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Health concerns for the Labrador Retriever Buyer

Buying a Labrador Retriever is a big decision. Most buyers want to buy a dog that is going to be their companion for many years. I have often heard the sad story from families that they bought a dog that was not tested, only to lose it 2-3 years later when there were hip problems. What types of health issues do Labrador Retrievers  have?

First, an old problem has resurfaced. There are 2 different neuromuscular canine diseases that buyers should be aware of and should ask their breeders about. One is called EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse) and the other is CNM (Centronuclear Myopathy). Click on the blue letters to read more about these 2 conditions. You, as a potential Labrador Retriever owner need to be aware, and ask if your breeder has tested for these conditions.

The most common concern is their hips and if the darling puppy is going to develop hip dysplasia. No breeder can be 100% sure that their puppies are not going to have a problem, but there are measures we can take to try and minimize problems. OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of America) is one single organization in American that evaluates hip x-rays and determines the quality of hips of any dog over 2 years of age. OFA' ing a breeding Labrador is highly recommended to prevent bringing more hip problems into the gene pool. Nina has been tested with a good OFA. Goldie and Dandy have also now been tested. Along with examining the hips, the elbows are x-rayed and rated.  I tend to believe this is the most common issue that ends a Lab's life way too early for most families.

Another test breeders should do is a yearly CERF exam. There is one group of Canine Opthalmologists in Phoenix called Eye Care for Animals. All of the dogs (Nina, Goldie, Buddy, Dandy and Charlie) used in our breeding program had their eyes tested and all tested clear.

As a breeder, I can do these tests to try and be sure that we are breeding sound and healthy dogs.

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