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Evidence of longer life; a cohort of 39 labrador retrievers
  1. Vicki J Adams1,
  2. Kellie Ceccarelli2,
  3. Penny Watson3,
  4. Stuart Carmichael4,
  5. Johanna Penell5 and
  6. David M Morgan6
  1. 1 Vet Epi, Abbey Farm Cottage, Ixworth, UK
  2. 2 Spectrum Brands, West Byfleet, UK
  3. 3 Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  4. 4 School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, Vet School Main Building (VSM), Guildford, UK
  5. 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, SLU Institutionen for vatten och miljo, Uppsala, Sweden
  6. 6 Spectrum Brands Schweiz GmbH, Wangen-Brüttisellen, Switzerland
  1. E-mail for correspondence; vjadams12{at}

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A panel of veterinary and academic experts reviewed current available evidence on age at death for labradors and reached a consensus that their average/typical life span was 12 years of age.1 A prospective cohort study that described the longevity of 39 pedigree adult neutered labradors, showed that 89.7 per cent lived to meet/exceed this typical life span. The study showed that maintenance of lean body mass and reduced accumulation of body fat were associated with attaining a longer than average life span while sex and age at neutering were not associated with longevity.1

The present cohort was derived from 31 litters via 19 known (7 unknown) dams and 12 known (7 unknown) sires enrolled in a prospective longitudinal study at a median age of 6.5 years at the start of the study on July 16, 2004. The last dog died on September 09, 2015 at the age of 17.1 years and the oldest dog, a male, reached 17.9 years. The aim of this study was to compare the longevity of the present cohort fed to maintain a body condition score (BCS) between 2 and 4 on a 5-point scale to three historical comparison groups of pedigree labradors taken from previously published studies. The ‘oldest of the old’ labradors from the present cohort could hold important clues on how to achieve healthy ageing. Further analysis of the cohort’s clinical data is being undertaken with the objective to develop key strategies to increase the …

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