Home » dog » Labrador Retriever: nature and diseases [Lek wet Jarosław Sałek

Labrador Retriever: nature and diseases [Lek wet Jarosław Sałek

Golden retriever

Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever - is it the same breed?

Dog breeds Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever the first "noise" in the Polish canine population was made around 2003.

These breeds are similar to each other, often referred to as the same, only one is the long-haired version of the other.

Both of these breeds come from Great Britain and were assigned to the 8th FCI group.

  • Labrador retriever character
  • Labrador and Golden - how these breeds differ?
  • Labrador and Golden Retriever: care
  • Golden and Labrador: Diseases
    • Dysplasia in a Labrador
    • Dermatological problems
    • Juvenile retriever dermatitis
    • Lab and Golden atopic dermatitis
    • Cataract
    • Epilepsy
    • Hyperparathyroidism
    • Hypothyroidism
  • Diseases specific to Labradors
    • Labrador myopathy
    • Atrioventricular valve dysplasia
    • Changes in the eyes of a Labrador
  • Disease predisposition of Golden Retrievers
    • Litter in the Golden Retriever
    • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Is it worth choosing a retriever??

Labrador retriever character

Labrador retriever disposition

The disposition and character of the dogs of these breeds is very similar.

It was originally meant to be this hunting dogs, because the name retrieve means from English "to bring, to find ".

Currently, they are versatile dogs used as tracking dogs, rescue dogs, used for therapy with children. They also help people with disabilities function.

They show great sensitivity towards humans and an excellent sense of smell.

They require a lot of exercise because they have a strong, lively temperament.

These dogs they are not aggressive, for it they are excellent companions.

Labrador and Golden - how these breeds differ?

Although the dogs are similar at first glance, the build type is slightly different.

Labrador retriever

Labrador is a massive dog, well built, massive with thick bones, short loins.

  • Chest broad, well developed, skull broad, strong.
  • They have a thick tail, while the u Golden the right proportions are very important.
  • Particular attention is paid to the topline, the position of the shoulder blade, and the angulation of the hind legs.
  • Dogs of this breed have a gentle appearance and free movement.
  • The head, compared to the Labrador, is not that wide, it is harmonious and well-sculpted.
  • Chest deep, well sprung.
  • The limbs of both dogs are strongly muscled, front legs straight and hind legs properly angulated.

The visible difference is the coat, which is straight, slightly wavy and dense in the case of goldeners.

Golden retriever

Hair is long, longer on the back of the legs, on the belly and on the forechest.

Golden Retriever Colors:

  • golden retriever,
  • cream golden retriever.

You can see what Golden Retriever puppies look like in the video below

PureBred Golden Retriever Puppies
Watch this video on YouTube

when it comes to Labrador - the distinguishing feature of the breed is dense, short hair, without fringes and waves. Quite rough to the touch and the current undercoat protects against water.

Labrador colors:

  • black labrador,
  • chocolate labrador,
  • biscuit labrador, i.e. yellow from light cream to ginger.
Labrador color

Labrador / golden retriever weight and size

Both Goldens and Labradors reach size and weight:

  • males 56-57 cm, from 25 kg,
  • females 54-56 cm, up to 37 kg.

You can see what chocolate Labrador puppies look like in the video below

8 Weeks Old - Ruby 's Chocolate Labrador Retriever Puppies
Watch this video on YouTube

Labrador and Golden Retriever: care

Grooming these dog breeds is very similar, but it is obvious that the Goldens require more time due to their longer hair.

Golden and Labrador Retriever: care

These dogs love to bathe, both in winter and summer, so bathing is not a problem for them.

Depending on the color of the coat and the hair, shampoos for dogs are used for long / short, light / dark hair or the recommended preparation with chlorhexidine or dermatological, e.g. Hexoderm, due to frequent dandruff in these dogs.

Combing boils down to periodic activities related to maintaining the correct coat, without tangles.

An additional one is important in the case of these dogs dietary supplementation.

Due to the rapid growth and attaining a large mass in a short period of time, it should be monitored in adolescence, even from 4 months of age serum calcium and potassium levels.

A control blood test with a bone profile will allow us to equalize the level of these elements to the appropriate ratio, which will prevent the formation of the so-called. enostosis juvenitis, that is juvenile osteitis.
Due to the burden of joint diseases, it is additionally recommended to supplement the diet with preparations enriched with:

  • chondroitin sulfate,
  • glycosamoglycans.

Golden and Labrador: Diseases

Predisposition to diseases in golden and labradors

Due to their very close relationship, both of these dog breeds are predisposed to the same diseases.

Dysplasia in a Labrador

We most often observe the Golden and Labrador Retriever breeds hip dysplasia and elbows.

It is a joint disorder caused by:

  • nutrition (usually too abundant during the growing period),
  • excessive supply of calcium,
  • excessive movement and physical exertion,
  • too fast pace of growth.

The problem itself is that the sockets of the hip joint are too shallow, causing the joint to be loose and, consequently, a predisposition to pathological sprains and / or chronic inflammations.

In the case of elbow dysplasia, we observe incorrect development of the elbow articular surfaces, which consists of:

  • isolated additional ulnar process,
  • humerus block osteochondrosis (OCD),
  • isolated pockmarked process,
  • mismatch of the articular surfaces.

The first symptoms may become apparent as early as age 2-3 months, but most often the disease shows signs during the period of vigorous growth.

Most often we observe:

  • reluctance to move,
  • lying down on walks,
  • worse movement after rest,
  • rabbit jumping,
  • lameness.

Recognition is possible by taking a picture X-ray in a fully relaxed animal, i.e. under anesthesia (in the case of the hips).

Labrador and golden are breeds that are often affected by dysplasia

In the case of an X-ray of the elbow, in calm animals, a series of X-rays can be taken without pharmacologically sedating the animal.

Treatment is to include conservative and surgical treatment.

Conservative treatment consists in limiting excessive exercise, weight reduction and slowing down the rate of its growth (diet regulation and feeding of appropriate food), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and chondro prosthetists.

Intra-articular injection is an alternative method of surgical and conservative treatment PRP (platelet-rich plasma) or injection IRAP.

Surgical treatment consists of:

  • prosthetic hip joints,
  • the closure of the pubic symphysis,
  • pectinectomy with denervation or triple pelvic osteotomy.

In the case of elbow dysplasia, an isolated fragment of the ulna is removed, a proximal osteotomy of the ulna is performed with osteosynthesis, or in the case of OCD, the exfoliated fragment of the cartilage is removed.

If you want to learn more about canine dysplasia, I encourage you to read the article "What is canine dysplasia and what are the causes of canine dysplasia?? ".

Dermatological problems

Retrievers tend to have dermatological problems.

A common dermatological problem in Labradors and Golden's is purulent-traumatic dermatitis.

The changes arise as a result of self-mutilation caused by intensive licking or chewing.

Such a strong reaction is due to a strong one itching or pain.

It could be:

  • Allergic reaction,
  • the pusher reaction,
  • perianal sinusitis,
  • foreign body irritation.

Strong self-damage leads to damage to the skin's continuity and the development of limited, pyoderma, the so-called. hot-spot.

Most often, the disease develops in summer periods with high temperatures.

It mainly concerns:

  • the rump area,
  • cross,
  • the sides of the body.

The lesions are sticky, sluggish, sometimes with an unpleasant odor with a purulent coating.

Treatment is generally effective and of a short duration.

It relies on antibiotic therapy and use antipruritic drugs.

Juvenile retriever dermatitis

Another skin problem that I often diagnose in dogs of these breeds is juvenile dermatitis.

It is a granuloma, pustular dermatitis of the chin, lips, auricles.

The cause of the disease is unknown, but it is considered congenital.

Juvenile dermatitis occurs in puppies around the age of. 3-4 months.

The first symptom is swelling of the face, lips and eyelids.

The lesions become covered with pustules and papules, we observe enlarged submandibular lymph nodes.

Less frequently observed:

  • fever,
  • apathy,
  • loss of appetite.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of the exclusion of other diseases.

Treatment must be intense and it involves steroid drugs at an immunosuppressive dose in an antibiotic cover.

Disinfectants and astringents can be used locally.

The disease passes without major complications and there is no tendency to relapse.

Lab and Golden atopic dermatitis

Quite often, these dogs are attacked by atopy.

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common causes itching, as a hypersensitivity reaction to inhaled allergens.

Symptoms appear between 1 and 3 years of age. This is when itching of the face, lips and lesions around the eyes and peripheral parts of the limbs appear.

Erythematosus is found in half of the cases inflammation of the ear canals.

Treatment consists of lifelong use of anti-inflammatory steroid drugs and the use of therapeutic baths.

It is impossible to remove allergens from the environment, so you should approach the therapy diligently.

If you want to learn more about atopic dermatitis, read the article "Dog allergy and atopic dermatitis: how to recognize and treat them? "


It is an eye disease cataract, manifested by clouding of the lens.

There are different stages of lens opacification, but the disease is progressive, leading to the complete reduction of translucency.

Cataract treatment consists of phacoemulsification, i.e. removal of the lens and insertion of the implant.

When cataract is caused by inflammation of the iris, glucocorticosteroids and atropine are used.


Another disease that is popular with retrievers is epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a clinical condition arising from changes in the membrane potential of neurons in the central nervous system, which presents as a seizure neurological disorder.

It may be idiopathic epilepsy, i.e. epilepsy of unknown origin, or secondary to metabolic diseases, brain proliferative changes or poisoning.

Idiopathic epilepsy usually appears between 1 and 5 years of age.

There are clonic-tonic convulsions, less often partial seizures.

During the attack, the animal loses consciousness, passes feces / urine passively, and drools.

There are no other clinical symptoms between seizures.

Treatment is aimed at reducing the occurrence of epileptic seizures and for this purpose it is used throughout the lifetime phenobarbital (for long-term treatment) and diazepam for stopping epileptic seizures.


Primary hyperparathyroidism that we diagnose in Goldens and Labradors it is excessive, spontaneous production parathyroid hormone by parathyroid glands.

It is associated with adenoma, adenocarcinoma or gland hyperplasia.

This leads to increased absorption and release from the bone of calcium into the serum, as a result hypercalcemia.

Symptoms are non-specific.

We observe:

  • urolithiasis in the kidneys or bladder,
  • calcification of the kidney tubules,
  • polyuria,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • lack of appetite,
  • heart failure,
  • losing weight.

The symptoms are related to too much calcium in the blood.

Treatment is aimed at reducing the level of this element in the blood immediately by introducing it fluid therapy with furosemide, and then surgical removal of the altered parathyroid glands.


Retrievers are predisposed to hypothyroidism

Another commonly diagnosed entity is hypothyroidism.

It occurs mainly in adults aged from the age of 7.

It is caused by iodine deficiency, lymphocytic thyroiditis, less often by idiopathic atrophy and neoplasms.

As a result of a deficiency of thyroid hormones, the following is observed:

  • sadness of the animal,
  • bradycardia,
  • obesity despite normal appetite,
  • disturbances in the hair coat,
  • sexual cycle disorders,
  • sometimes nervous symptoms.

The diagnosis is made by examining the level of thyroid hormones in the blood serum.

In the case of their deficiency, hormone supplementation in the form of tablets is used.

It is administered for life levothyroxine starting with the lowest doses, i.e 10 micrograms per kg of body weight 2 times a day.

The treatment effect is visible after a few days.

It is important that after approx. Perform a blood test after 4 weeks to make sure that the dose you take is correct.

If you want to know more about hypothyroidism, read the article "How to recognize an underactive dog's hypothyroidism"? "

Diseases specific to Labradors

What do labradors suffer from?

Labrador myopathy

Labrador myopathy conditioned by an autosomal recessive gene.

It occurs in black and yellow Labradors.

The myopathy causes the loss of type II fibers, which results in a weakening of muscle strength.

The disease begins at age 6 weeks to 7 months, most often in 3-4 month old.

Symptoms of the disease in a Labrador Retriever include:

  • a short step,
  • rabbit gait,
  • sometimes a vigorous torsion of the head and a carp-like curve of the spine.

Joints are also disturbed, spinal reflexes are weakened.

Diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical examination, history, and breed description.

The keratin kinase is usually normal.

Specific treatment has not been developed.

Symptoms stabilize at 7-8 months of age and do not continue to progress.

Atrioventricular valve dysplasia

It occurs in Labradors atrioventricular valve dysplasia.

Most likely, it has a genetic background.

The valve leaflets are shortened, rolled up and the chords are too short or too long, which leads to valvular insufficiency and, consequently, to atrial dilatation.

You can hear systolic murmurs above the valves and symptoms include:

  • cough,
  • dyspnoea,
  • rapid breathing,
  • ascites,
  • pulmonary oedema,
  • fainting.

Treatment consists of supporting the function of the heart through the use of diuretics, ACE inhibitors, antitussive drugs, and weight control.

Changes in the eyes of a Labrador

The changes in the eyes usually involve the cornea.

AT labradors her dystrophy is observed, manifested by bilateral opacities of the cornea associated with lipid deposition.

Its cause is a gene mutation, it is congenital and runs in families.

The cornea becomes cloudy and swollen, with visible white inclusions.

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this condition.

Disease predisposition of Golden Retrievers

What do goldens suffer from??

Litter in the Golden Retriever

Myotonia is an inherited disease, but in Golden Retrievers the cause is unknown.

The disease progresses with tonic muscle contractions caused by depolarization of the membranes of the muscle cells, and muscle relaxation is significantly delayed.

There is progressive muscle stiffness after exercise, muscle hypertrophy, especially in the peripheral parts of the limbs and neck.

During palpation, pits are formed as with pasty edema.

The treatment is used procainamide.

Sick animals function fairly normally and are not usually euthanized.

Aortic valve stenosis

There is a hereditary disadvantage aortic valve stenosis.

The stricture may be under the valve, over the valve, or at the same level as the valve.

As a result of the stenosis, there is an obstructed outflow of blood from the left ventricle, which leads to serous muscle overgrowth.

The course of the disease is varied.

In the case of a slight narrowing, the condition may be asymptomatic, while with more advanced lesions, the following occurs:

  • muscle weakness,
  • exercise intolerance,
  • fainting,
  • sudden deaths.

Treatment is aimed at improving the filling of the ventricles in the diastolic phase, eliminating arrhythmias and reducing heart ischemia.

Is it worth choosing a retriever??

Is it worth choosing a Labrador Retriever??

Breeds derived from the family Retrievers they are dogs very family oriented. They are compassionate dogs, unable to live without their guardian.

It is probably one of the few breeds that reciprocates for good with their loyalty and help.

Labrador and Golden Retriever this dogs perfect for children both healthy and affected. They allow them to raise children, teaching them responsibility and diligence.

I can confirm that both Labrador and Golden Retriever are the safest possible breeds of dogs bred in Great Britain that came to us.

You have Goldena, or Labrador? Or maybe you are wondering about such a pooch? Post a comment under the article, I'll be happy to read about your experiences and answer any questions you may have.

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