Golden Retriever is a great dog in many ways but unfortunately this canine is not completely problem-free. And unfortunately the main concern here is Golden Retriever health. Do not think that adopting a Golden Retriever you'll inevitably face health problems, but it does mean that some prevention methods are absolutely necessary.
Let's have a look at the most common Golden Retriever health problems and ways of their prevention.
Cancer is a leading cause of untimely death in Golden Retriever. There are some things a vet can do about it but unfortunately many dogs are euthanized due to pain caused by cancer. Normally it is treated surgically or with the use of chemotherapy.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia is fairly common in Goldens. It is an abnormal development of hip and elbow joints resulting in development of Arthritis. Usually this condition is very painful and may cause lameness. The condition also affects general physical and mental health since it restricts ability of this extremely active dog to move and exercise. Although there are ways to treat hip and elbow dysplasia, there are also way to minimize the risk of their development. These diseases are passed genetically. It's a good idea always to ask for a health certificate stating that a pair pair processes no signs of these diseases before adopting a puppy.
Cataract is another common Golden Retriever Health problem that develops as a dog ages. The disease affects dog's ability to see and may result in total blindness. In many cases cataract is surgically treatable but with certain limitations. A prevention method is the same as with hip dysplasia — choosing a pup form a good bloodline will consistently reduce chances of adopting a dog predisposed to cataract.
Mostly caused by flea bites allergies are most commonly seen on Goldens skin and sometimes ears, nose and other body parts. Allergies may also be caused by food or some additives to food as well as chemicals stored at home. It is important to isolate your dog from the source of allergy to prevent its further development. Allergies may be confirmed by intradermal skin testing as well as by blood tests.
Some owners believe that Golden Retrievers have self-discipline in eating and grant them unlimited access to food. It can not be further from truth! As most of dog breeds the Goldens love eating. It's just in their nature. Scheduled feeding is the only proper way to organize the Golden's nutrition. It also helps to monitor dog's health since abnormal appetite or lack of it may be the signs of health problems.
von Willebrand disease (vWD)
This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans — a condition characterized by a low level of blood clotting. Dogs with this condition may bleed to death in surgery or from minor injuries. Although this condition can not be rented, a dog's heath may be supported by transmissions with blood of healthy dogs. In some cases doses of steroid hormone may be helpful as well. The disease is passes genetically, so the main way of fighting it in the breed is by exclusion of vWD positive dogs from breeding programs.