Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Labrador Retrievers - Beautiful, Popular and Prone to Joint Problems

Intelligent. Patient. Tolerant. Mild mannered. Loyal.

With traits like these, is it any wonder the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the world? Since 1991, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular registered breed in the United States, as well. They are gentle, affable and intelligent and considered by many to be the perfect family pet. They're also known for their working ability and are the most popular breed of working and guide dog in the United States, as well!

With good medical care and proper feeding, you can expect your Lab to live upwards of 13 years. It is a healthy breed with relatively few major problems... but, like other full-breed dogs, they are susceptible to certain inherited disorders, particularly those of the hip, elbow and knee. While not as common in Labs as in other breeds, dysplasia is also a concern.

Labs are somewhat prone to dysplasia of the hip and elbow, especially in larger dogs. Indeed, hip dysplasia is the most common genetic problem affecting dogs of all breeds. Canine hip dysplasia is a general term for the malformation of the hip joint that eventually leads to arthritis. This malformation occurs when the two parts of the hip joint - the ball (femoral head at the top of the upper leg bone) and socket (the "dented" area of the pelvic structure) are misaligned or misshapen. Dogs suffering from dysplasia are not as active as they could be due to significant pain. Often, the only cure for dysplasia is costly surgery to replace the dysplastic hip joint.

Labs also suffer from the risk of knee problems. A "luxating patella" is a common occurrence in the knee that results in the leg being "bow "shaped. This abnormality can cause abnormal wear and tear on the joint, resulting in the development of painful osteoarthritis for some Labs.

The only way to decrease the prevalence of these disorders is through conscientious breeding practices. However, even the most vigilant breeders cannot eliminate these genetic disorders altogether. There's no way of knowing whether an animal will develop a joint disorder later in life.

Regular trips to the veterinarian can play an important role in early detection and early treatment of problems. Unfortunately, the most commonly prescribed treatment for animals suffering from genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. As in humans, these medications provide temporary relief by decreasing inflammation, but not without a host of potential side effects.

There is an alternative, however.

Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin - the natural building blocks of healthy cartilage - offers relief from pain with long-term healing and little risk of side effects. Like NSAIDs, glucosamine and chondroitin decrease inflammation but they also give damaged joints the raw materials needed to build new cartilage, resulting in true relief from pain.

Syn-flex for Pets offers a high-grade liquid glucosamine formula designed to give your pet maximum relief in minimum time. Some satisfied owners report significant improvements in their pets in less than two weeks of use! Synflex (Syn-flex) is a safe, effective, inexpensive, and administering a dose to your pet is as simple as pouring a small amount in a dish or over his/her food.
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Le Bourget November 25, 2010 2:16 AM  

"Labrador Retrievers - Beautiful, Popular and Prone to Joint Problems"
thanks for talking about disability
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