Bel Amour Labradors is committed to producing healthy, high quality puppies. We ensure all of our dogs have the appropriate health tests for diseases that are most likely to affect the Labrador breed. Listed below is information on some of the health tests we perform. We also check their heart and eyes!
In dogs, hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is also affected by environmental factors. We always xray our dogs hips before breeding, but unfortunately this isn't always a guarantee. As a pet owner it is very important you protect your puppies growing bones! Puppies bones are not yet in the sockets and it is crucial that you don't over exercise your puppy. Allow your puppy to have free play, but never force a puppy to run or exercise. It is also important to make sure your puppy doesn't jump from a car, a bed, or off furniture. You may think it is a small jump, but this can cause serious injury to hips or elbows. It is also important to make sure puppies don't slip and slid on hardwood or linoleum floors. Please check out the links below for more information on Hip and Elbow Dysplasia.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a group of genetic diseases seen in certain breeds of dogs and, more rarely, cats. Similar to retinitis pigmentosa in humans, it is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.
Exercise-Induced Collapse can be a very sad disease. It is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder causing affected dogs to suffer from a loss of muscle control after extreme exercise. An affected dog will begin to show symptoms between 5 months and 3 years of age. EIC testing is done with a saliva test. A dog can either be affected, a carrier or clear. A carrier won't exhibit any symptoms of the disease and isn't affected by it because they only carry one copy of the gene. A dog that is affected or a carrier can only be bred to a dog that is clear, otherwise they will produce puppies with EIC.
CNM is another sad disease. Puppies are born normal; however, will often not gain weight adequately due to decreased muscle tone in the esophagus. Within 2 to 5 months, the disease has usually progressed to display the full range of symptoms, including a loss of muscle tone and control, an awkward gait, and extreme exercise intolerance. CNM testing is done with a saliva test. A dog can be affected, a carrier or clear. A carrier won't exhibit symptoms of the disease. A dog that is affected or a carrier needs to be bred to a clear dog, otherwise they will produce puppies with CNM.
DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of the coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The affected dog will wobble when walking, knuckle over or drag feet.
Symptoms of the disorder generally appear around 6 to 12 months of age. Affected dogs develop dry, rough, and gray or brown crusts on the surface and edge of the nose. In some cases, painful cracks appear around and on the tip of the nose. If not treated, affected dogs can develop superficial bacterial infections. Over time, the nose often begins to depigmentize, changing skin color from dark to light in color. Although the disorder is not life-threatening, continuous care to reduce the recurrence of excessive nasal crusting is required throughout the life of the dog.