Health issues in Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are spirited and come with bags of energy. However, as the owner of one of these lovely dogs you’ll need to be aware that they can come with certain health issues, which are inherited through the bloodline. Here are the major ones to be aware of.

Hip dysplasia
When the thigh bone of femur doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint, it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, as well as lameness. One or both legs can be affected. The condition can develop into arthritis as the dog gets older, causing further issues. A dog with a history of hip dysplasia should never be bred from. Ask your breeder if there is any hip dysplasia in the bloodline and if they have screened for the condition.

Elbow dysplasia
Similar to hip dysplasia but found in the elbows, this condition usually affects the front legs where it causes lameness.

Cataracts
When the clear part of the eye becomes cloudy, it is usually the result of a condition known as cataracts. This can happen to dogs of any age and in severe cases it can prevent the dog from being able to see properly. In some cases, surgery can be performed that will remove the cataracts.

PRA (Progressive Renal Atrophy)
When the retina degenerates, this eye disease results and can cause night blindness in dogs and later on these dogs can go completely blind.

Hypothyroidism
This disorder occurs when the thyroid gland becomes under active. This causes a range of secondary symptoms like seizures weight gain, hair loss, lethargy and skin conditions. Medication can help to manage the condition.

Von Willebrand’s Disease
This condition happens when there is an absence of a certain compound in the blood. The result is that the blood is less able to clot as it normally would after a cut or scrape. Excessive bleeding is the main symptom to look out for.

Epilepsy
Characterised by fits or seizures which come on suddenly, epilepsy in dogs can be managed with medication, but is usually a lifelong affliction.

Osteosarcoma
This is a bone cancer that is frequently found in larger breeds like the Golden Retriever.

Now that you know some of the potential health risks, it’s time to look for a reputable and health conscious breeder to get your Golden Retriever puppy from. Don’t be afraid to ask for a health certificate from a registered vet, and ask plenty of questions about the puppies and their family history. Good luck!

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