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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
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Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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6 weeks litter of Labradors very healthy, eating well, interacting

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6 weeks litter of Labradors very healthy, eating well, interacting well, but wobbly. sugar levels normal. wobble from the entire body, take a step and sits or lies down without trying to go further
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about your litter of Labrador puppies that seem have muscle weakness even though they are eating well.

Certainly low blood sugar could make a puppy weak but this tends to be more of an individual problem and we see this more frequently in small breed dogs. If they are eating well and the entire litter is affected I wouldn't think hypoglycemia is the cause.

There are hypomyelination disorders in some breeds of dogs where puppies are slow to develop the normal amounts of myelin (protective covering of the nerves) and thus tend to be weak and show shaky movements. These puppies usually improve as they mature. Though Labradors are not specifically listed as an affected breed Goldens are and the two breeds are closely related. See this link for more information:

http://ic.upei.ca/cidd/disorder/hypo-dysmyelinogenesis-shaking-pup

Another possibility is an infection with a parasite called Neosporum caninum. This parasite tends to affect young dogs and puppies the most and causes an ascending weakness/paralysis meaning the rear legs are affected first and more severely. Diagnosis is via a blood test to look for antibodies to the parasite. Treatment is combination antibiotic therapy. See this link for more information about this disease:

http://bearscampnewfs.com/health/Waltham%20Center/Canine%20Neosporosis.pdf

Unfortunately I would also be concerned about a relative newly discovered disease called Labrador Retriever Hereditary Myopathy. This is an inherited disease of muscle. Labrador retriever myopathy is a rare inherited disease which causes muscle weakness because of a deficiency of type II muscle fibers. The first sign of the disease is an abnormal, stiff way of walking with weakness, which progresses to a generalized weakness by about 5 months of age.
Here is a link to a webpage about the disease and obtaining testing materials for your pups and their parents:

http://www.ahtdnatesting.co.uk/documents/versions/6_lhsgiXnt.pdf

Hopefully the information I have given you will give you a direction to start testing your pups. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15582
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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