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Arthritis in Labradors

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    I have always, I thought "researched" any possible future pups ancestry for the usual hip and knee ailments that Labradors get - despite this present my Labrador is the sixth dog to succumb  to arthritis although his hip score is very good. (The previous five all failed their hip score tests and of course were never allowed to used for stud. The breeders - one a top field trial judge could not care less and some were quite dismissive of my comments)

    Bumble, my four year old shooting chum - again "researched" with care  and bought at great cost yesterday suddenly started to scream in pain when exercising. Off to the vet where X rays  showed that his left back leg knee joint, the base of his tail and two vertebrae in his lower back were riddled with arthritis and so his working days are over - My intention when I bought him was that the two if us would finish our shooting together as I'm 71 this year. Absolutely shocked!

    His diet has always been the best that I can afford so he has not lacked where any "supplements" are concerned - again it's a case of bad breeding several generations ago and a rogue gene has crept in.

    My vet (also a Lab owner) suggested that if I wanted to buy another dog it might be a mongrel - Sprocker's etc - a very sensible suggestion!

     

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    Really sorry to hear about your currant Lab getting arthritis at such a young age , I am exactly the same age as you ( 71 this year ) .

    I suppose I have been lucky as all my previous Labradors have all gone into double figures without doing any previous research regarding hip scores , I say all but my last one was a good looking dog that had half show and half Drakeshead lines in his pedigree , when he was about 7 he started to get stiff after a days work , I used him for pigeon shooting over the next two years and then put him in retirement until the dreaded day when we parted company when he had just reached 10 , up till now he was the youngest dog I had put down in nearly 50 years as a Labrador owner.

    My young (ish) Lab is now just over three and I was thinking the same as you , this could well be my last one if he goes into double figures and I am still here to take him out , at the moment he is as fit as a fiddle and I hope and pray he stay in that condition .

    GOOD LUCK  with the outcome    MM

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    That is disappointing. 

    I owned Labradors for thirty five years and luckily never had one affected by this disease. However I did see it and hear about it from other people and not wanting to go through the heartbreak of having a relatively young unfit Labrador I decided to go for a Sprocker five years ago. I do not regret my decision.

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    You are very lucky - 35 years and no arthritis! 

    Since hearing the grim news yesterday I have spoken to two 'keeper friends, one has had a 60% fail rate and the other 30% - One told of puppies born with no hip joints!

    A Sprocker is on my list for a possible replacement but my vet warmed of dire problems with both Cockers and Springers - My last Springer died of cancer at only five years old hence the move towards Labradors (and I was getting on a bit so less running after the dog!)

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    Sorry to hear about it.

    Are HD and arthritis completely related?

    I thought hip scores only check for the 'shape' of the ball a socket joint at the hip. Even healthy dogs can get arthriis, althou the chance of it in a dog with poor hips scores will be much higher.

     

    I must be lucky too i've never had or even heard of a proper local bred working lab haviing bad hips, don't think any of my labs came out of a hip scored bitch. But i'd only buy an unscored lab of someone i know and have seen the bitch, ideally he'd off had several generations of the bitch before

     

    To have 6 labs in a row alll go down with it seems stramge. When u say ur 5 dogs 'failed'  the hip score wot sort of numers were u getting?

    Have u tried going on the MYKC site a search the relatives of ur dogs to see wot hip scores they have had?

    Are the type of dogs u buy similar? If so do u they have similar breeding or common studs?

     

    Not meaning anything here but just seems very unlucky to have 6 on the spin all with hip problems

    Do u do anything with them as pups/young dogs? Excessive walking/exercise, letting dog jump

    I'm very cautious(possibly too cautious ) with my young dogs, lift them in out pick up, very little jumping, short walks etc.

    I have heard of old keepers/lab men would have very low puppy runs so dog can't stand up on its back legs (and make sure bars go to the ground so pup can see things withou standing up on back legs)

     

    In the past 30 yrs our dog breeding has went right down the pan, all this over use of stud dogs and far to many poor bitches bred out off too. Money has ruined a llot of breeds

    Edited by scotslad

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    So sorry to hear, you must be gutted. Mind you cancer isn't breed related, although flat coat retrievers are said to get it more than any other breed I wouldn't let that put you off getting another spaniel, very unlucky to have cancer at 5. I also wouldn't let your bad luck put you off another lab, it seems you've been very unlucky with all your dogs. Our labs a slim working build and now 5, had quite a hard life working considering, parents weren't hip scored and she has nice joints the vet said, so been lucky. 

    Do agree with Scotslad though.. we are always over careful with ours and by no means meaning to cause any upset to you. Having 6 dogs with the arthritis their may be more too it. Is there anything you can think of you have done with them? To much to young, do they jump from the car? Are they kenneled and possibly get cold as that can cause joint problems over time - this was mentioned by a vet to me. What do you feed them? I believe in feeding the best you can afford, most good foods have supplements which aid the joints. 

    Edited by Pigeonshooter22

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    My old choccie lab used to suffer with a bit in his back legs after a days work from when he was about 6yrs, but the vet said to just give him s 1/2 asperin crushed in his feed when he got home. Slept like a log and was fine next morning and lived to 13yrs. Best dog I will ever have.  Unless it was wearing deoderant he would find it :good: 

    As said above, too much too early can come to haunt a dog in later life, like coming down flights of stairs, or jumping down from a car.  I have taken a course of green lipped mussel tablets (Holland & Barrett) which has eased some of my aches and strains and one wonders if this would help dogs joints as well. Purely natural so cannot see any harm.

    Edited by Walker570

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    Thanks to all who have replied - 

    My Springers were all kennelled which were insulated and gently heated - latterly due to downsizing as they say the last three Labradors have lived in luxurious comfort in the house (they have their own sofa) When they were pups they were mollycoddled - but never allowed to jump, climb or leap about. Diet was/is Skinners puppy plus correctly proportioned calcium additives. 

    After every shoot the dogs were wrapped in a towel and not allowed to get cold in the pick up whilst being driven home.

    My keeper friend and I bought two Lab dogs from a field trial judge thinking that the litter would be the best you might find - when both dogs were hip scored at 12 months neither dog had hip sockets!!! The breeder did not want to discuss the dogs.

    So having 1 out of 6 that actually passed his hip score - 3/4 in both hips I was astounded to learn that the poor mutt has such severe arthritis. 

    Thank you for the green lipped mussel tip - there is so many "natural additives" - even mushrooms that the dog should be OK for a while (https://simplewag.com/can-dogs-eat-mushrooms/)

    To sum up - all the dogs have had the best diet I can afford, never over exercised until at least 12 months old and kept warm and dry - Perhaps it is the Cornish damp air?

     

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    It sounds like ur dogs are well looked after, mibee u just are very unlucky then. But that just seems extreme bad luck

    Is there many common  dogs in there pedigrees? Do u go for 'new style/look' FT lines or old fashioned bigger labs?

    i was once in digs were there collie had bad arthritis but see walked that dog miles and miles as a pup

     

     

    I had my older dogs on that Umove supplement (lots of green muscles plus other stuff) my mate swore by it, never made much difference to mine but they didn't look stiff going to put my old lab back on them as is looking stiffer now, so we'll see it it makes a difference but he worked till 12, for a few seasons was doing 80+ days

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    I'm no weirdo taking all sorts of additives but that green mussel stuff sorted bad artritis in my ankle ten years ago and it has never returned. I now occasionally have a bit of pain in my hands, but they have been abused for 78yrs, and found they now do a cream which you can massage in and that will sort my hands within 48hrs.  Cannot see why it cannot work on other animals.   Hope you discover something to make the dog comfortable.

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    I went for unknown (to me) FTC's etc etc with the present dog. As said, he did pass his hip scores with good results.

    With the other Labs (one was from France with no paperwork) all had good pedigrees but greedy owners who churn out too many litters are to blame - The KC haqve now limited breeders to four litters in a lifetime - a good move that came too late!

    Thank you re Umove - I will look it up.

    Just now, Walker570 said:

    I'm no weirdo taking all sorts of additives but that green mussel stuff sorted bad artritis in my ankle ten years ago and it has never returned. I now occasionally have a bit of pain in my hands, but they have been abused for 78yrs, and found they now do a cream which you can massage in and that will sort my hands within 48hrs.  Cannot see why it cannot work on other animals.   Hope you discover something to make the dog comfortable.

    Thank you - I'm not keen on the dog having veterinary medicine for the rest of his life - Trying Umove as suggested by scotslad

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    It sounds like they're very well looked after, so must be a unfortunate luck. ☹️

    Skinners isn't great food, its ok compared to some, but rated 3.6/5 on allaboutdogfood.com if you fanced a look at whats in it.. however doubt that would of had much affect.

    Mind I don't think those hip scores mean anything sometimes. A friend has a spaniel that both parents had brilliant scores and she knew the parents. Pup is just over a year and needs operation on both hips as they're so bad. I have a Cocker who's quite well bred, by a keeper on a big estate shoot, no hip scores on any parents as typical old keeper etc. He needed a MRI and I was nervous he may have bad hips as of this, but the orthopedic vet said hes got the best hips they've seen for a while. 


    All the best - some luck will come your way soon!

    Edited by Pigeonshooter22

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    1 hour ago, Pigeonshooter22 said:

    It sounds like they're very well looked after, so must be a unfortunate luck. ☹️

    Skinners isn't great food, its ok compared to some, but rated 3.6/5 on allaboutdogfood.com if you fanced a look at whats in it.. however doubt that would of had much affect.

    Mind I don't think those hip scores mean anything sometimes. A friend has a spaniel that both parents had brilliant scores and she knew the parents. Pup is just over a year and needs operation on both hips as they're so bad. I have a Cocker who's quite well bred, by a keeper on a big estate shoot, no hip scores on any parents as typical old keeper etc. He needed a MRI and I was nervous he may have bad hips as of this, but the orthopedic vet said hes got the best hips they've seen for a while. 


    All the best - some luck will come your way soon!

    Many thanks - What food would you recommend? 

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    Like others I have gone 30 or so years and never had a problem with arthritis in my labs. Had one that the vet even refused to send the xrays for scoring they were so bad but he lived to 14 without a problem. I guess you have had really bad luck and can only wish you better luck with your next dog.

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    23 minutes ago, Dave at kelton said:

    Like others I have gone 30 or so years and never had a problem with arthritis in my labs. Had one that the vet even refused to send the xrays for scoring they were so bad but he lived to 14 without a problem. I guess you have had really bad luck and can only wish you better luck with your next dog.

    Thank you.

    Although the Labs has dysplasia they all worked to a reasonable age. Their latter years were spent happily retired helped with, at times, medication. I have a 12 year old (the French dog) who displays everything that a badly bred dog might have but he is not in pain.

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