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Chocolate labradors live shorter lives than other fur colors

CHARLIE Chocolate Labrador has not been the cheapest dog. It was time for him to have a human MR correctly…

CHARLIE Chocolate Labrador has not been the cheapest dog.

It was time for him to have a human MR correctly diagnose a fungal infection – it costs $ 5,000.

And then there is medicine he has to take daily for his itchy skin condition that costs $ 300 every couple of months.

He also has more than the average number of ear infections.

And it turns out that Charlie’s chocolate rocket could be the cause of his woes.

New research has shown that the life of chocolate labradors is significantly lower than their black and yellow counterparts.

They also have a higher incidence of ear infections and skin diseases.

The study of more than 33,000 British-based labradors led by the University of Sydney found that non-chocolate labradors live more than 1

0 percent longer.

The incidence of ear inflammation was twice as high in chocolate labradors and they are four times more likely to have suffered from a type of dermatitis called hotspot.

It’s surprising news for owner Kathryn Morgan who never thought Charlie’s problems could tie up with his color.

“I think the news is quite worried that he may die sooner than others,” she said.

“I love his color and his boffy face. I do not know we’ll find Charlie again as beautiful, I think he’s the only one.”

The relationship between coat color and disease came as a surprise to researchers which said that there may be an inadvertent consequence of breeding some pigments.

“Because chocolate color is recessive in dogs, the gene for this color must be present with both parents for their puppies to be chocolate,” said lead author professor Paul McGreevy.

“Breeders targeting this color may therefore be more likely to be only raised labradors carrying the chocolate neck gene. The resulting reduced gene pool may contain a higher proportion of genes that contribute to ear and skin conditions.”

Research reproduced in Australia where labradors are the most popular dog breed.

The results were published in open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology on Monday.

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