Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Most Common Health Issues with Labrador Retrievers

There are many daily blogs by Labrador Retriever owners whose pets are affected by a variety of health issues. Of these issues, two are the most prominent. Those would be musculoskeletal issues such as hip dysplasia, ACL injuries, arthritis, etc, and, skin problems often considered as "allergies".

Musculoskeletal Health

Labrador Retrievers are very popular. Their personality can range from a goofy side-kick to a very stoic companion. Many service and therapy dogs are from this breed. As their name implies, this breed was born to fetch. Ask any tennis ball, and they will tell you. Labs are right at home around the water or the field, making them very popular with hunters.

From the description above, you can tell this is a physically active breed. All of this activity can cause wear and tear on the joints. Also, popular breeds like this tend to be over-bred, often by less than reputable breeders looking to cash in on their popularity. This scenario has led to some genetic pre-dispositions, like hip dysplasia. When you couple all of this physical activity with potential for genetic defects, you have a recipe for joint/mobility problems.

How Natural Pet Supplements can help your Labrador Retriever with joint related issues

In recent years more and more people are looking for natural solutions for their pets' mobility problems. There are several all-natural products on the market, including Antioxidant Treats and/or Sprouted Granules, that offer the answers that pet owners are looking for. Obviously, no nutritional supplement is not going to reshape a dysplastic hip, or re-attach a torn ACL, or undo the ravages of arthritis; but there is a scientific reason these products have helped pets with these conditions.

The 'Live Food Enzymes' contained in these products provide resources to the body for the production of Antioxidant Enzymes. These enzymes; i.e. Superoxide Dismutase, Catalase, and Glutithione Peroxidase, are the natural agents involved in cleansing toxins from every cell in the body. As the cells are less encumbered by toxic build-up, they are more efficient at performing their tasks. This in turn affects recovery time after injury, the processes of inflammation, restoring of synovial fluid (joint lubricant), and in greater release of energy. As a result, many dogs not only resume a normal range of motion, but also show greater activity.

"Allergy" troubles

Labrador Retrievers are not the only breed to have troubles in this area, but many are afflicted all the same. Symptoms of itching, biting, scratching, chewing, hair loss, odor, blackening skin, elephant skin, weeping sores, chewing paws, ear infections, eye infections, UTI's or more can all be a part of this issue. Vets often address these problems by administering antibiotics and steroids to help calm the surface symptoms. Even though this approach often works in the short term, as soon as these medications wear off, the symptoms will often return with a vengeance.

Did you ever wonder why? Could it be that these issues are not caused by allergies at all? Did you ever consider that the Antibiotics, though killing off bad bacteria on the surface were at the same time killing off friendly bacteria in the GI tract? Did you ever consider that the steroid's deadening of the immune system, lowering inflammation, also lowers the body's ability to fight infection?

What has been described above is the perfect scenario for a Systemic Yeast Infection. What is that, exactly? It is a condition brought about by the diminishing of the good, friendly bacteria found in the GI tract allowing for the expansion of fungal yeast (already present), creating an imbalance. As the yeast expands and grows, it puts out toxic by-products that leach into the bloodstream and are carried to the extremities to be filtered out at the surface.

You might be asking how your dog got this way to start with. There are many contributing factors, including the folowwing:

1. Pet foods and snacks. Many of your big name brands are loaded with preservatives, additives and artificial colorings. These all have a negative impact on the friendly bacterial flora. At the same time, these foods are grain-based instead of meat based. Since yeast loves starch, this is a recipe for disaster.

2. Over vaccination. We are led to believe that vaccines are good for us, and that they are protecting us from harm, but often that is not the case. When we hear of a young dog with this problem, we can almost always trace the origins to the time of vaccination. This is not to say that a dog should not ever receive vaccines, but certainly not a 3-in-1 or a 5-in-1 shot. This can cause tremendous insult to the immune system, creating massive die-off of good bacteria.

3. Flea treatments and heartworm medications. Even though these products are usually effective against these critters, they are a poison, and can even contribute to neurological issues. We suggest finding natural alternatives where possible.

4. Chlorinated water. They put chlorine in the water to kill bacteria. We recommend filtered water for your pet.

5. Antibiotics. This goes without saying. There are many instances where antibiotics are necessary. If so, it is paramount that you supplement with a probiotic to help lessen the damage to good bacteria.

If your dog does have an SYI, what can you do to reverse it? That is a good question, and thankfully there is an answer. It involves a comprehensive approach designed to kill off the overgrowth of yeast, support the body for healing, repair and detoxification, and rebuild the good bacteria. The rest is a matter of time. This is NOT a quick-fix. It can take some months to get things turned around, but you can take comfort in knowing that you are getting to the ROOT of the problem, not just patching things up. For more information on these and other issues pertaining to Labrador Retrievers, please search for Antioxidant Treats and/or Sprouted Granules. You will find that these all-natural products are quite helpful.

Article submitted by Tim Delaney, a multiple dog-owner who is an animal advocate. References include Nzymes, and Nzymes EU.

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