Managing Golden Retriever Health Problems and Training

Golden Retriever

The most popular dog in America is the golden retriever, which has a reputation for being sweet, loyal, and intelligent. But these dogs are not perfect. They have health problems that need to be managed, just like any other breed.

Here are some of the common health conditions that you may encounter with this breed.

Eye disorders

Golden Retrievers

One of the most common eye disorders to affect golden retrievers is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). This condition causes blindness by destroying the outer area of the retina, but it does not affect vision at all. It occurs when an individual inherits one of two recessive genes from both parents. The only way to detect PRA is through genetic testing. If you’ve ever met a golden retriever who had a patchy-looking coat or whose eyes were crossed, they probably already have PRA.

Other than PRA, there are several other eye diseases that can afflict golden retrievers. These include cataracts, glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, and lens luxation.

Hip dysplasia

Golden Retrievers

Hip dysplasia is another condition that affects many breeds of dogs. In order to develop hip dysplasia, a puppy must be exposed to the same stresses and strains as their littermates throughout his life. Golden retrievers are particularly prone to developing hip dysplasia because of their short legs.

Other breeds of dogs with short legs include Boxers, bulldogs, pugs, Doberman pinschers, Great Danes, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Rottweilers, and Saint Bernards. There are also certain environmental factors that increase your chances of getting hip dysplasia. For example, if you live on a farm, you might get more cases than someone who lives in a city apartment.

Knee injuries

Golden Retrievers

Knee injuries are very common among golden retrievers. This is due to their short legs and long bodies. Kicking and running tend to cause stress fractures in their knees, which can become infected and require surgery if left untreated.

Liver disease

Golden Retrievers

One of the biggest concerns regarding golden retrievers is their predisposition to liver disease. This is especially true if your dog eats raw meat. The high levels of protein in raw meats can result in fatty deposits in the liver, which are difficult to remove. Some breeds of dogs are even more susceptible to liver disease than others. Golden retrievers are one of those breeds.

Nasal tumors

Golden Retrievers

This breed of dog has been known to develop nasal tumors called polyps. This problem is rare, but it’s important to know about so that you don’t overlook it. A tumor in the nose could block airflow and lead to breathing difficulties. If you notice a growing mass on your dog’s snout, it should be examined by a veterinarian immediately.

Skin infections

Golden Retrievers

A few skin problems can pop up in golden retrievers, including ringworm, mange, and fleas. Ringworm is the most common skin infection to affect this breed. Mange is less common, but it’s still common enough that it warrants mention here. Fleas are also fairly common, but they’re easily treated. Both mange and ringworm can spread, but fleas usually do not.

Spinal cord injury

Golden Retrievers

Most golden retriever owners never consider spinal cord injury as a potential issue, but this can happen. Sometimes the injury results from a fall or from playing too rough with your pet. Other times, it happens while performing a procedure such as spaying or neutering. Regardless of how it happened, having a paralyzed dog is heartbreaking.

Testicular cancer

Golden Retrievers

Not surprisingly, testicular cancer isn’t uncommon in golden retrievers. This type of cancer is caused by exposure to toxins and carcinogens. For example, if you use pesticides on your lawn, you might risk exposing your golden retriever to those chemicals. Exposure to radiation is another possible cause. Radiation therapy for humans can also trigger testicular cancer in dogs because it damages DNA. Golden retrievers are at higher risk of this kind of cancer than any other breed of dog.

How to manage Golden Retriever health problems

Dogs who are healthy are much easier to train. However, if you have a sick or injured dog, training him will take longer and be harder. Most issues can be resolved with proper care and treatment. Here are a few examples of what you can do.

If you think that your dog has ringworm, treat him with topical medication and follow up regularly to make sure he stays clear of the infection.

If you think that your dog has mange, clean his coat daily and give him baths to help control the itching.

If you think that your dog has cancer, you should schedule regular visits to the vet. Your vet can administer chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat them.

If you think that your dog has spinal cord damage, you shouldn’t let him run around too much until he recovers. You can help him recover faster by making sure that he gets plenty of exercise and rest. Also, try to avoid sudden movements.

If you suspect that your dog has kidney disease, make sure that he takes regular walks and gets plenty of fresh air. Also, keep an eye out for any symptoms that indicate kidney failure. You should consult with your vet if you see any signs of trouble.