Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia, but that popularity comes with risks, like a lot of health issues due to inbreeding and improper breeding practices. But, what health issues do golden retrievers have. If you are considering getting a golden retriever, you need to know about some of their more common health issues so you can be prepared to handle them and avoid the heartbreak of having your dog pass away early because of some avoidable issue that could have been solved with proper preventive care. Here are some main health issues to watch out for when owning golden retrievers, along with some advice on how to handle them properly.
1) Genetic health issues
Unfortunately, due to their popularity, Golden Retrievers are often bred without much thought for their health. This has led to a number of genetic health issues plaguing the breed. Some of the most common include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, cancer, and allergies. Because of these health issues, it’s important to make sure you have insurance for your Golden Retriever.
2) Hip dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common health issue in golden retrievers. It’s a genetic condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally. This can lead to pain, lameness, and arthritis. Early diagnosis and treatment are important. Surgery may be needed in severe cases. Some insurance companies will not cover dogs with hip dysplasia, so it’s important to check your policy before you get a golden retriever.
3) Eye problems
Unfortunately, many golden retrievers suffer from eye problems. Some of the most common include cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma. While there is no guarantee that your dog will not develop any of these conditions, there are some things you can do to help prevent them. For example, make sure you take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups and keep their vaccinations up-to-date. You might also want to consider getting pet insurance to help cover the cost of treatment if your dog does develop a problem.
4) Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
Degenerative myelopathy is a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord and is the most common cause of hind-end paralysis in older dogs. It’s important to be aware of the signs of DM so you can get your dog treatment as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve your dog’s quality of life and extend their life expectancy.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in older Golden Retrievers. While all dogs are at risk for developing cancer, Golden Retrievers have a 60% chance of developing the disease during their lifetime. The most common types of cancer in Golden Retrievers are lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. Early detection is key to treatment and survival, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer in your dog.
6) Patellar luxation
Patellar luxation is a common health issue in golden retrievers. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of place, causing pain and lameness. Fortunately, patellar luxation can be treated with surgery. However, it’s important to catch it early, as the longer it goes untreated, the more damage it can cause.
7) Von Willebrand disease (vWD)
vWD is a bleeding disorder that affects both humans and dogs. It’s caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor, which is a protein that helps blood clot. vWD can cause excessive bleeding from minor injuries, and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening. There is no cure for vWD, but treatment can help manage the symptoms. Some affected dogs may need blood transfusions or other medical interventions.
8) Bloat and torsion
One of the most serious health issues that can affect your golden retriever is bloat and torsion. Bloat is a condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood flow. This can be fatal if not treated immediately. Some of the symptoms of bloat include restlessness, pacing, drooling, and abdominal pain. If you think your dog may be bloated, it is important to get them to the vet right away.
Epilepsy is one of the most common health issues in golden retrievers. It’s a neurological disorder that causes seizures. Seizures can be mild or severe, and they can happen randomly or in clusters. Epilepsy is usually treated with medication, but some dogs may also need surgery.
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