Common Health Problems

Common Health Problems

There are many common health problems that your Golden Retriever will experience from time to time.  Most of these ailments are nothing serious, providing you know how they should be treated and prevented.  Below, we will take a look at the most common ailments, and tell you how to prevent your Golden from getting them.

Distemper virus

The distemper virus is an airborne disease that poses a high risk.  This virus can be prevented by getting your Golden 3 different vaccinations when he is between 6 and 16 weeks of age, along with his regular annual booster shot.  The symptoms from this virus include fever, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting.  If your Golden Retriever has these symptoms, you should immediately take him to see the vet.

Heartworms

Heartworms are among the most common ailment with all dog breeds.  They can reach lengths of up to 12 inches in the heart and the lung arteries, leading to heart failure, a decrease in blood circulation, and even death in some cases.  The symptoms with heartworms may not appear until it is too late, so you are better off preventing them with the correct heartworm medicines.

Heatstroke

During the summer months or hot days, your Golden Retriever can get a heatstroke.  You can prevent this from happening by giving your dog plenty of water, and never leaving him in direct sunlight.  If you are playing together on a hot day, you should give him plenty of time to rest so he doesn’t overdo it.  The symptoms indicating a heatstroke include a lot of panting or drooling, dark gums, a glazed expression, rapid pulse, and even vomiting.  If your dog starts to show any of these symptoms, you should immediately take him to the vet.

Rabies

Rabies is one of the more serious ailments that your Golden Retriever can get, as it has an adverse affect on your dog’s nervous system.  Normally, dogs get rabies through a bite of another animal that is infected with the disease.  There are rabies shots that helps to prevent the disease, and your dog should get them at least once a year.  The symptoms of rabies include seizures, aggression, and foaming at the mouth.  If you suspect your Golden has rabies, you should call the vet immediately.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are normally caused by fleas, and affect your dog’s stomach.  The symptoms for tapeworms include a loss in weight, diarrhea, and even biting of the rectal area.  You can easily prevent your Golden from tapeworms by using a rigid flea control.  If your Golden Retriever exhibits symptoms for tapeworms, you should take him to the vet immediately.  If the vet catches them in time, he may be able to kill the tapeworms with an oral medicine.

Hookworms

Hookworms result from your Golden coming in contact with feces, his mother, or the worm simply burrowing under exposed skin.  You can prevent your dog from getting hookworms by cleaning his living area and keeping his skin clean.  The symptoms that accompany hookworms include a dry coat, weight loss, weakness, and blood in the stool.  As with all other ailments, you should immediately contact your vet if your Golden Retriever starts to show any of these symptoms.
Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is a genetic issue that starts to appear from the ages of 4 to 12 months. Not all puppies in a litter will develop it, though if your dog has canine hip dysplasia, she should not be bred.

Larger breed dogs have a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia, due to the greater weight these joints will have to bear. But it’s important to realize that small dogs can be affected also. Large breed dogs at risk include rottweilers, german shephards, golden retrievers, dalmations, and blood hounds.

Canine hip dysplasia affects the ball and socket joint of the hip. The head of the large bone in the dog’s leg doesn’t fit snugly into the hip socket. The problem is that the socket itself is not well developed, and it creates a lot of stress on the joint. The muscles don’t develop as quickly as the bone grows, and a situation is created where the weight the joint has to bear is greater than the capacity of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the joint. Thus joint instability develops. This in turn leads to a greater wear and tear than the joint would normally experience.

Canine hip dysplasia ranges from mild to moderate.
Eye And Heart Disease

Eye disease is very common with Golden Retrievers.  Most Golden’s will generally have hereditary cataracts, which is a common eye problem.  At an early age, with affected Golden’s, one type of hereditary cataract will appear.  Even though it may not cause interference with the vision of the Golden Retriever, some dogs will progress into total and quite possibly severe loss of vision.

Sometimes, Golden Retrievers can get affected by non hereditary cataracts, although an examination by a board certified veterinarian can determine just how bad the cataracts really are.  If cataracts are indeed suspected with a Golden Retriever, then breeding won’t be recommended.
Heart disease

SAS (Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis) is the most common and widespread form of heart disease within the entire Golden Retriever species.  Before you breed your Golden Retriever, you should always have him examined for heart disease by a certified veterinary cardiologist.  If the cardiologist detects a heart murmur, he will recommend additional tests for your dog.

In the event that the results prove negative, it doesn’t necessarily rule heart disease out, as some milder forms may still be present, although undetectable.

Although these are just some of the most common ailments for Golden Retrievers, there are other ailments and health problems that your dog can get.  If your Golden starts to show any signs of ailment, disease, or health problem, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your vet and set up an appointment.  Some of these diseases and ailments can be pretty serious – although they can be treated if you catch them in time.