impact the heart. Unfortunately, Labradoodles are prone to conditions like tricuspid valve dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and heart valve degeneration. Many of these cardiac issues are hidden in young age, which is why it is so important to keep up with your dog’s annual vet exams. Many vets often spot cardiac abnormalities during annual exams.
Some of the common signs of a cardiac condition in Labradoodles include coughing, decreased stamina, heart murmur, lethargy, weight loss, abnormal swelling of the abdomen and legs, fainting, and blue-tinged gums.
Unfortunately, Labradoodles are more prone to developing cancer due to their Labrador Retriever roots. These canine friends can develop any form of cancer, but the following are the types most commonly seen in the Labradoodle:
- Mast Cell Tumors
The symptoms of cancer in dogs can be intermittent and vague, so we always suggest reaching out to your vet if you think something seems off with your canine friend. It’s also important to keep up with your dog’s annual vet exams. The treatment options and prognosis for cancer will vary based on the form of cancer your Labradoodle has.
Final Thoughts On Labradoodle Health Issues
Labradoodles can develop an array of medical conditions that impact their quality of life. While these pups are known to live generally happy and healthy lives, they may experience a few medical bumps along the way. The best prognosis for any of the conditions we discussed above are achieved through early detection and medical management.
Establishing a relationship with a veterinarian from the moment you adopt your Labradoodle is a great way to not only spot any of these health complications as they develop, but also maintain your pup’s ongoing wellness. We also recommend keeping an eye out for any of the symptoms we mentioned above, as this will allow you to seek prompt veterinary care for your Labradoodle when needed!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/EvgeniiAnd
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