Golden retrievers are renowned for being some of the most loyal and amiable dogs on the planet, but they’re just as well known for being vulnerable to a number of different health conditions. Tight breeding has kept golden retrievers distinct in terms of personality, but it’s also exacerbated their vulnerability to specific conditions.
Your golden deserves the same kind of loyalty from you that they give to you — and that means being cognizant of any vulnerabilities they might have. Understanding the risk factors can help you better understand the issues they may face, and it can help you identify potential problems before they become too serious.
Elbow or Hip Dysplasia
Golden retrievers are the type of dog breed that needs to stay active, and that makes the condition known as dysplasia a particular point of concern. Dysplasia is similar to arthritis, and it occurs when the joint socket for their elbows or hips are misaligned. It’s a painful condition that can cause serious discomfort and limit your dog’s mobility seriously.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are especially common in goldens, but there are steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk. By incorporating supplements or dog foods that promote a healthy immune system and joint support, you can slow the degeneration. That’s especially necessary for older dogs, but it’s a good habit to start early.
Respiratory and Cardiovascular Issues
Large breeds are especially vulnerable to conditions that affect the circulatory and cardiovascular systems, and golden retrievers are no exception. Conditions related to heart and respiratory health can be tricky to identify. It can be difficult to tell if your dog is fatigued from an underlying issue or merely from overexerting themselves.
Subvalvular aortic stenosis is the most common heart issue that golden retrievers face, and you should take it into consideration if you’re concerned about your dog’s health. SAS can be hard to identify, but it can be treated. That’s just one reason why it’s important to bring your golden in for regular checkups and to closely monitor their everyday behavior.
Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is a condition that causes excessive bleeding. In that respect, it’s not dissimilar from armenia. The disease slows the production of protein in the body, and that means that they have trouble with blood clotting. In addition to injuries bleeding for longer, golden retrievers with Von Willebrand disease may be subject to chronic bleeding from the gums and nose.
Von Willebrand disease can’t be cured outright, but it can be managed. It’s worth knowing if your dog suffers from this condition to prevent a crisis situation, but you can take steps to reduce your risk once you know that your dog has the condition. There are a number of different blood clotting medications that can be prescribed by your doctor.
Golden retrievers have a bad habit of developing cataracts as they get older. Generally, this loss of eyesight will happen later in life. Most golden retrievers will start to experience issues around the age of four or five. This white or yellow film can impair a golden’s vision, or it can eventually lead to complete blindness.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot you can do to deal with cataracts. While feeding your dog a healthy diet is a good way to bolster their immune systems and minimize the risk of a number of conditions, cataracts will eventually develop in many goldens. The best option is to prepare for the possibility and manage their symptoms as best as you can.
Golden retrievers are vulnerable to a variety of different conditions, but that’s no excuse to live in fear. Be cognizant of the worst so you can properly prepare for it, but never let that awareness spoil your relationship with your golden retriever.
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