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Hereditary muscle disease in Labs
Many purebred dogs are subject to hereditary diseases, and Labrador retrievers are no exception. It can be difficult to tell whether a puppy is going to develop a hereditary disease, but checking with a reputable breeder about the dog's family history can help. Hereditary muscle disease, also called non-inflammatory myopathy, is one of the less common hereditary diseases that affects Labs, most frequently yellow Labs.
Hereditary muscle disease is a condition in which the muscle fibers do not function, causing overall muscle weakness. The symptoms of this illness – muscle weakness, arched back, abnormal joint posture, excessive laying down, abnormal gait and sudden collapse – usually start to develop between the age of 3 to 4 months. The symptoms can worsen when the dog is excited, exercising or is exposed to cold weather.
If you suspect your dog has this condition, the veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, run a number of tests on your pooch to rule out other illnesses and may take a muscle biopsy. This test may show abnormalities related to the dog's muscle cells.
Treatment of this condition generally consits of an effort to treat the animal's symptoms, the news source reports. Pet meds such as L-carnitine supplements may be given to the dog to improve muscle strength, and your vet may recommend giving the pooch a supplement like Vetri-DMG that will ensure its body is as strong as it can be when it comes to fighting off diseases.
Another part of treatment is the general management and care of your dog. Most of the clinical signs of the disease stabilize once your dog turns 1, but there are several things you can do to keep your Lab comfortable. Owners should not put their Labs in cold areas. If you keep your dog in a Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed during the day, make sure it is placed in a warm room. You could also include pet supplies like a Heated Dog Pad to keep it limber. When you're home relaxing with your dog, it may enjoy a Heated Bolster Dog Bed.
The risk of this disease does not mean you should not get a yellow Lab, however. Instead, it shows the importance of choosing a breed from a reputable breeder as opposed to a puppy mill – the former is concerned with hereditary conditions and health, while the latter is not.