The Most Common Diseases That Affect Golden Retrievers

The Most Common Diseases That Affect Golden Retrievers

There is hardly a dog as stately, loyal, and friendly as the Golden Retriever.

No wonder why it’s one of the favorite dogs of many families.

But beware, certain diseases and genetic health problems, that is to say, related to the breed, can affect the Golden Retriever.

This does not mean that your dog will have these problems; it just means it’s more at risk than other dogs.

Do you own a Golden Retriever?  In this case, it is important to be concerned about its health and be aware of the common diseases in this breed.

To best protect your dog, read this article on the most common  Golden Retrievers problems to give you an idea of ​​what could happen in their future.

Of course, we can’t cover all of the possibilities here, so always take your dog’s unusual symptoms seriously and see a vet whenever you are in doubt.

Golden Retriever Physical Characteristics

The Golden Retriever is a dog that is a little longer than it is tall and is characterized by its strong neck, broad head, and floppy ears.

A cousin of Labrador, the Golden Retriever was originally bred as a hunting companion for waterfowl retrieval. This explains, in particular, its athletic and robust morphology, accentuated by its well-developed hind and forelimbs, which give the Golden Retriever a gait that is both powerful and gentle.

The Golden Retriever’s coat, which usually comes in different shades of gold, is dense, long, and can be smooth or wavy.

Personality And Temperament Of The Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a very playful and athletic dog.

But while enjoying their active time outdoors, the Golden Retriever enjoys staying calm indoors just as much, which makes them a great pet for any type of family.

Loyal and obedient, the Golden Retriever is also one of the easiest dogs to train. Its enthusiasm for learning new things and its ability to quickly learn new commands make the Golden Retriever a pleasure to train.

Common Diseases Of The Golden Retriever

The average age of the Golden Retriever breed is 10 to 13 years old.

Robust, It’s still subject to certain diseases common in the breed. 

Common Golden Retriever health problems include:

  • hypothyroidism
  • subaortic stenosis
  • eye disorders
  • elbow dysplasia
  • and seizures

Osteosarcoma is also sometimes seen in Golden Retrievers. Other recurring health problems in the breed include lymphoma, hip dysplasia, hemangiosarcoma, obesity, and skin problems.

To identify these conditions in time, a veterinarian may recommend exams of the heart, hip, thyroid, eyes, or elbows during routine checks.

Here are some common Golden Retriever health problems  in detail  :

Cancer, a common health problem in Golden Retriever

Cancer is the most common cause of death in Golden Retrievers,  aged 12 or more. In fact, according to the data collected, about  60% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer.

The risk of female Golden Retrievers getting cancer is very high compared to males.

Among the different types of cancer common in Golden Retrievers are hemangiosarcoma, followed by lymphomas and melanomas.

Interestingly, the cancer rate in the Golden Retriever has increased over the past few decades, which means that the predisposition to cancer could be the result of a recently emerged genetic mutation.

Genetics also play a role. If two parents of dogs have cancer, their puppies may also have a predisposition to this disease. One more reason to buy only from reputable breeders or sources.

Many cancers are cured by surgical removal, and some types can be treated with chemotherapy. This is why early detection is essential!

We recommend that you take your Golden Retriever to the vet at least twice a year to make sure everything is okay.

In order to prevent cancer as best as possible, owners are also advised to:

  • Limit the time their dog spends in the sun
  • Manage their weight and avoid overeating
  • Exercise daily
  • Undergo regular veterinary examinations and check for skin problems
  • Limit exposure to smoke, charcoal, herbicides, pesticides, and kerosene-based products

If your Golden Retriever has cancer, consider calling on nature to help him fight the disease. CBD for example can be of great help in managing the pain and stress caused by these illnesses.

Common Golden Retriever Skin Problems

Due to its long, dense coat,  skin problems are common among Golden Retrievers. Bacteria can easily be trapped inside the coat of Golden Retrievers and then cause skin diseases.

According to vets, around  50% of Golden Retrievers suffer from skin problems. These include allergies and other skin problems (dermatitis, eczema, etc.), which can cause red, scaly, and itchy skin.

Skin problems are more common in dogs that are exposed to cold air, hot air, parasites, ticks, mites, fleas, dirt, and mold. Stress and anxiety are also possible factors for skin problems.

It is therefore important to be concerned about the health of your Golden Retriever’s skin and to make sure that it does not have serious conditions.

Von Willebrand disease in the Golden Retriever

Von Willebrand disease is quite common in the Golden Retriever.

It can be thought of as a blood disorder that originates in genes.

When the golden retriever has von Willebrand disease, they are more likely to bleed heavily after injury.

It is also more likely to bleed from the gums and nose. In some cases, the Golden Retriever will have to deal with internal bleeding. In this case, it is possible to find blood in the urine of the golden retriever.

Common heart disease in Golden Retriever

Like many other animals, Golden Retrievers are known to develop diseases of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system.

Among heart disease, large breeds like the Golden Retriever most often develop a congenital disease called subvalvular aortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the anterior part of the aorta, the artery that carries oxygenated blood out of the heart.

When it narrows, blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta is partially blocked, causing the heart to work harder than normal. Over time, the heart has a harder time expelling enough blood, which can lead to death.

If your dog has this problem, It may pass out or appear to lack energy during exercise. It may also have difficulty breathing, coughing, or not growing as much as It should.

If you suspect heart disease, see your vet.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Golden Retriever

Dysplasia is identified as one of the most common health problems that can have a Golden Retriever.

This joint problem may be due to a birth defect or a deformity over time. Hip or elbow dysplasia is characterized by two bones that do not fit together well. This instability of the joint then causes osteoarthritis.

Sometimes hereditary, it can also be non-genetic and due to factors such as obesity, excessive activity, or poor diet.

If you notice your dog having difficulty getting up, favoring one paw, or having slow, stiff movements, please take him to the vet immediately.

To reduce pain and inflammation, you can also use CBD, a hemp extract with natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Cataracts in the Golden Retriever

One of the most common eye problems in Golden Retrievers is cataracts and abnormalities of the eyelids or eyelashes. These eye problems usually develop around the age of 4-5 years and can lead to poor vision or even blindness.

Common ear infections in Golden Retriever

Ear infections can be found in all dog breeds, but due to the Golden Retriever’s large floppy ears, they are much more susceptible to developing problems.

If your Golden Retriever’s ear itches, reddens, and smells bad, or if you notice your dog aggressively shaking Its head and scratching excessively, there may be cause for concern.

Although it can be treated at home, it is important to catch an ear infection early.

Check and wash your Golden Retriever’s ears regularly to prevent ear infections or other infections.

Diabetes in the Golden Retriever

Diabetes mellitus is a  fairly common disease in dogs.

All breeds can be affected, but the Golden Retriever has an above-average incidence. Diabetic dogs are unable to regulate sugar metabolism and require daily insulin injections.

It is a serious illness that is important to diagnose and treat as soon as possible. Symptoms include increased eating and urination, as well as weight loss.

Treatment requires a serious commitment in terms of time and resources. However, nowadays, well-controlled diabetic dogs have the same lifespan as other dogs.

Common liver problems in Golden Retriever

Your Golden Retriever is also more likely than other dogs to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt.

In this disease, part of the blood supply that should go to the liver bypasses it, depriving the liver of the blood flow it needs to grow and function properly.

If your dog has this disease, Its liver cannot effectively remove toxins from Its bloodstream.

If your dog is exhibiting symptoms such as stunted growth or seizures, it is important to make an appointment with the vet who will examine his blood and possibly perform an ultrasound of Its liver.

Surgery may be necessary, but in some cases, this can be treated with diet and special medications.

Epilepsy, a common health problem in Golden Retriever

Epilepsy is the most common neurological problem in dogs and even more so in Golden Retriever.

It is characterized by recurrent seizures that result from abnormal brain activity.

A seizure can take many different forms, which sometimes makes diagnosis difficult.

Some dogs have seizures that are localized to a specific location on the body, such as muscle convulsions in one part of the face. Other dogs have generalized seizures, which affect the entire brain and multiple areas of the body. Chewing, salivation, and rowing on the paws are all classic signs of a generalized seizure in a dog.

If your dog is having a seizure, immediately remove any dangerous objects around It to prevent injury.

The good news is, you don’t need to put anything in its mouth because dogs are not at risk of choking in a seizure-like humans.

Common thyroid problems in Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are prone to a common condition called hypothyroidism, in which the body does not make enough thyroid hormones.

Signs may include dry skin and coat, hair loss, susceptibility to other skin diseases, weight gain, fear, aggression, or other changes in behavior.

A blood test will be done every year to check for the disease.

Separation anxiety, a common behavioral disorder in Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are loyal and courageous. Yet many of them suffer from stress and anxiety.

Like most dogs, they enjoy their routine and find it difficult to cope with changes. But even more than other breeds, Golden Retrievers can easily be prone to separation anxiety. That is the fear of being separated from the loved one.

It is therefore important to educate them well from an early age so that they are as little dependent as possible on you.

If your Golden Retriever is prone to separation anxiety, consider giving them CBD alongside specific education exercises. This hemp extract will calm and relax your companion in a natural and gentle way.


Taking Care Of Your Golden Retriever At Home

A Lot of what you can do to keep your dog healthy is common sense, just like humans.

  • Be sure to stick to the schedule for recommended exams and vaccinations.
  • Watch your pet just like you would a toddler. Keep the doors closed, collect your belongings, and block the rooms if necessary. This will keep It out of trouble and keep It away from things that It should not put in Its mouth.
  • Brush it thoroughly at least once a week.
  • Golden Retrievers generally have good teeth, but you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!
  • Clean Its ears every week, even when It’s just a puppy.
  • The Golden Retriever is an intelligent dog who has a lot of energy, so keep Its mind and body active or It will get bored.
  • Make sure your dog’s diet is balanced, of high quality, and age-appropriate. The Golden Retriever is easily prone to obesity.
  • Call a veterinarian if there is a physical abnormality or a sudden change in behavior.

What To Look For In A Golden Retriever

Any abnormal symptom could be a sign of a serious, minor, or temporary problem. The important thing is to know what it is and to seek veterinary help in an emergency. Many illnesses cause a combination of symptoms in dogs which together can be a clear signal that your Golden Retriever is in need of care.

Call a veterinarian if you notice any of these types of signs:

  • Changes in appetite or water consumption
  • Tartar buildup, bad breath, red gums or broken teeth
  • Itchy skin (scratching, chewing or licking), hair loss
  • Lethargy
  • Fear, aggression
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions
About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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