Caring for Goldens

Health Problems with Golden Retrievers

While the Golden Retriever is generally a healthy breed, there are a few health issues to which they are more prone. Among these are: cancer, hypothyroidism, heart disease, elbow & hip dysplasia, epilepsy, eyelash abnormalities, skin issues and stomach bloat.

Approximately half of all Golden Retrievers are affected by cancer. When cancer occurs in Golden Retrievers, it is usually between the ages of 8 and 13 years. However, it can occur at a younger age. Treatment options are the same as for humans: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Skin issues are fairly common in Golden Retrievers. In fact, about half the population of this breed suffers with a skin condition.
Due to their sensitivity to flea saliva, hot spots frequently occur.  Goldens are also sensitive to some lawn chemicals and shampoos.  As soon as a hot spot is detected, a veterinarian should see your dog.

Hip and elbow dysplasia is common in many breeds, including Golden Retrievers. An estimated 20 % of Goldens suffer with hip or elbow dysplasia. This is a genetic condition involving misalignment of the hip and/or elbow joints. Maintaining a healthy weight may treat this condition.  Your veterinarian prescribes sometimes supplements and pain medicine.

Heart disease is also a problem for Golden Retrievers, affecting 15% of the population.

Golden Retrievers are prone to Canine Epilepsy. Around 7% of Goldens have this disease. Epilepsy causes the dog to have seizures.  Epilepsy does not cause death and can be controlled with medicine.

Due to their deep chested structure, stomach bloat can be an issue for Golden Retrievers.

As with all breeds, the best way to keep your dog healthy is to keep regular check ups with your veterinarian.

– Scott Hall

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