Vets share their health concerns regarding the UK’s most popular dog breed – Labrador Retrievers

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The Labrador Retriever, the UK’s most popular dog breed, is at “significant risk” of developing at least 12 health problems, a new study warns.

Scientists at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) studied data on the health of the Labrador Retriever compared to several other dog breeds, including Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Shih-tzus and Cocker Spaniels.

They found that the popular Labrador Retriever, known for its love of human companionship, has a 12 out of 35 higher risk of problems compared to other breeds.

Arthritis is the greatest risk for the Labrador Retriever, but it is also threatened by kennel cough, stiffness, obesity and ear infections, experts have found.

Labrador Retrievers have a significantly increased risk of arthritis, obesity, and ear infection, but a reduced risk of heart murmur, flea infestation, and dental disease, among other conditions.

THE RETRIEVER LABORATORY

The Labrador Retriever is renowned for its friendliness and makes an excellent family companion.

They are good at socializing with neighboring dogs and humans.

The breed is also an enthusiastic athlete who needs a lot of exercise, such as swimming and fetching, to stay physically and mentally fit.

Read more: American Kennel Club

The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the UK for many years, but so far there has been little reliable evidence on their general health compared to other dogs, according to the RVC.

To find out more, the researchers compared the health of a random sample of 1,462 Labrador Retrievers with 20,786 non-Labrador Retrievers.

The most common breeds among the non-Labrador Retrievers group were 1,304 Staffordshire Bull Terriers, 1,168 Jack Russell Terriers, 793 Shih-tzus, and 771 Cocker Spaniels, as well as 5,981 crossbreeds.

They compiled a list of the 35 most common disorders in both groups of dogs, including arthritis, ear infections and obesity.

“Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the UK and are therefore commonly seen by veterinarians in practice,” said Camilla Pegram, RVC epidemiologist and study author.

“As a result, the disorders are often seen to be more common in Labrador Retrievers than in other dog breeds, when it could actually be due to their relative popularity.

“To account for this, we compared the risk in Labrador Retrievers to the risk in all other dogs for a range of common disorders, in order to reliably identify the disorders to which they are predisposed or protected.”

The Labrador Retriever (pictured) has been the most popular dog breed in the UK for many years, but so far there has been little reliable evidence on their overall health compared to other dogs.

The Labrador Retriever (pictured) has been the most popular dog breed in the UK for many years, but so far there has been little reliable evidence on their overall health compared to other dogs.

The results show that overall, Labrador Retrievers have a 12 in 35 (or 34.3 percent) higher risk and a seven in 35 (20 percent) lower risk of disorders compared to other breeds. .

In the other 16 (45.7%) disorders, the researchers detected no difference in risk.

The top five threats to the health of Labrador Retrievers are arthritis, lipoma, kennel cough, laceration, and stiffness.

In terms of least threat to the breed, at the bottom of the pile was patellar luxation (a dislocated kneecap), followed by a heart murmur and flea infestation.

THE LAB REPORT: COMPLETE RESULTS

Labrador retrievers have significantly increased risk of:

– Arthritis (2.8x risk compared to other breeds)

– Lipoma (fat mass) (2.5x)

– Kennel cough (2.3x)

– Laceration (2.2x)

– Stiffness (2.1x)

– Papilloma (or oral warts) (1.7x)

– Wet dermatitis (1.7x)

– Obesity (1.6x)

– Lameness (1.6x)

– Postoperative wound (1.6x)

– Ear infection (1.5x)

– Diarrhea (1.4x)

Labrador retrievers have reduced risk of:

– Patellar dislocation (dislocated patella) (0.2x)

– Heart murmur (0.2x)

– Flea infestation (0.2x)

– Preserved milk tooth (0.3x)

– Dental disease (0.4x)

– Aggression (0.4x)

– Impaction of the anal sac (0.7x)

The study, which was published in Scientific Reports, provides owners with advice on health issues to watch out for so they can seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

“This data allows us to continue to monitor and improve the health of the breed and to provide the many responsible breeders with the tools they need to do the same,” said Bill Lambert, Head of Health, Welfare. and breeder services at the Kennel Club.

“It is estimated that there are well over a million Labradors in the UK, and while it’s important to remember that this study only involved a small percentage of those dogs who saw a vet, she remains a valuable addition to our breed specific to the Kennel Club, a research base that protects the health of the Labrador now and in the future.

Previous research from the RVC has already revealed that the Labrador Retriever is the sixth most at risk for obesity out of 18 breeds.

Pictured is an overweight pug, which is the dog breed most at risk for obesity, according to previous research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

Pictured is an overweight pug, which is the dog breed most at risk for obesity, according to previous research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

The top three breeds at risk for obesity were found to be the Pug, followed by the Beagle and the Golden Retriever.

Owners of these breeds need to be “especially vigilant” to protect their dogs from accumulating weight, RVC said at the time, by avoiding excessive treats and giving them plenty of exercise.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever will benefit from exercises, such as swimming and “marathon running games,” to stay in shape both physically and mentally.

Obese people are more than TWICE more likely to have overweight dogs because they feed their dogs fattening treats

Overweight people are more than twice as likely to have overweight dogs, according to a 2019 study.

The Danish study’s team of authors said it was at least in part because they were guilty of feeding their pets fattening treats.

Writing in their study, the authors claim that this gives credence to the saying “like owner, like dog”.

“The prevalence of heavy or obese dogs is more than twice as high among overweight or obese owners (35%) than among thin or normal weight owners (14%),” said researchers at the University of Copenhagen. .

Of the 268 dogs studied, 20 percent were overweight.

Midweight owners tend to use treats for training purposes, while overweight owners prefer to offer treats much more often.

Lead author of the study, Charlotte Bjornvad, said: “For example, when a person relaxes on the sofa and shares the last bites of a sandwich or cookie with their dog.”

The University of Copenhagen study also found that castration triples the risk of being heavy or obese.

“Castration appears to decrease the ability to regulate appetite in male dogs and, at the same time, it could also decrease the incentive to exercise, resulting in an increased risk of being overweight,” said the professor. Bjornvad.

A separate study published earlier this year found that overweight pet dogs with too many treats could see their lives shortened by more than two years, according to one study.

Researchers followed more than 50,000 dogs of the 12 most popular breeds over two decades to see how their weight affected their health.

They found that all breeds, from Shih Tzus to Golden Retrievers, had shorter lives.

Read more: Overweight dogs live TWO YEARS less than healthy dogs


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