Monday, February 27, 2006

All About Labradors Pet Directory -wide variety of gifts and supplies for dog lovers.

Doggy DVD - Featuring Award Winning Videos on Dog Training, Breed Specifics, Canine Fundamentals, Puppy Whelping & More!

Funny Dog Net - Funny dog and pet pictures. Rate dogs.

PuppySites.Com - The Dog Lover's Online Directory! If you are looking for a dog-related website, this is a great place to start. We're a large and resourceful directory with a personal touch!

PuppyThrill - Directory of dog and puppy websites

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Chocolate Labrador Retriever - What's Going On

Now what do you think this gorgeous chocolate Labrador Retriever is doing. Could he be looking at something, or maybe just taking some time out for a thought. Send your ideas for a caption to add to this Labrador photo.

Thanks goes to David Beart for the great photo!

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Your Questions On Canine Hip Dysplasia - Answered

This article contributed by Jack Russell

What is canine hip dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most frustrating diseases in veterinary medicine today simply because it is so difficult to prevent and treat. CHD is a developmental disease of the bones in which the head of the thigh bone poorly fits the hip socket, causing damage to the cartilage, gradual destruction of the joint, pain and swelling. This disease should not be confused with hip arthritis. Rather, it is the most common cause of arthritis in the hips.

How is canine hip dysplasia transmitted?

CHD is a heritable disease. It is passed on by the parents to the offspring. The only effective measure therefore to eradicate the disease is to prevent dogs with hip dysplasia from breeding. However, this is easier said than done, because not all dogs with hip dysplasia show signs of the disease. Seemingly normal dogs still carry the gene for CHD and are bred, causing the disease to stay within the genepool.

How does one know if a dog has hip dysplasia?

A dog with hip dysplasia generally has less energy and movement. It has difficulty rising from a sitting position, lameness in the back legs, is hopping like a rabbit when running, and is reluctant to go up the stairs. However, these symptoms are usually not evident till the dog reaches middle age. In extreme cases though, some dogs exhibit obvious hip problems as early as 5-6 months of age.

How does a vet confirm if a dog has hip dysplasia?

Sad to say, there is no blood test or genetic test yet that will detect if a dog is a carrier of CHD or not. Diagnosis of the disease is routinely done through physical examinations and x-rays. X-rays help in assessing how bad the condition is, and through comparison with future x-rays, it can also serve as a gauge of how well the chosen treatment is working. Two techniques for taking x-rays of CHD-afflicted dogs are listed below:

1. Hip-extended ventrodorsal view x-ray - It provides a frontal view of the pelvis and hip-joints and best assesses the degree of severity of arthritis present.

2. PennHIP radiography technique - It is used to detect hip looseness in dogs as young as four months of age.

What are the treatment options for canine hip dysplasia?

There is no real cure for CHD just yet, but there are conservative or non-surgical ways to relieve its symptoms. These include the use of drugs to relieve pain and inflammation. Rimadyl, Ectogesic and Deramaxx are effective and have given a lot of suffering dogs the relief needed to live a normal life. Weight loss programs, controlled exercise and physical therapy are also very effective in certain cases.

When conservative treatment is not enough, the only other option is surgery. Surgery can be very effective as it corrects the underlying cause of hip pain which is a malformed joint. Surgery is approached in two different ways when dealing with hip dysplasia. Prophylactic surgery is done to prevent the progression af arthritis while therapeutic surgery aims to treat already arthritic hips.

Triple pelvic osteotomy is the primary preventive procedure available. It involves cutting the pelvis in three places and rotating the hip sockets to provide better coverage. This procedure is effective as long as it is done before arthritis sets in or before the joint is damaged. Another kind of preventive surgery, although still being studied if it is effective or not, is pubic symphysiodesis. This involves manipulating the way the pelvis grows to ensure a tighter hip. This procedure is done on very young dogs.

Therapeutic procedures include total hip replacement and femoral head ostectomy. Total hip replacement is performed mainly on larger dogs. High density, medical plastic is used to replace the socket and a high-quality, non-corrosive alloy is used for the ball. This procedure has a high success rate, almost completely eliminates pain and enables the dog to completely resume activity.

Another therapeutic procedure for hip dysplasia is femoral head ostectomy. It involves the removal of the top of the femur which then eliminates the painful grinding at the hip joint. The femur is then allowed to float freely causing the formation of scatissueue which then serves as a false joint. This procedure is not recommended for mild cases of arthritis and is generally effective only on smaller, well-muscled dogs.

Can canine hip dysplasia be prevented?

The best measure of prevention is of course careful breeding since hip dysplasia is a heritable condition. The onset of hip dysplasia can be delayed in many dogs with a genetic predisposition by preventing excessive weight gain during the early months and by making sure that the puppy does not place undue stress on the hips.

OFA and PennHip offers information on breed risk. Prospective puppy buyers are advised to check for pedigrees for OFA, PennHip or GDC certifications.

Jack Russell is a a long time dog fancier, visit his Dog Resources Blog and download his Free Dog Owners Handbook - it's Dog Gone Good!

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Labrador Retriever Adoption

We all know that over the past years, the Labrador Retriever has become the most popular breed of dog in America. We also know that the Labrador is a loving, loyal dog and are wonderful family pets.

But, did you know that there is an increasing number of abandoned and homeless Labrador Retrievers. Some are just mistreated animals taken away, some are bought by people, only for them to realize that the Labrador is more work than they expected and they have to give the dogs up, and others are abandoned.

What happens to these Labrador Retrievers? Well they usually wind up at the local shelter and in Labrador Retriever rescue organizations.

We receive many emails on where to go to get a Labrador Retriever. Well, you can pay a visit to your local Labrador shelters and Lab rescue organizations. These shelters and organizations work very hard to facilitate the placement of unwanted Labrador Retrievers into loving new homes.

What we will be doing is posting these shelters and rescue organizations to All About Labradors. We will be listing them by different states. What about out of the U.S. area? Well I will list them also.

We have a link on the right side of the blog titled Labrador Adoption. If you are thinking about a new Lab for your home, please visit these links and see if there is that special Labrador for you to adopt.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Labrador Retriever Gallery

Index of photos of Labrador Retriever

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Here is a funny post I found at Just Labs Magazine discussion forum. See how many of these are true in regards to you and your Labrador Retriever.

You Might Be a Lab Owner if......

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Labrador Retriever - Health Issues

Reading some of the emails, a certain topic seems to be addressed often:

What are the common heath issues Labrador Retrievers are prone to?

PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy, a disease which is characterized by degeneration of cells of the retina. Early stages start as night blindness, and can eventually lead to loss of sight.

Retinal Dysplasia - More Information

Hip Dysplasia - condition which is cause by abnormal development of the hip joint. The head of the femur does not fit into the hip socket. Symptoms will include pain and your Labrador can be lame on one or both of their rear legs. Sevre arthritis can develop. More Information

Elbow Dysplasia - abnormal development of the elbow joint. More Information

Bloat - a condition of the stomach which gases are trapped, resulting in a swelling of the abdomen. Your Labrador Retriever will expierence sevre pain and eventual death if left untreated. If you suspect your dog has bloat, immediately call your veterinarian or emergency service.

Ear infections - always a potential problem with hanging ears.

Recommended Reading:

Labrador Retrievers For Dummies

The Genetic Connection: A Guide to Health Problems in Purebred Dogs

Control of Canine Genetic Diseases

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Seb - 11 Month Old Golden Labrador Retriever

This beautiful Labrador Retriever was sent in by Anna from Sheffield UK. His name is Seb, and he is an 11 month old golden Labrador. Anna was having trouble getting Seb to release the object she throws to him in a game of fetch (see Teaching your Labrador Retriever the "release" command)

Thanks for the photo Anna, and good luck with him.

We are thinking of starting a Labrador Retriever photo contest, so please send in pictures of your Labradors, along with names, age, and any other interesting facts about your Labs. We will post photo contest information as soon as we are ready to begin the contest.

You will be able to view your Labrador pictures and others in the sidebar link on right hand side of blog under title Labrador Pictures.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Your Labrador Retrievers Valentines Day Presents

Wow, we got a great response to the post about gifts for your Labrador Retrievers (see previous post). Many of you have said they do buy gifts for Valentines Day and other holidays for your Labs. Here are some of the gifts you buy for your Labradors:

Dog bed - heart shaped dog beg
Winter coat
Valentine's Day salon special - bath, haircut, and bow
Pink rhinestone sunglasses

This is the first I have heard of the pink rhinestone sunglasses and I like the heart shaped dog bed ideas. Thanks to all for the response.

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Warning For Your Labrador

I just read a post about the dog treat Greenies and how bad they can be for your Labrador Retriever. These treats are not being broken down correctly, and get lodged in the intestines and esophagus of your dog.

I would like to thank Michelle Mashraqi of Faeriebell's blog for the post and for alerting others of the danger with these treats.

Please read the posting about Greenies dog treats.

I am very surprised at the numbers, this is the first I have ever heard of problems with the Greenies treats. If you do give your Labrador Retriever these treats, you might want to consult with your veterinarian before continuing.

Here is a second article by CNN - Top Selling Dog Treat...

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Enter Your Labrador Retriever In This Online Contest

Think you have the best Labrador Retriever? Then put it to the test and enter the Page-A-Day® Online Dog contest. They are running a online dog photo contest with winners receiving a Dogs Page-A-Day® Calendar and possible have your Labrador in a future calendar.

Visit the Page-A-Day® Calendars website for more details.

Good Luck to all, and lets see if we can get some Labrador Retriever winners!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentines Day Presents For Your Labrador Retriever

I was just wondering how many of you actually buy Valentines Day presents for your Labrador Retrievers. I admit we get a small gift for our dogs (bag of treats, new play toys).

I did some searching on the internet, and according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association, there are more than nine million pet owners that purchase a Valentine's gift for their pet this year. On average, they'll spend about $17. I didn't realize that many people purchased gifts for their pets.

Anyone that would like to share great gifts you have bought or know of for your Labrador, please drop us a line.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Baking soda on your Labrador Retriever - readers email

This email was received from Ginny U.S.

I wanted to tell you of a cheap product we use to keep our Labradors clean between their baths. I take a box of baking soda and sprinkle it liberally on my Labradors. Then I just rub and brush it into their coats, making sure it gets in good. The baking soda seems to absorb the Labs odor, just the same as it absorbs odors when used in the refrigerator. I nice, quick, cheap dry bath that keeps them smelling good.

Thanks Ginny for the tip. We have received many emails on shampoos for your Labrador Retriever and it seems many people use baking soda to help keep their Labradors clean.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Labrador Retriever Works For Police Department

Here's an article by Sara Agnew of the Columbia Daily Tribune.

It seems the Ashland Police Department has a new dog that sniffs out drugs and tracks people. No, it's not your typical German Shepard as most would think. It's a 3-year-old black Labrador Retriever named Lucy. Congrats to Lucy and the Ashland Police Department, more fine work being done by the Labrador Retriever.

Rookie has a nose for crime. Lucy sniffs out Ashland drug cases.

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Teaching your Labrador Retriever the "release" command - readers email

Received this email from Anna from Sheffield UK


I am after a bit of advice for my 11 month old golden Labrador. He is very faithful and does almost everything I ask of him except one thing. He loves to retrieve, but once he comes back to me with the retrieved item he will not drop it for me or let me take it without force. I have tried all kinds of commands but he is just so fixated on his ball or stick that he doesnt want to part with it. Could you offer any help?

Many Thanks.....Anna

Well Anna lets see what we can do. We taught our two Labradors the “release” command first, before we introduced the game of fetch. That’s fine though, with a little patience, some practice, and plenty of praise, you can get your Labrador to drop the toy for you while playing fetch.

It’s important that your Labrador gives you the object willingly, and it doesn’t become a tug – of – war for the item.

The first approach to try is to play fetch with two identical toys for your Lab ( A frisbee, tennis balls or any other particular object your Lab loves). They must be identical though.

Take your first toy and throw it letting your Labrador chase it. When he picks up the toy call him back to you and show him that you have another toy, playfully teasing him with it. At that point, you can let out a command of “release” or “drop”. More than likely, your Labrador will want the second toy you have and will tire of the first toy, dropping it. When he does, throw the second toy and start the whole process again.

Remember to use plenty of praise when your Labrador Retriever does release the toy. Repetition and practice is the key.

A second approach you can try is to have some nice tasty treats ready and your Labs favorite toy to play fetch with. Begin throwing the toy and letting your Labrador chase it. When he picks it up, call him back to you, showing him the food treat. When he brings the toy back to you, again you can use a command of “release” or “drop it”. Your Lab will have to drop the toy to eat the food treat. When he drops the toy, pick it up, give him the treat and praise your Labrador heavily. Keep practicing this and slowly stop rewarding with treats, and replace it with praise only.

With practice and plenty of praise you should Seb releasing the toys in no time. Thanks for the email Anna and please keep me updated on how the training is going. Good Luck.

To see a photo of Anna's Labrador Retriever click: Seb

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Labrador Dry Skin Shampoo - readers email

From Stephen in New York:

I use the following shampoo for my Lab and have never noticed any dry skin flakes or itching. Please share with your readers.

Mix the following in a gallon size container ( I like to use a washed out milk gallon)

12 oz Dove liquid soap
2 oz of apple cider vinegar
2 ounces glycerine, which you can get from your local pharmacy
Fill the rest of the container with water and shake well

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