What Preventative Medicine Can You Use For Your Labrador Retriever?
In life there are often situations that escape our control, we have the choice to do what’s in our power to prevent hardship in the future. A famous saying states that prevention is better than cure, and that tends to be true in every aspect of our lives.
The same rule applies to the care we give to our pets. It’s always better to prevent any diseases, or at least to catch them during their early stages and avoid bigger complications in the future. That is precisely why preventive healthcare for Labradors has become such an important practice, and why so many Lab owners are demanding better and more comprehensive therapies and treatments for their beloved dogs.
Taking preventive measures will not only help you stay away from unwanted illnesses that can cause sorrow and suffering to you and your family but also the kind of financial burden that expensive surgeries, treatments, and medicines can put you under. However, it isn’t always easy to know exactly what to prevent and how to do it. Next, we’ll go over a few different preventive measures you can take that are guaranteed to improve the vitality and happiness of your Lab.
What do I do First?
First things first: Make sure your pets go through annual physical examinations to determine their health. The typical examination will have your Labrador’s primary vital signs and important organs tested, as well as blood pressure, respiration, eyesight and other essential functions. However, during the months between examinations you should do some basic checkups on the dog yourself. For instance checking the weight of the dog periodically, which is important to make sure not only that it’s at its optimum levels, but also that there aren’t any sudden changes. This is a vital thing to keep in mind since abnormalities in weight can be a huge warning sign for some diseases.
Do I need to check my Lab’s Eyes?
Another thing you can check yourself periodically to see if your Lab’s health has changed is the eyes. Irregularities, deformities, discharges, inflammations or abnormalities of any kind are warning signs that something might be wrong. Do not take them lightly! The same applies to your pet’s ears, try to perform regular checkups on them as well to avoid future problems.
What about my Labrador’s Skin
Your labrador’s skin and the coat is something else to keep an eye on. Abnormal loss of hair can be quite a warning sign, especially if it produces bald spots where hair used to be. Also watch out for sudden changes in skin pigmentation, particularly if it is accompanied by any textural change of the affected area. The same goes for scabs, lumps and boils so make sure you don’t just shrug them off as normal. Too much shedding can be a reasonable cause for alarm as well. Make sure your Labs don’t scratch and bite their skin since that itching could be due to a number of different skin conditions and even parasites. And speaking of scratching, always check on those toenails for any wounds.
You can’t do everything yourself, though, as some types of exams should only be performed by trained professionals. Heart and lung examinations are two great examples of tests only a trained veterinarian can perform. They will likely also revise your dog’s temperature since it can be an indicator that something is not functioning normally in the animal’s body.
Apart from examinations, your dogs will require the right vaccinations. Some vaccines must be given to every dog, as well as some others that should only be considered in exceptional circumstances. This is something that should always be decided by a professional veterinarian doctor, though. Some common vaccines are anti-rabies, distemper combo immunizations, and bordetella. Vaccination is a complex topic, and you should consult on which vaccines to give your dog with a professional.
One other thing a veterinarian can help you with is to put your Labrador dogs under parasite control. Along with their annual examinations, they should be tested for heartworms and other internal parasites, the most common of which include fleas, mites, and ticks. This should be done even if your dogs are kept mostly indoors since this is no guarantee they won’t become infected. These parasites will feed off your pet and may even transmit diseases such as spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. This is bad news, especially considering that there’s a chance they’ll spread these diseases to you or other humans.
Of course, intestinal care is essential too. You should be observant whether there’s vomiting, constipation, gas, diarrhea or any other abnormal digestive activity. If any of these go on for extended periods of time, you must get your dog examined by a veterinarian immediately. The same thing applies to their breathing functions: Watch out for any sneezing, coughing, nasal discharges or difficulty inhaling and exhaling.
What about your Labrador’s dental?
Consider your Labrador’s dental health as well. There are many gum and tooth diseases that originate from inadequate dental care. Bad breath, loose teeth, inflamed gums and others may be linked to other problems such as gastrointestinal ones. And speaking of that, always be watchful of your dog’s nutrition to maintain a healthy immune system, but keeping in mind that their nutritional requirements change as they get older. Good nutrition is not only about the food the dogs eat but also the supplements, treats, and water they intake. And last but not least: Regular exercise is something every dog needs to stay healthy and prevent future illnesses. Just make sure the type of activity is appropriate for the animal’s condition by taking into account breed and age.
So now you know a lot more about preventive medicine for Labradors, and you should use that knowledge to keep your companion healthy for a lifetime. Remember that diseases are preventable but only through good habits and prevention. You may even avoid your Labrador’s premature death. Don’t wait until it is too late, start preventing health problems for your Labrador today.