Golden Retriever Dog Breed
There is almost no dog as majestic, loyal and friendly as the Golden Retriever.
This is why it is one of the favorite dogs of the USA.
But beware, some diseases and genetic health problems, i.e. related to the breed, can affect the Golden Retriever.
This does not mean that your dog will have these problems; it simply means that he is 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 to be aware of the diseases that are common in this breed.
To best protect your dog, read this article on the most common problems encountered by Golden Retrievers to give you an idea of what could happen in his future.
Of course, we can’t cover all possibilities here, so always take your dog’s unusual symptoms seriously and consult a veterinarian as soon as you have any doubts.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER
The Golden Retriever is a dog a little longer than tall and is characterized by its strong neck, large head and drooping ears.
Cousin of the Labrador, the Golden Retriever was originally bred as a hunting companion for retrieving waterfowl. This explains in particular its athletic and robust morphology, accentuated by its well-developed hind and front limbs, which give the Golden Retriever a gait that is both powerful and gentle.
The Golden Retriever’s coat, which usually comes in various 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 sporty dog.
But if he enjoys his active time outside, the Golden Retriever also likes to stay calm inside, which makes him an excellent pet for any type of family.
Faithful and obedient, the Golden Retriever is also one of the easiest dogs to train. His enthusiasm for learning new things and his ability to learn new commands quickly 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 is nevertheless subject to certain diseases common in the breed.
Common health problems of the Golden Retriever include hypothyroidism, subaortic stenosis, eye problems, elbow dysplasia and epileptic seizures. Osteosarcoma is also sometimes observed in Golden Retrievers. Other recurring health problems in the breed include lymphomas, hip dysplasia, hemangiosarcoma, obesity and skin problems.
To identify these conditions in time, a veterinarian may recommend heart, hip, thyroid, eye or elbow examinations during routine check-ups.
To go further, here are some common health problems of the Golden Retriever in detail:
Cancer, a common health problem for Golden Retrievers
Cancer is the most common cause of death among Golden Retrievers, aged 12 years or older.
In fact, according to the data collected, approximately 60% of Golden Retrievers die of cancer.
The risk of female Golden Retrievers developing 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 rate of cancer in Golden Retrievers 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 plays a role. If both parents of dogs have cancer, their puppies may also have a predisposition to the disease. All the 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. That’s 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 in the best possible way, it is also advisable for owners of :
Limit the amount of time their dog spends in the sun
Manage their weight and avoid overeating
Regularly undergo veterinary examinations and check the absence of skin problems.
Limit exposure to smoke, coal, herbicides, pesticides and kerosene products
If your Golden Retriever develops cancer, consider using nature to help your Golden Retriever fight the disease. For example, CBD can be a great help in managing the pain and stress caused by these diseases.
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Common Skin Problems in Golden Retrievers
Because of its long and dense coat, skin problems are common among Golden Retrievers. Bacteria can easily become trapped inside the Golden Retriever’s coat and cause skin diseases.
According to veterinarians, about 50% of Golden Retrievers suffer from skin problems. These include allergies and other skin problems (dermatitis, exzema, etc.), which can cause red, scaly, itchy skin.
Skin problems are more common in dogs that are exposed to cold air, hot air, parasites, ticks, dust mites, fleas, dirt and molds. Stress and anxiety are also possible factors in skin problems.
Therefore, it is important to be concerned about the health of your Golden Retriever’s skin and make sure it is free of serious conditions.
Von Willebrand Disease in Golden Retrievers
Von Willebrand Disease is quite common in the Golden Retriever.
It can be thought of as a blood disorder that is caused by genes.
When the Golden Retriever has vWD, it is more likely to bleed heavily after an injury.
They are 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 Golden Retriever’s urine.
Common heart diseases in the Golden Retriever
Like many other animals, Golden Retrievers are known to develop diseases of the heart, lungs and circulatory system.
Among heart diseases, large breeds like Golden Retrievers 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, it becomes harder for the heart to pump out enough blood, which can lead to death.
If your dog has this problem, he may faint or appear to lack energy during exercise. He may also have difficulty breathing, cough or not grow as much as he should.
If you suspect heart disease, consult your veterinarian.
Golden Retriever Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Dysplasia has been identified as one of the most common health problems a Golden Retriever can have.
This joint problem may be due to a deformity at birth or a deformity over time. Dysplasia of the hip or elbow is characterized by two bones that do not fit together properly. This instability of the joint then causes osteoarthritis.
Sometimes hereditary, it can also be non-genetic and due to factors such as obesity, too much activity or poor nutrition.
If you notice that your dog has difficulty getting up, that he prefers one leg or that he has slow and 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.
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Cataract in the Golden Retriever
One of the most common eye problems among 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 and even blindness.
Common ear infections in the Golden Retriever
Ear infections can be found in all breeds of dogs, but because of the Golden Retriever’s large drooping ears, they are much more susceptible to developing problems.
If your Golden Retriever’s ear is itchy, red and smelly, or if you notice your dog shaking his head aggressively and scratching excessively, there may be cause for concern.
Although it can be treated at home, it is important to detect 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 Golden Retrievers have an above-average incidence.
Diabetic dogs are unable to regulate the metabolism of sugars and require daily injections of insulin.
This is a serious disease that it is important to diagnose and treat as early as possible.
Symptoms include an increase in eating and urination, as well as weight loss.
Treatment requires a serious commitment of time and resources.
Even so, these days, well-controlled diabetic dogs have the same life expectancy as other dogs.
Common Liver Problems in the Golden Retriever
Your Golden Retriever is also more likely than other dogs to have a liver disorder called portosystemic shunt.
In this condition, some 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 condition, his liver cannot effectively eliminate toxins from his bloodstream.
If your dog shows symptoms such as growth retardation or seizures, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian who will examine his blood and possibly perform an ultrasound of his liver.
Surgery may be necessary, but in some cases this can be treated with a special diet and medication.
Epilepsy, a common health problem for Golden Retrievers
Epilepsy is the most common neurological problem in dogs and even more so in Golden Retrievers.
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 area of the body, such as muscle convulsions in part of the face. Other dogs have generalized seizures, which affect the entire brain and multiple areas of the body. Chewing, salivation and paddling on the legs are all classic signs of a generalized seizure in a dog.
If your dog has a seizure, immediately remove any dangerous objects around him to prevent injury.
The good news is that you don’t need to put anything in his mouth, because dogs don’t pose the same choking hazard in a seizure as humans do.
Again, CBD is an anti-convulsant that can help you in crisis management. It has been proven to reduce the frequency of seizures by up to two times.
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Common Thyroid Problems in Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are subject to a common condition called hypothyroidism, in which the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones.
Signs may include dry skin and coat, hair loss, susceptibility to other skin diseases, weight gain, fear, aggression or other behavioural changes.
A blood test will be done every year to detect the disease.
Separation Anxiety, a common behavioural disorder in Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are loyal and courageous. Yet many of them suffer from stress and anxiety.
Like most dogs, they like their routine and can’t stand changes. But even more than other breeds, Golden Retrievers can easily be prone to separation anxiety. That is, the fear of being separated from their loved one.
It is therefore important to educate them well from an early age, so that they are as little dependent on you as possible.
If your Golden Retriever is prone to separation anxiety, consider giving him CBD along with specific educational exercises. This hemp extract will calm and relax your companion in a natural and gentle way.
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TAKING CARE OF YOUR GOLDEN RETRIEVER AT HOME
Much of what you can do to keep your dog healthy is common sense, just as it is for humans.
Be sure to follow the recommended schedule of tests and vaccinations.
Supervise your pet as you would a small child. Keep doors closed, pick up your belongings and block off rooms if necessary. This will keep him/her out of trouble and away from things that should not be put in his/her mouth.
Brush him carefully 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 his ears every week, even when he’s just a puppy.
The Golden Retriever is a smart dog with lots of energy, so keep his mind and body active or he will get bored.
Make sure your dog’s diet is balanced, high quality and age-appropriate. The Golden Retriever is easily prone to obesity.
Call a veterinarian in case of a physical abnormality or a sudden change in his behaviour.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN A GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Any abnormal symptom may be a sign of a serious, minor or temporary problem. The important thing is to know what it is and to seek veterinary assistance in an emergency. Many diseases cause a combination of symptoms in dogs that together can be a clear signal that your Golden Retriever needs care.
Call a veterinarian if you notice any of these types of signs:
Changes in appetite or water consumption
Accumulation of tartar, bad breath, red gums or broken teeth
Itchy skin (scratching, chewing or licking), loss of hair
Vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions