9 min read
Captivating brown eyes, bright coat like the sun and an adorable face that can retrieve your happiness back from the depths of the earth. There’s nothing better than the word ‘joy’ to describe our beautiful Golden Retrievers!
As pet parents, we wish for our pets to live healthier and happier lives with us. It’s important that we read up on the history of our dog’s breed and provide care that suits their needs. In this blog, we’ll touch upon 5 common health problems in Golden Retrievers, symptoms to identify them and how we can help our Goldies live their best lives.
Golden Retrievers are working dogs and were first bred in Scotland in the mid-19th century by a man called Dudley Marjoribanks who was looking for a loyal and intelligent hunting dog who excelled in retrieving game from both land and water. Today, Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds due to their friendly and gentle nature.
However, evolution and constant breeding of these beings have resulted in common genetic health issues. Now this doesn’t mean that all Golden Retrievers will have each of these health problems, it simply means that these breeds are susceptible to these illnesses.
Explore Here: Essentials To Keep Your Golden Retriever Happy
Hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers is one of the more common health issues that can cause discomfort, pain and reduced mobility. But what does it mean? This condition is caused by an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dogs, leading to inflammation and eventually causing a degenerative joint disease.
Golden Retrievers are a large breed of working dogs that need a lot of physical exercise. When our dogs do not receive the intended exercise, it can lead to health and fitness related problems. Golden Retriever hip dysplasia can be traced back to genetics, poor diet and lack of exercise. It’s important that our Goldies maintain a healthy weight. Obesity in Golden Retrievers can trigger hip dysplasia and joint issues such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteochondritis and make movement difficult and painful. Symptoms include bunny-hopping gait, reduced range of motion, pain in extension of the joint, walking, decreased activity level, and a reluctance to climb stairs or jump.
Look for high-quality dog food and joint-support nutritious treats that contain essential nutrients like chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health as they can help slow the onset of the disease and alleviate the symptoms. Get in touch with your veterinarian so they can develop a diet and exercise plan that’s appropriate for your dog’s age and condition.
We love our dogs and the thought of anything happening to them is unsettling. However, just like humans, cancer in dogs is very much real. Cancer is a serious health problem in Golden Retrievers and can occur at any age. The breed prediliction may be towards lymphoma, mast cell tumours, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma. Early detection is possible if one remembers to look out for the signs.
Symptoms in Golden Retrievers can vary depending on the type of cancer. However, few early symptoms can include:
HUFT Tip: If you notice any of these signs, visit your vet immediately.
And while there are no guaranteed ways to prevent cancer in Golden Retrievers, there are preventive methods that can help reduce the risk. These include:
Two common Golden Retriever heart problems include dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and Aortic stenosis. DCM is a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and the heart muscle becomes weak This makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body effectively. Aortic stenosis, typically caused by a ridge or ring of fibrotic tissue within the left ventricular outflow tract just below the aortic valve (subaortic stenosis), is a common congenital defect of large breed dogs, which can cause the heart to work harder, and lead to heart failure if left untreated.
Symptoms of these two Golden Retriever heart problems include extremely lethargy, difficulty in breathing, coughing as well as fainting. It is important to consult your veterinarian on how you can keep your dog’s heart healthy. Regular screening can help catch any issues early on.
Seizures in Golden Retrievers can have many different causes, like epilepsy, brain tumours, infections, and toxins. Sudden and uncontrollable shaking or convulsions, drooling, loss of bladder and/or bowel control, and loss of consciousness are some symptoms of a seizure. In some instances, a seizure may last for several minutes, and the dog may seem confused or disoriented afterwards.
If your Golden Retriever experiences a seizure, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Your vet may perform diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the seizure and prescribe medications to manage future seizures. With proper care and management, many dogs with seizures can still lead happy and healthy lives!
Your pet can experience two kinds of thyroid issues. These include Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism, an under active thyroid gland, is the most common Golden Retrievers thyroid disorder. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in Golden Retrievers can include weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, dry skin, and a decreased tolerance for cold temperatures.
Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland, is less common in Golden Retrievers but can also occur. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism in Golden Retrievers can include weight loss, increased appetite, hyperactivity, and restlessness.
Blood tests can determine if your dog has a thyroid problem, and medication can often help regulate thyroid hormone levels and manage symptoms.
Some common health problems in Golden Retrievers include hip dysplasia, cancer, thyroid, heart issues as well as seizures. Skin issues such as hot spots, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy are also common. Regular vet visits can help detect these issues early on. Your veterinarian can help you diagnose and provide the treatment and management plan. It doesn’t mean that all Golden Retrievers will have any of these health problems, it simply means that these breeds are susceptible to these illnesses.
Elbow dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the elbow joints of dogs. It can be described as an abnormal development of the elbow joint in young, large, rapidly growing dogs. Long term, it can cause pain and can even lead to arthritis. Symptoms include limping, stiffness, and a reluctance to move. If you notice any of these signs, reach out to your veterinarian.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer in Golden Retrievers or any other breed. However, you can reduce the risk by feeding your dog a healthy diet, keeping them at a healthy weight, and avoiding exposure to environmental toxins.
Eye diseases such as juvenile cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy can be hereditary in Golden Retrievers. Regular veterinary check-ups can help catch any potential eye problems early on. You can also consult them about taurine-rich diets for your dog as they are great for eyesight.
Look for genetic health the puppy is being considered, Provide high-quality dog food and joint-support nutritious treats that contain essential nutrients like chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health as they can help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers. Get in touch with your veterinarian so they can develop a diet, supplementation and exercise plan that’s appropriate for your dog’s age and condition.
Regular ear cleaning (without the use of ear buds or similar devices) and grooming can help prevent ear infections in Golden Retrievers. You can also talk to your vet about using ear cleaning solutions or other preventive measures.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism in Golden Retrievers may include weight gain, lethargy, bilateral hair loss, skin problems, and intolerance to cold temperatures. These symptoms should be confirmed by a veterinarian by a blood test.
Allergies in Golden Retrievers can be caused by a variety of factors, including food, environmental allergens, and flea/tick bites. To prevent allergies, you can work with your vet to identify the cause of your dog's allergy and develop a treatment plan that may include avoiding the allergen, medication, or immunotherapy.
Dental problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay, can be prevented in Golden Retrievers by regularly brushing their teeth with a dog-friendly toothpaste, providing them with dental chews or toys. Additionally, feeding your dog a high-quality diet can help maintain their dental health.
3.10. How can I help my Golden Retriever maintain a healthy weight?
To help your Golden Retriever maintain a healthy weight, you should feed them a balanced diet and avoid overfeeding. Additionally, providing plenty of opportunities for exercise and playtime can help keep your dog active and healthy. A game of fetch and water exercises can also help!
3.11. What are some specific traits that are unique to Golden Retrievers that can cause these health issues?
Poor breeding coupled with poor nutrition is the root cause of most health issues in Golden Retrievers. Care should be taken while giving your dog supplements. Ideally, this should be done in consultation with a vet. More is not merrier!
3.12. What are some home remedies or exercises that can help pet parents to prevent seizures in dogs?
It is advised not to depend on home remedies when dealing with significant health concerns in your dog. While preventing seizures associated with epilepsy, especially if it is hereditary, can be challenging, incorporating a healthy diet and appropriate exercise, in consultation with a veterinarian, can be helpful.
3.13. What are some Indian environmental factors that pet parents should be aware of that can cause these specific symptoms?
Given the challenging heat and humidity conditions in India, it is crucial to prioritise regular grooming for long-haired dogs. Ensuring their paws are consistently clean and dry is of utmost importance as it helps prevent problems associated with skin fungus.
3.14. Do other factors such as nutrition or grooming cause these health issues? If yes, then what are some of the precautions one can take?
Inadequate nutrition and insufficient grooming practices can lead to health-related issues. Therefore, it is advisable to provide a balanced diet with suitable supplements. When it comes to grooming, it is important to regulate the process. Daily bathing with soap or shampoo is not recommended as it strips the skin of its natural oils and can result in skin ailments. However, regular brushing helps prevent matting, while rinsing with water and ensuring thorough drying can increase their comfort in hot weather.
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