There are a number of Labrador puppy health problems that are fairly common which new owners should look out for in their dogs including digestive complaints, skin problems and lameness.
Diarrhoea is just one of the problems faced by young puppies as a result of a digestive complaint. This can be triggered by a number of factors including leaving its mother or a change of diet. But, most cases of diarrhoea or vomiting in a Lab puppy are caused by the puppy eating scraps of human food or by swallowing stones or plants from the garden.
Ingesting inappropriate food or objects such as stones can induce upset stomachs and, should a stone become lodged in a puppy’s gut, then he will become very ill and require surgery. This happened to one of my Labs and he nearly died after swallowing a large stone.
Any signs of diarrhoea or, conversely, a blockage in the intestines should be checked by a vet as treatment may well be required. In the case of a stone being stuck then immediate emergency surgery will be needed.
Labrador puppies can suffer from issues with their skin because of fleas or ear-mites. Lice and ringworm are also other common Labrador puppy health problems and, though all Labs enjoy a good scratch, excessive scratching could be a signal that all is not well and a vet should be consulted.
Signs of lameness in a Lab puppy can be a portent of many unpleasant things such as hip dysplasia or osteochondritis dissecans (a disease of the cartilage sometimes called OCD).
Lameness can also be caused by over exercising a puppy or, of course, by accident. The later is very common with Labradors!
Most Lab puppy health problems can be avoided by having a vet check the pup as soon as you bring him home and making sure the puppy is regularly given worming and flea treatments. Ensuring that his vaccinations are always up-to-date is also essential.
Finally, any signs of distress in a puppy should always be taken seriously and it is always better to ere on the safe side by taking the dog to be checked out by the vet if you suspect anything is amiss.