Health Screening

Health screening is undertaken with the aim of reducing the probability of offspring being born or developing certain hereditary health conditions, and traits. 

Health screening prior to breeding is undertaken by specialist independent veterinary surgeons. It involves testing dogs to establish whether there is increased probability of inherited conditions being passed on to offspring. A good deal of research has gone into these breed specific diseases, much of it funded by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the KennelClub (KC) Unfortunately Health screens do not provide a guarantee that offspring will be free from these inherited disease but they do minimize the risk and therefore are useful for breeders to make responsible decisions on whether to breed stock.

Like all other breeds of dog the Labrador breed can be susceptible to hereditary conditions and traits. Factors that can exacerbate these conditions include nutritional in balance excessive and inappropriate exercise for the life stage of the dog, excessive accelerated growth and obesity.



We believe it to be equally important to consider the temperament of breeding stock as behavioural traits both good and bad can be also inherited. Here at Gillhambrook Labradors sound temperament is a paramount consideration. We believe an easy going biddable nature underpins a long and happy relationship between a Labrador puppy and his or her family. Our breeding bitches have exceptional temperaments and have been born from fantastic parents with the same. The stud dogs we use are known to us personally and all have outstanding natures, either as family pets, or therapy dogs. Our commitment to this fact is a top priority at Gillhambrook Labradors.


Unfortunately obesity in Labradors is seen all too frequently. As a breed Labradors are prone to weight gain. This problem can lead to many health conditions and severely affect the dog’s fitness and vitality. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure obesity does not develop. Our puppies are all sold with a comprehensive feeding guide and advice to help owners achieve a correct balance of nutrients for the correct growth rate for their puppy and ongoing into adulthood.

Common Inherited conditions
in the Labrador Breed

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a crippling disease of the hip joint (s). It is due to malformation of the socket part of the joint, and results in a very shallow socket which does not provide the stability it should for a ball and socket joint. Excessive bone growth occurs. This can cause pain and lameness. The BVA hip certificate means the hips of the dog have been x rayed and have been examined and assessed by specialist independent vets. Each hip is allocated a score, the lower the score the better the hip. The score is expressed by two numbers one for the left and one for the right hip. These scores are added together to achieve the final score. A hip score below the average for the breed (breed mean score) is ideal for good breeding stock. The five year breed mean for Labradors is 12. 

Osteochondritis dissecans OCD

This condition is similar to hip dysplasia, but it occurs in the elbow (s). It occurs when abnormal bone growth causes a malformation and degeneration of the elbow joint. It is extremely painful and leads to lameness. The elbow scores are given a rating between 0-3. 0 is unaffected and 3 affected. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy PRA

This term describes a collection of diseases that cause degeneration to the back of the eye, known as the Retina. The result is blindness and the condition can develop between the ages of 1 and 8 years old. An examination carried out by a specialist vet can either determine clear or affected. (At the time of examination)


Interested in Gillhambrook Labradors?

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