The Golden Retriever is a wonderful family pet. Choosing a Golden Retriever is one of the best choices you could make when selecting a family pet. But like every other breed, the Golden Retriever has health issues that are hereditary.
When purchasing a Golden Retriever puppy, go to a reputable breeder who has screened the parents of the litter and who will disclose the results to prospective buyers.
Hip dysplasia refers to the malformation of the hip joint. It occurs in many larger breed dogs and is usually inherited. Signs of hip dysplasia usually appear between four and twelve months of age. Symptoms are from mild stiffness to severe lameness. Symptoms can improve or disappear as the dog matures. Older Golden Retrievers may develop arthritis or discomfort from having hip dysplasia.
Regular, moderate exercise and weight control are important in managing hip dysplasia. Even if the symptoms are resolved, this regiment should continue.
Hip dysplasia can be treated with dietary supplements, medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the hip dysplasia.
Elbow dysplasia is a condition involving multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint, especially the growth of cartilage or structures surrounding it.
Elbow dysplasia often appears as lameness in the front leg of a young dog. Elbow dysplasia is not as common as hip dysplasia. It is also inherited.
Dogs with elbow dysplasia can live happy normal lives. It can be managed by dietary supplements, exercise restrictions, medication or surgery depending on the severity of the elbow dysplasia.
Hereditary and non-hereditary cataracts are common in Golden Retrievers. Non-hereditary cataracts may appear in dogs 1-3 years of age. These cataracts usually to do cause any functional impairment.
Pigmentary uveits can develop in middle-aged or senior Golden Retrievers. Yearly eye examinations are necessary. As the pigmentary uveitis progresses, redness and tearing may occur. The disease could progress to glaucoma. Surgery may be necessary to correct this disease. This is also hereditary.
Eyelid and eyelash disorders may occur and are believed to be hereditary. Eyntropin and ectropion cause the eyelids to roll or outward. . Distichchiasis is a condition in which misdirected hairs touch and irritate the surface of the eye. Surgery may be necessary to correct these problems.
A very small percentage of Golden Retrievers inherit a heart disease called subvabular aortic stenosis. It is not common in the breed but it can be serious.
Affected dogs may not show signs of the disease, robbing them for a chance of treatment in their prime.
All breeding dogs over the age of 12 months should be examined for this disease. If a murmur is detected, more testing will be recommended.
Golden Retrievers have a high chance of getting cancer. 60% of Golden Retrievers die from cancer (hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumors and osteosarcoma).. It may be because of a genetic mutation. The lifespan is a Golden Retriever is 10 to 12 years.
Genetics plays a role. If the parents of a puppy had cancer, the puppy may have a predisposition to cancer. It may also be possible the one parent had cancer. It is very important to buy from a reputable breeder.
To help prevent cancer in your dog, keep him at a healthy weight, feed an anti-inflammatory diet, reduce his exposure to toxins, and refuse unnecessary vaccinations.
It is also important to take your Golden Retriever, or any dog, to the vet at least twice a year to make sure your Golden Retriever is healthy.
Some Goldens may be prone to seizures. If your dog has a seizure, move everything away, out of his path so he won’t hurt himself if he rolls into anything during the seizure.
I had a dog that had seizures. He wasn’t a Golden Retriever. He was a mixed breed. He used to role during his seizures. So we had to move everything and cover pointy edges. When he came out of the seizures, he looked afraid. The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) requests that results from hip, elbow, eye and heart examinations be put on the public record on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals at www.offa.org. The screening results of the parents of the puppy you are thinking about purchasing should be available on this data base. Although every breeder should give this information to a prospective customer.He didn’t know what happened. I would calm him down. He would be okay. It didn’t happen very often.
The good thing is that a dog cannot swallow his tongue.
Breeders usually describe their dogs as “hip, elbow, eye and heart certified” or as” having all their clearances”. This can be verified on the website.
All dogs with any of these issues should not be bred.
I had my Golden Retriever for 12 years. During that time he was very healthy. He did not have hip or elbow dysplasia, eye disease, heart disease or epilepsy.
Sadly, he did die of cancer. Buddy developed lymphoma when he was 12 years. He lived the Golden Retriever’s lifespan.
My point is your Golden Retriever does not have to develop any of these diseases.
Regular checkups, good diet, exercise and love is the recipe for a happy life with your Golden Retriever.
Love and take care of your Golden Retriever and he will give you love and happiness many times over.