It is a huge concern of any pet-parent to ensure their Lab is healthy and not susceptible to any health issues. But although, you may provide the best maintenance to your dog, it is still at a risk of getting a health issue eventually because that is the nature of dogs and their genes.
But learning the main causes that Labradors die from can help you do everything you can to avoid your Lab from getting sick and ultimately, keep the dog healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Thus, lets learn about the most usual factors that cause Labradors to die.
The most typical causes that Labradors die from, are disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, obesity/overweight, skin diseases and cancer. However, the most painful conditions of all is the musculoskeletal disorders. Most of the time, why Labradors die from them is not because it is fatal but due to the excruciatingly painful symptoms of these conditions.
In this post, I am going to explain to you about all these causes of Labrador deaths and what you, as the pet-parent can do to avoid them as much as possible.
Here are the common causes of Labrador deaths:
01 – the musculoskeletal disorders
Normally, many musculoskeletal disorders in Labradors are inherited. The most common disorders are hip dysplasia, glycogenosis, muscular dystrophy and osteochondrosis.
These are utterly severe health conditions that can be both non-dangerous and fatal.
The worse thing about these health conditions is their symptoms. They can cause so much pain to a dog that sometimes, owners decide to euthanize their labs since it can end their pet’s suffering.
How to avoid your Lab from getting a musculoskeletal disorder?
To avoid musculoskeletal disorders in your lab, here are all the things you can do:
A good diet
You have to ensure your Lab’s diet is well balanced with high protein, moderate carbs and low fats along with micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.
Include both wet foods (Human foods that dogs can eat) and dry foods like high quality dog-food brands.
Visit this post for a thorough idea about how to feed a Lab with a proper diet.
Speaking of a good diet, it is a must to determine the amount of foods you should feed your Labrador because these dogs love to eat. So, it is too easy to over-feed if you do not know how much food is sufficient for the dog’s wellbeing.
You see, feeding more than the amount that a Lab needs to maintain its current weight leads to weigh gain.
Lets say, your Lab usually eats 1100 calories of foods and maintains its weight without gaining any. Well then, if you feed the dog more than 1100 calories, it will gain weight because there is a surplus of foods which will be stored as fat in the dog’s body.
I mean, it is funny sometimes how a Labrador can never get full. So, in order to manage the dog’s weight, you are the only one that is responsible to feed properly.
Depending on your dog’s weight, age and health conditions, consult with the dog’s vet to get a proper daily food intake
Or you also can visit this post I have written about Labradors. There, I have explained about how to find the right food intake for Labs along with more information about this breed.
To keep your Lab from being overweight, exercise is just as essential as a good diet.
You see, when the dog weighs more than it should, the pressure on its bones and joints becomes too severe. Then, it becomes a major contributing factor to many of musculoskeletal disorders.
Therefore, ensure your Lab does plenty of physical activity for about 80 minutes a day. However, depending on the dog’s activity level for the rest of the day, you can either increase or decrease the amount of exercise.
Just make certain the dog is active while eating properly.
Also, you can visit this post for more information about exercising.
02 – Obesity/overweight
Labradors are much more prone to being overweight or obese than all other dog breeds. A study has found that Labradors specifically have a gene mutation that make their motivation/desire to eat much higher because this gene mutation makes a dog think that it is not fat enough and therefore, must eat more to store fat.
This directly leads to over-eating and weight gain. Obviously…
You see, this actually can explain why your Lab might always be so keen on eating, no matter how many times you already have fed it for the day.
The main issue with this health condition is that it causes more dangerous health issues such as cancer, heart diseases, osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
And of course, like I already said above, obesity also leads to musculoskeletal disorders.
What all these health conditions have in store for a dog is suffering and even death. Depending on how you manage the situation, the dog can be treated with vet care to get better. So, do not worry.
How to prevent your Lab from being obesity/overweight?
Well, it is all about the diet and exercise. Same as how you prevent musculoskeletal disorders. So, just do exactly as I have said in the above section.
03 – Skin diseases
There are a plethora of skin diseases that Labradors are susceptible to, such as environmental or food allergies, ticks and fleas and yeast Infections.
By these diseases, the most affected areas of a Lab’s body are its belly, feet, ears and folds of the skin.
Normally, Labs start being prone to these skin conditions once they are between one and three years old. After that, every year, the condition can worsen as a dog ages.
Skin diseases can affect a Lab so much that some even would make a lab look so abnormal while also causing a lot of pain but there is a good chance, vets can treat the dog to cure the condition.
However, still, there is a 50% of a chance that it can be fatal to the dog too.
How to prevent your Lab from getting skin diseases?
As the pet parent, what you can do is detect symptoms of a disease as soon as possible. To that, you first should know what the symptoms of skin conditions are.
Then, you can easily identify whether your Lab is having a skin disease or not. And if the dog does have one, then, you can rush to the vet’s office for proper treatments.
Oral antibiotics, topical antihistamines and antibiotic sprays are usually used to treat these conditions.
So, here are the common symptoms of skin diseases in Labs
- Dry skin
- Skin sores
- Thinning hair
- Excessive shedding
- Bald spots
- Scratching due to itching
- Crusty, scabby or scaly skin
- Swollen face, ears, lips, eyelids and earflaps
04 – Cancer
Usually senior dogs in general are prone to Cancer the most but when it comes to Labradors, they are susceptible to this health issue more than other dog breeds.
Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is the type of cancer that is most common in Labradors. This makes a type of abnormal white blood cells called “lymphocytes” throughout everywhere in the body. So due to that, the cancer can be spread to the entire body of a dog.
If a cancer is detected while it is at its early stages, then, diagnosis can be done to give the dog treatments. With that, there is a higher chance a Lab can be saved.
On the other, when you find out about the dog’s condition, if it is too late, then, you Lab most likely will not survive.
Here are the common symptoms of Cancer to detect it
- Swelling abnormally
- Bleeding with no visible reason
- Breathing issues
- Non-healing wounds, bumps and blisters
- Losing weight
- Odor coming from the dog’s mouth
- Evidence of pain
- Loss of appetite
- Eating less or not eating at all
- Continuous limping
- Loss of stamina
- Differences in bathroom habits
- Coughing excessively
How to prevent your Lab from getting Cancer?
As you already know, Cancer is a really serious health condition that is sometimes out of your control but (beside the proper treatments given to the dog when a Cancer is detected), there are simple day-to-day things you can do.
Here are some:
- Do not skip on check-ups at the vet’s office
- Make the dog stick to a healthy and well balanced diet
- Ensure the Lab does enough exercise
- Limit the dog from being exposed to the Sun too much
- Avoid carcinogens
It is certain that Labradors are prone to a number of health issues and some can be cured while others end up being fatal.
As we are talking about the diseases that can kill a Labrador, musculoskeletal disorders, obesity/overweight, skin diseases and cancer can do just that if they are not treated properly.
Fundamentally, a proper diet and exercise can keep a Labrador healthy and happy.
A good diet consists of all the required macro and micro nutrients while exercise includes a sufficient amount of daily activity for the dog.
Moreover, being knowledgeable about the symptoms of these severe diseases can help you detect them fast and take actions to prevent them as soon as possible.
Actually, that is the most crucial part about curing a health condition. If you are too late to notice the signs of a sickness, the chances of the dog surviving will be low.
Therefore, look out for those indications while ensuring the dog consumes good nutrients and does enough exercise.
Frankly, that is all you can do to keep your four-legged buddy from having any harmful health issues. Oh also, you can show loads of love and attention too. A Lab will never get tired of them.