Labradoodle health problems
With their floppy ears, Labradoodles can be prone to develop chronic ear infection, as the wax and moisture will get trapped in. In case of ear infection or otitis, you will mostly notice that your Labradoodle restlessly shakes their head or scratches their ears. You might also see some coloured or unpleasant discharge coming out of the ear canal.
The issue requires veterinary consultation, during which your vet will swab the ear to identify which bacteria is causing the infection and will prescribe medicated drops accordingly.
Regular cleaning of your dog’s ears - at least once a week but ideally more - can help prevent your pet from developing this condition.
Labradoodles’ skin can often be triggered by allergens coming from the food. Depending on the severity of the allergy, it might require veterinary intervention and diet restriction, which can often be challenging as your Labradoodle will undoubtedly eat something he shouldn’t.
The skin allergy will manifest itself by intense scratching, often on the belly, under the armpits or in the groin area, leading to reddened skin, with or without crusts or sores. Consult with your veterinarian to adopt the best treatment strategy.
Bone and joint problems
Hip Dysplasia affects many breeds of dogs, especially Labradors, hence it is commonly seen in Labradoodles as well. It happens when the head of the femur does not fit perfectly into the hip socket, making it unable to provide a smooth movement of the joint.
It can result in early arthritis and lameness, even at a young age.
As the condition can have a serious effect on a dog’s welfare and is often an inherited condition, a breeder should screen their dog for the condition before breeding so as to help prevent the condition in future generations of the breed.
Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia happens when the movement of the elbow joint is not smooth enough due to some structural deformities of the bones of that joint. Again, arthritis of the forelimb will be seen at an early age.
Diagnosis will often require radiographs and sometimes even arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) will be needed.
Elbow dysplasia can be managed with anti-inflammatories and painkillers, while surgery can be an option for the more severe cases.
Prevention is the best tactic, by choosing a responsible breeder who only breeds Labradoodles with decent elbow joint conformation, so that the offspring have less chance of developing the disease.