Common Golden Retriever Health Problems

By September 16 | See Comments

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Golden retrievers are loved by people all around the world because they're majestic, loyal, and friendly. They're quite intelligent animals and are excellent hunting dogs. However, it's not all good. Just like other dogs, golden retrievers are subject to health problems. Let's take a look at some of them.

  1. Hip dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is one of the most common health issues that golden retrievers face. It's quite common in medium to large dog breeds, and golden retrievers aren't an exception. Hip dysplasia refers to abnormal growth or development of the ball as well as socket joint of a dog's hips. A golden retriever suffering from hip dysplasia has a deformed joint as well as socket at the hip. Untreated hip dysplasia often comes in rapid hip degeneration which usually results in the dog being unable to walk.
  2. Cancer – Close to 50% of all golden retrievers develop cancer. The breed is unusually susceptible to cancer. It is the leading cause of death in the breed. Cancer usually shows up when golden retrievers reach middle age. The most common form of cancer is hemangiosarcoma.
  3. Von Willebrand Disease – VWD is quite a common disease in golden retrievers. It’s a genetic blood disorder which is caused by a missing or defective von Willebrand factor (VWF) which is a clotting protein. Golden retrievers who suffer from VWD are likely to bleed excessively from injuries. In fact, excessive bleeding from the nose or gums is common for golden retrievers suffering from VWD. Some golden retrievers experience blood in their urine and develop internal organ bleeding as a result of VWD.
  4. Cataracts – Golden retrievers are prone to cataracts as well as abnormalities of the eyelids or eyelashes. These problems usually develop when a golden retriever is 4 or 5 and can result in reduced vision or even blindness.
  5. Bloat and GDV – All large, barrel-chested dog breeds are prone to bloat. When a dog's stomach fills with gas, food or fluid and rapidly expands, the dog is said to be suffering from bloat. This rapid expansion puts extra pressure onto the dog's other organs with damaging repercussions such as torn stomach walls, slow blood flow, and interruption or a dog's normal breathing. Often, a dog's stomach will flip upside down, which results in GDV (gastric dilatation-volvulus). GDV traps blood in the stomach, which stops it from reaching different parts of the body. Untreated GDV can result in a dog dying within a couple of hours.

As you can see, golden retrievers make lovable pets but come with a lot of responsibility. Prevention is better than cure. Taking your dog to the vet every six months should be more than enough to spot potential issues before they become life-threatening.

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