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10 Problems With Your Golden Retriever

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

You’re not here to listen to me flap my gums, here’s the information about problems with Golden Retrievers you came for. We’ve scanned the web and curated the best of the worst for you to get the truth fast. I am not a veterinarian, please click on the in-article links to see my references and do a deep dive on your own. Let's get tucked in. Hip Dysplasia As with most large dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and arthritis. While there are no known cures for hip dysplasia, some dog owners have found success with supplementation, premium food, and controlled exercise programs. Talk with your vet about the best options for your Golden, but glucosamine and chondroitin are great places to start. Cancer It is unfortunate, but Goldens are very prone to getting cancer. In fact, 60% of Golden Retrievers get some form of cancer in their life. We love all dogs, so this makes us very sad, but you’ve gotta know the truth, that’s what we’re here for. Unfortunately, your options are somewhat limited depending on the location and type of cancer, but surgery may be possible. Allergies Golden retrievers are often afflicted by numerous skin allergies. This can lead to excessive itching and discomfort for your pooch. Some owners report good results with a hypoallergenic bamboo shampoo. Common reaction locations include the ears, face, and side. Skin Conditions Your golden is also prone to other skin conditions, including hot spots and parasites. That thick fur is awesome for petting, but it also means a lot of breeding ground for unwanted bacterial growth and fungus. Properly bathing your canine companion is critical with golden retrievers. Eye Problems Glaucoma and cataracts are the most common eye problems among golden retrievers. Early detection is key, with treatments often adding years to your dog’s eyesight. Surgical options are possible if your Golden’s vision deterioration has progressed too far, but they are expensive, so be aware. Hyperthyroidism Symptoms to watch for here are hair loss on the back and trunk that doesn’t seem itchy, black patches on the skin, sluggishness, weight gain, and an inability to tolerate cold. It can also be linked to seizures and infertility, so keep a watch on your golden. There are drugs available to treat hyperthyroidism, so it need not be fatal. Get your pooch to the vet immediately if you notice these symptoms. Heart Disease Some Goldens are genetically predisposed to a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a complicated way of saying that their heart can become too big, the walls of the heart too thin, causing the heart to pump weakly. There are dietary aids and medications as long as your vet catches it early with a yearly ECG. Ear infections Dogs generally have relatively long ear canals, which makes them prone to ear infections. Your Golden is no different. In fact, because of the droopy quality of your retriever’s ears, they are a little bit more prone than most breeds to these canal inflammations. Make sure you are checking your dog’s ears regularly, but don’t overclean. Abrasions and cuts can make the condition worse. There are cleaning products available to help keep your dog hearing (but not listening to) your commands. Hemophilia It’s a scary word and a scary condition for your Golden Retriever. Hemophilia means that your pet cannot properly clot its blood if it gets a cut. If your Golden has signs of excess bleeding or bruising, you need to get to your vet ASAP. Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis This is another type of heart condition in which the left ventricle of the heart is obstructed, resulting in excessive pressure on that ventricle. If your dog faints, appears to be extremely labored in its breathing, or seems to be coughing frequently, you need to go to your veterinarian immediately. Medications do exist as long as you catch this early.


Thank you for learning more about the Golden Retriever you own or are thinking of owning. All dogs are good dogs, we owe it to them to make sure all owners are good owners. This list is not exhaustive and I hope you click the embedded reference links for deep dives. Until next time, keep being a different breed.




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