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Hereditary Muscle Disease (Non-inflammatory Myopathy) in Labrador Retrievers

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Hereditary, Non-inflammatory Myopathy in Labrador Retrievers


A myopathy is a muscular disease in which the muscle fibers do not function due to any of the common reasons, ultimately resulting in overall muscular weakness. The form of myopathy described in this article is specifically seen in Labrador retrievers, especially yellow Labs.


Symptoms and Types


Symptoms typically develop between the ages of three to four months, many of which worsen with cold weather, excitement, and exercise. In addition, improvements may be seen once the dog is allowed to rest. Some of the more common symptoms include:


  • Muscle weakness
  • Arched back
  • Downward flexion of head and neck
  • Abnormal joint posture
  • Excessive laying down (in some dogs)
  • Abnormal gait
  • Sudden collapse




Inherited in Labrador retrievers.




You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well as a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis -- the results of which may indicate a mild increase of the creatine kinase enzyme (normally present in muscle, brain, and other tissues).


Your veterinarian may also take a muscle biopsy and send it to veterinary pathologist for further evaluation. The results may show abnormalities related to muscle cells.




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