Tag Archives: labrador

A dog’s colour could impact longevity, increase health problems

New research led by the University of Sydney has revealed the life expectancy of chocolate Labradors is significantly lower than their black and yellow counterparts.
Chocolate Labrador

The study of more than 33,000 United Kingdom-based Labrador retrievers of all colours shows chocolate Labradors also have a higher incidence of ear infections and skin disease. Its findings were published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

Part of the University’s VetCompass™ Programme, which collects and analyses electronic patient data on dogs, the research is being replicated in Australia, where Labradors are the most popular breed of dog.

In the UK, the median longevity of non-chocolate Labradors is 12.1 years, more than 10 percent longer than those with chocolate coats. The prevalence of ear inflammation (otitis externa) was twice as high in chocolate Labradors, who were four times more likely to have suffered from pyo-traumatic dermatitis (also known as hot-spot).

Lead author Professor Paul McGreevy, from the University’s Faculty of Science, said the relationship between coat colour and disease came as a surprise to researchers. The UK findings may not hold in Australian Labradors, he said, but warrant investigation.

“The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding certain pigmentations,” he said. “Because chocolate colour is recessive in dogs, the gene for this colour must be present in both parents for their puppies to be chocolate. Breeders targeting this colour may therefore be more likely to breed only Labradors carrying the chocolate coat gene. It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions.”

Across the entire Labrador population, the most common health conditions found were obesity, ear infections and joint conditions.

“We found that 8.8 percent of UK Labradors are overweight or obese, one of the highest percentages among dog breeds in the VetCompass™ database,” Professor McGreevy said.

The prevalence was higher among male dogs who had been neutered.

Source:  University of Sydney media statement

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Obituary: Fidele of Bruges

 

Fidele of Bruges

Fidele, the Golden Labrador who lived at the Bed and Breakfast Coté Canal and made a small appearance in the film In Bruges, passed away in early February at the age of 12.

His owner, Caroline Van Langeraert, has said that Fidele became an icon, with tourist boats along the canals stopping so tourists could take photos of him in his regular resting space at the window of the bed and breakfast.  He is irreplaceable.

Many tourists will have photos and videos of Fidele in his spot at the window, as seen here in YouTube.

It is always sad to see our dog friends leave; particularly so when they share our businesses and our customers know them well.  (Apparently, one US tourist asked to book into the bed and breakfast specifically because she had heard about Fidele.)

 

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chester, the therapy dog who also needed help

Chester, a nine-year old black Labrador, made a name for himself earlier this year in Colorado.  Over the course of a 16-week trial, he comforted the victims, witnesses and first responders who were giving testimony in the trial of James Holmes.

Holmes was charged with the killing of 12 people and the wounding of 70 others when he opened fire at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.  He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

This video shows the value of Chester in his role as a comfort dog.

However, Chester’s story doesn’t stop there.  Last month, he ended up as a patient at Colorado State University.  He was having severe neck pain and was diagnosed with discospondylitis, an infection of the bone in the vertebrae of the lower cervical spine.

Chester has made a successful recovery.  This special dog got the care he needed when his condition was urgent.

Special care for a special dog (but all dogs are special, aren’t they…)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

A day in the life of a therapy dog

I love it when we hear about dogs who are able to use their instincts, talents and charm for good.  There is a growing body of knowledge about how the company of dogs can assist with human therapies.

In this video, the pet therapy program at HCA Virginia’s Chippenham and Johnston-Willis hospitals is featured.  Meet Fraser, a Black Labrador/Golden Retriever mix.  Fraser’s canine colleague, Schaffer, doesn’t feature in this video.  But, as full-time employees of HCA Virginia, the dogs receive benefits which include supplies and paid veterinary care.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Helping each other – a Valentine’s lesson

On this Valentine’s Day, I hope you will consider your dog your furry Valentine.  Make time for each dog in your life.

And as a little Valentine’s Day lesson, here’s a video of a Labrador helping out his brother so they can get to the dog park:

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Going to the dog park via public transport

Eclipse, a Black Labrador living in Seattle, has made the local news…  She’s so enthusiastic about going to the dog park, she often takes herself there – on the bus!

Enjoy this story about a special black Lab!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

New dog comforts victims

There’s a new staff member at the Suffolk Country District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts.  It’s Indy, a Golden Retriever/Yellow Labrador cross, who is the office’s new comfort dog.

Photo courtesy of Boston.com

Indy at her press conference (photo courtesy of Boston.com)

New Dog Comforts Victims in Suffolk DA’s Office – Massachusetts news – Boston.com.