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Problems with Labradors: 7 Danger Signs To Watch Out For

At A Glance

Certain changes in the activity, energy, or behavior of your Labrador Retriever may indicate physical or mental illness, such as infection, depression, etc.

Keep an eye out for these signs to understand what your Lab is going through and take necessary precautions immediately.

Last Updated on: Jun 02, 2022

A Labrador just isn’t a Labrador if they don’t make you laugh. They’re the jokers of the dog world and will keep you smiling with their goofy antics.

They’re also well known for being talented swimmers and love nothing more than paddling out into the sea or a lake to retrieve a stick or ball. But things don’t always go as planned and hence, the best you could do is prevent adversity before it’s too late.

With that in mind, here’s a list that’ll help you understand your lab better and keep it healthy.

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This is a sign of a serious problem. If your Labrador seems weak, it could be due to any number of things that affect the nervous system, such as a stroke or brain tumor.

The condition may also be caused by an infection or injury to the spine or spinal cord. Weakness can also be brought on by heart disease and high blood pressure, which are two other conditions that can cause death in older dogs like Labradors.

an image of white Labrador dog lying on carpet


It is a change in your Labrador’s behavior. A normally active dog that becomes lethargic may be ill or have a medical condition, such as heat stroke or hypothermia.

Lethargy is especially important to watch for if your Labrador is not eating or drinking normally.


Difficulty in Breathing and Other Diseases

Several diseases and conditions can affect your Labrador. They include:

  • Collapsing trachea (CT): This occurs when the cartilage that supports the walls of the throat becomes soft and weak, making it difficult for air to pass through.
  • Heart disease: Labs are prone to developing heart murmurs as well as aortic stenosis, which are defects of blood flow from their heart to their lungs.
  • Epilepsy: Labs can suffer from seizures due to inherited neurologic disorders or because of physical injury or illness such as low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). If your Lab has a seizure that lasts longer than five minutes, take him directly to an emergency veterinarian clinic immediately after he has stopped shaking his head and jerking his legs around on the floor like crazy!


It can be a sign of several conditions. If your dog seems to be disoriented or cannot remember where he is, it could signal a stroke or brain tumor. It may also be caused by an infection in the brain or head trauma.

In addition to confusion, other signs to watch for include:

  • Weakness on one side of their body
  • Head tilt or involuntary eye movement

an image of a Yellow labrador retriever is waiting at home

Depression and Anxiety

This is a common sign of illness in dogs. If you notice your Labrador is sleeping more than usual, or acting differently by chewing on things he previously wouldn’t have touched or growling at others who approach him, it could indicate an underlying health problem.

Studies have shown that mood changes can also be a sign of stress. Stress can be caused by an environmental change like moving house to a new area with unfamiliar smells; it can also be caused by boredom if the dog doesn’t get enough mental stimulation from his owner.

Alterations to How Your Pet Moves or Behaves

You may not see your Labrador in pain, but they may be showing signs of it. Labradors are known to be stoic animals, which means they aren’t likely to show their pain or discomfort through outward signs such as whining or crying.

However, this doesn’t mean that a Labrador isn’t in pain! So it is important that you keep an eye on them and look out for any behavioral changes. If your Labrador has been exhibiting any unusual behavior for several days then it could be time to consult with a vet about the possibility of arthritis in dogs.

In this case there are things that you can do at home to help ease his suffering (such as taking him on longer walks).

an image of an owner serving food to the dog

Loss of Appetite

How to tell if your lab is not eating? Your Labrador’s stomach should be noticeably round and firm. If it’s soft, then your dog may not be getting enough food or water.

Check for a “full” look around the ribs, where you can see a little bit of space between the skin and where they are touching on top of them (it should feel like there’s an inch or so between them). This can help you figure out if your dog has been eating well lately, but it will also depend on their breed and size—some breeds have more fat than others, which means they need less food overall.

Keep an eye out for changes in behavior: If he starts sleeping longer than usual or refusing to play with his toys when he normally loves doing so—even though no big changes have occurred recently—it could mean something is wrong with him physically as well as emotionally (e.g., maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable because someone else was home during his last meal).

What Preparation Can You Do to Prevent The Worst Case Scenario?

You have to be prepared for any kind of emergency. You can’t afford to wait until something happens to get pet insurance.

That’s why it’s so important to get a preventative care plan for your Labrador. The first thing you should do is visit your vet and get a full physical exam done on your dog. Your vet will want to determine if there are any health issues that can be treated proactively.

This way, you can avoid paying for expensive treatment later on down the line when the issue could have been easily treated at an early stage with preventative care. If your vet doesn’t recommend a physical exam and other tests, then you should consider taking your pet somewhere else for care until they agree with what needs to be done.

Your next step should be getting a preventative care plan in place so that you’re prepared for any sort of emergency situation. This way, if anything happens with your Labrador, then you’ll know where to go for help and treatment without having to worry about paying out-of-pocket or even worse, having them put down if the problem becomes too much for them to handle.

an image of a Labrador in the fields

If your dog does have one of these conditions, it is important to get them treated as soon as possible. There are many medications available for treating these illnesses and your vet will be able to help you find the best course of action for your Lab.

While Labs can be prone to certain illnesses and diseases, if you take good care of them they should remain healthy throughout their life.

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.