There are reasons the friendly, goofy, and lovable golden retriever has held the top spot on the AKC list of the most popular dog since 1991. These affectionate and smart dogs are as content swimming and hiking the mountains in the lakes as couch potatoes or snuggle buddies in bed.
They shine as guides, therapy, service dogs, and lifelong family members.
While golden retrievers tend to be healthy dogs generally, anyone looking to add a golden retriever to their family should understand or research the lifetime commitment they are taking on by adopting the breed.
If you are wondering on how to take care of a golden retriever puppy, you should first understand that it is a purebred dog. Golden retrievers suffer health issues due to years of unethical breeding.
Common Health Issues for Golden Retrievers
For many parts, golden retrievers are usually a healthy breed. Still, due to unethical breeding, golden retrievers develop more risks of afflictions and illnesses like hip dysplasia, skin irritation and allergies, ear infections, hypothyroidism, cataracts, and bloating. If your pet needs medication, then you can download pet prescription discount card.
1. Hip Dysplasia
Many golden retrievers have shown dysplastic or abnormal hips, which means the bones do not come together properly. The abnormality happens in golden retrievers due to environmental and genetic factors.
Other factors contributing to hip dysplasia, especially in large breeds like golden retrievers, are poor nutrition, excessive weight, and the kind of exercise they do. Symptoms include decreased range of motion and activity, limping, stiffness, or lowered desire to climb stairs, run, or jump.
A range of treatment options is available for hip dysplasia, including weight loss, anti-inflammatory medicines, proper diet, and weight loss to more dramatic measures, including total hip replacement surgery.
2. Ear infections, Allergies, and Skin irritation
Retrievers are susceptible to allergies that may lead to other discomfort and health issues. Allergies found in the dog’s ears, belly, and feet usually surface between ages 1 and 3 for most golden retrievers.
Symptoms of allergies include paw licking, which may lead to infected and red paws, rubbing the ears and face, and frequent ear infections. Until the treatment of the underlying cause, the dog will likely continue to suffer from painful ear infections.
Treatment options include baths with oatmeal shampoo or another wash that can help to reduce skin exposure and soothe skin to any potential environmental allergies. Surprisingly, few golden do well with common antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec.
Owners who notice a golden scratching often or shake their heads should contact a vet for treatment options, especially before you give the dog any OTC allergy medication.
Golden retrievers are prone to hypothyroidism, a low concentration of thyroid hormones responsible for temperature control and metabolism. Due to environmental and genetic factors, thyroid diseases often happen in dogs, especially golden retrievers.
The common top symptom of hypothyroidism in golden retrievers is thinning hair, weight gain, lethargy, and intolerance to prolonged exercise. Hypothyroidism may lead to a lower body temperature, which leads the dog to seek out warm places to lie down.
Treatments for hypothyroidism in canines often include nutritional supplements that may treat the symptoms and promote a healthy and long life.
Golden Retrievers are prone to genetic eye conditions like cataracts, which may lead to blindness if you do not treat it right.
Juvenile cataracts often appear in golden retrievers between the ages of 1 and 3. Symptoms often include clouding the eye lens to give a white or grayish-blue discoloration. Cataracts may lead to blurry vision; leaving it untreated may eventually lead to blindness.
Golden retrievers are prone to gastric dilation volvulus or bloat, often in dogs with narrow, deep chests. Bloat kills 30% of dogs, even after intensive treatment, making it one of the most severe health issues prone to golden retrievers.
Bloat happens when the dog’s stomach fills in with air. The resulting pressure buildup may prevent blood from the abdomen and hind legs from returning to the heart. Blood pools in the back body, reduce the overall blood volume and send the dog into a state of shock.
Experts explain why golden and white retrievers are among America’s most popular dog breeds. The breed is perfect for people who love dogs. Owners need the energy and time to exercise their goldens daily, as the dog needs a moderate amount of exercise each day, including opportunities and walk to chase a ball, socialize and run with other dogs.
FAQs on the Health of Golden Retrievers
1. What are the most common diseases in golden retrievers?
The most frequent health problems seen in golden retrievers are hip dysplasia. It may result from environmental or genetic factors. Exercise, nutrition, and diet can help to reduce the chances of developing hip dysplasia.
2. Is there a disadvantage to owning a golden retriever?
There aren’t many downsides, but a few cons include the cost to feed these large breeds (55–75 pounds), their need for daily workouts, excessive shedding, and their chances of developing specific health problems.
3. What is the average life expectancy of a golden retriever?
Many golden retrievers may live up to 10 to 12 years, but some have lived 15 years or more.