Golden Retriever Health Problems – What To Look For

Golden Retriever Health Problems – What To Look For

6 Golden Retriever Health Tips

Golden Retriever Health Problems

Golden Retriever Health Problems are not very common as they are generally very healthy. However, like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions. Not all Golden Retrievers will get all or any of these diseases, but it’s important that you should be aware of them if you’re considering a golden retriever as a pet.

Golden Retriever Health Problems To Look For

If you’re looking to buy a golden retriever puppy, you are advised to find a good breeder who will show you the health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents. Health clearances certify that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

In the United Kingdom, health schemes are organised jointly by the Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association.

In the USA, you should expect to receive health clearances from:

You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site.

What Are Common Golden Retriever Health Problems?

The following is a comprehensive list of possible golden retriever health problems:

  • Allergies:
    Golden Retrievers can occasionally be allergic to a variety of different things. These may be anything from foodstuff to pollen. When ever your retriever is licking his paws or perhaps rubbing his face more than usual, you should have him examined by your animal medical practitioner.
  • Cataracts:
    Just like humans, retrievers can develop cataracts. They are characterized by cloudy spots on the eye lens that can increase in size over time. Cataracts can start to develop at any age and may not impair their vision. However, in some cases they can experience severe loss of vision. Breeding dogs should be examined by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist to be certified as free of hereditary eye disease before they’re bred. Cataracts can usually be surgically removed with good results.
  • Elbow Dysplasia:
    This condition is inherited and is common in large dog breeds like golden retrievers. It’s thought to be caused when the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, grow at different rates. This results in joint laxity that can lead to painful lameness. Your animal medical practitioner may recommend either surgery to correct the problem or medication to control the pain.
  • Epilepsy:
    Epilepsy is a brain disorder. It causes frequent seizures and convulsions. Your animal medical practitioner will need to know how severe the seizures are and how often they occur to determine what medication to prescribe, if any.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus:
    This condition is also commonly called bloat. It is a life-threatening condition that occurs in large, deep-chested dogs like Golden Retrievers. The condition can occur if you feed your retriever one large meal each day that he eats very quickly. It can also occur if he gulp down a considerable amount of water or he exercises strenuously after eating.
    Bloat happens when their stomach is distended with gas or air and twists. This results in your retriever being unable to belch or vomit to rid himself of the excessive air in his stomach which impedes the flow of blood to his heart. His blood pressure falls and consequently he will go into shock.  Without immediate professional medical attention, your retriever can die.
    You should be able to detect whether your retriever has bloat because his abdomen will be distended , or he is drooling excessively , and retching without vomiting. You may find that he is restless, depressed, lacking energy, and weak with a rapid heart beat. Should you become aware of these symptoms, get your retriever to your animal medical practitioner immediately.
  • Hemangiosarcoma:
    This is a very dangerous form of cancer that most commonly occurs in middle-age and elderly dogs. It originates in the lining of blood vessels and spleen.
  • Hip Dysplasia:
    Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition. It occurs when the thighbone doesn’t fit tightly into the hip joint. Your retriever may show pain and lameness in one or both of his rear legs. However, you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with this condition.
    If your retriever has hip dysplasia, he can develop arthritis as he ages.
    If you’re buying a golden retriever puppy, you should ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free from this condition.
    Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred.
  • Hypothyroidism:
    This is a disorder of the thyroid gland. It is thought to cause conditions such as epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, dark patches on the skin, and other skin conditions. Your animal medical practitioner can treat it with medication and diet.
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD):
    This is an orthopedic condition. It is caused by the improper growth of the cartilage in the joints. It usually occurs in the elbows, but it has also been diagnosed in the shoulders.
    This condition causes a painful stiffening of the joint, which may reach the point where your retriever is unable to bend his elbow. It can be detected in puppies as early as four to nine months old.
    If you overfeed them on “growth formula” puppy foods or high-protein foods, this may contribute to development of the condition.
  • Osteosarcoma:
    Osteosarcoma is another type of cancer. It is a malignant bone cancer that is common in large and giant dog breeds such as golden retrievers.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):
    PRA is a group of eye diseases. They are responsible for the gradual deterioration of the retina. In the early stages of the disease, your retriever may become night-blind. As the disease progresses, he will also lose his daytime vision.
    Many dogs adapt to limited or complete vision loss very well, as long as their familiar surroundings remain the same.
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis:
    This is a problem with the heart. It is caused by a narrow connection between the left ventricle (out-flow) and the aorta. It can result in fainting and even sudden death. Your animal medical practitioner will be able to diagnose it and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease:
    This is an inherited blood disorder. It interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The primary symptom is excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. Several other symptoms can include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or even hemorrhaging in the digestive system.
    Unfortunately, there is no cure. A blood transfusion from a normal dogs is currently the only treatment.
    Most dogs with von Willebrand’s disease can lead a normal live. An animal medical practitioner can test your retriever for the condition.
    Dogs with von Willebrand’s disease should not be bred.

Can I Prevent Some Of These Health Problems?

Yes, often you can prevent some but not all.

  1. Some health problems are genetic
    This means that the problem is inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Golden Retrievers today because of unwise breeding practices.
  2. Other health problems are environmental
    This means that they are caused by the way you raise your retriever. Look at the rest of the articles on this website to see how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Golden Retriever puppy (or adult dog) in the right way.

We are not a qualified as a vet or veterinary professional and as such cannot offer detailed veterinary medical advice in any way. The conditions we describe here are for your information only. You must always consult a qualified vet when it come to medical problems with your Golden retriever.

Wikipedia: Golden Retriever common health problems


Hi, my name is Stuart and with my wife, Shona, we are the proud owners of two Golden Retrievers. Our boy Marley and our little girl Chloe.

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