Are you a Golden Retriever owner or looking to adopt one? There are many Golden Retriever health problems you need to be aware of to prepare yourself.
10 Golden Retriever Health Problems You Should Be Aware Of
Everyone loves the Golden Retriever – They’re fun-loving, affectionate, and loyal, and their never-ending bursts of energy truly make them the perfect puppy friend. As soon as we bring them into our homes, they become a part of the family, providing us with companionship and security.
However, with the good times come the bad, and most dog owners don’t like to think about their pet getting sick. Golden Retrievers, in particular, face some alarming health issues that all owners should be aware of. No matter how cute and playful your Golden is on the outside, they could be a ticking timebomb on the inside.
Let us discuss 10 of the most common Golden Retriever health problems and how you can prepare yourself to deal with them:
1. Skin Conditions
Golden Retrievers are prone to skin diseases since their dense multi-layer coat makes a perfect home for infectious bacteria. Goldens develop skin problems almost every day like allergies, which cause flaky, itchy red skin that may lead to serious infections like Pyoderma.
Most skin problems come from dirt, pollen, food, fleas, mites, ticks, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and weather changes. If you see your Golden scratching excessively, it’s time to visit the vet and prevent a possible serious problem. Common skin diseases and their symptoms include:
- Lick Granuloma –Consistent licking of the lower portion of legs.
- Seborrhea –An inflammatory disease in which Goldens excessively discharge sebum from their sebaceous glands.
- Lipomas –This is a tumor of fatty tissue on the body.
Golden Retrievers have the highest cancer rate among all dog breeds. According to many sources, nearly 60% of all Goldens die from a type of cancer. The most common Golden cancer in the United States is Hemagiosarcoma that creates blood-filled channels and spaces in the body. Other forms of cancers include:
Golden Retrievers that survive cancer require supplemental support to aid their bodies, which reduces their lifespan.
3. Hip Dysplasia
Hip Dysplasia is one of the most common Golden Retriever health problems. It is a form of arthritis that occurs as a result of abnormal growth and development of the ball and socket joint in the hips. A golden with this disease will have a deformed hip joint and socket, which may result in a permanent walking disability along with inflammation and pain.
As dogs grow older, they need support for their joints, organs, and immune system. So, it is important to maintain a healthy diet for your Golden and also ensure that they do not become obese.
4. Elbow Dysplasia
Meet Hip Dysplasia’s evil cousin, equally dangerous and concerning. Elbow Dysplasia is one of the most commonly occurring diseases found in Golden Retrievers. And they can cost up to $4000 to diagnose and treat depending on the severity of the disease. Goldens of any age can suffer from this disease, and it’s important to observe their walking and running patterns to monitor any weird postures.
5. Chest Conditions
Golden Retrievers are more prone to chest conditions compared to their other dog breeds, including their cousin, the Labrador Retriever. They develop conditions of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system such as Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS).
This condition narrows the front part of the aorta, which carries oxygenated blood to different organs. When space is narrowed, it disrupts the blood flow causing the heart to work more than normal. This condition can become deadly as the opening narrows down over time.
6. Luxating Patella (Loose Knees)
Loose knees or Luxating Patella is a Golden Retriever health problem in which the kneecap moves out of position. Symptoms include limb, loss of limb support, change in sitting posture, and skipping. The condition usually occurs in Golden puppies and becomes evident when they’re 4-6 months old. You can use different strength formula for dogs to re-establish strength in the dog’s cartilage.
7. Ear Infections
Ear infections are common in all dog breeds. However, Golden Retrievers are more prone to them due to their big, floppy ears. And because of the lack of airflow, they don’t stay dry and become itchy or smelly.
Watch out for your dog shaking his head and scratching aggressively. The good news is that you can treat ear infections at home, but only if you detect it early. Otherwise, a trip to the vet becomes mandatory.
Cataracts are one of the most common eye problems Golden Retrieverssuffer from. These problems may cause poor vision or even blindness if left untreated or may lead to abnormalities of the eyelids and lashes. The condition usually occurs in older dogs between ages 4-5. However, vision loss can be restored. However, it requires surgery in which the doctor removes the lens and replaces it with a plastic or acrylic one.
9. Low Thyroid
The thyroid gland produces a hormone called thyroxine that regulates your dog’s metabolism. Low Thyroid is a condition in which the gland simply doesn’t produce enough thyroxine, which causes hair loss, weight gain, muscle loss, infections, and flakey skin. It could also lead to abnormal growth and permanent disabilities.
10. Von Willebrand Disease
This is a genetic blood disorder that is common in Golden Retrievers. It occurs due to a missing or defective clotting protein (Von Willebrand factor). A Golden that suffers from Von Willebrand disease suffers from excessive bleeding upon an injury. They may also bleed excessively from their gums or noses, as well as internally via urine.
Our Final Thoughts
Most Golden Retriever health problems are usually genetic, and being aware of them can help dog owners take the necessary steps to prevent or reduce risk escalations. Understanding these problems will also make you more alert for early signs of some of these diseases, so your Golden doesn’t remain in needless pain.