Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in Indian families. However, they are susceptible to some diseases, so it is important to carefully monitor your pet's daily life. Any major changes in this routine should be investigated.
Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, a condition characterized by a deformity of the hip joint that eventually leads to arthritis. Symptoms of the disease can range from pets that are not as active as they should be to dogs that can barely get out of bed while lying down. The breed also has joint problems in other bones, especially the elbow and shoulder joints. The problem here usually appears as lameness in the front leg. A physical exam and x-rays will help confirm the diagnosis.
Hereditary cataracts are a common eye problem in Golden Retrievers. The problem can begin at a young age in affected Goldens, and while cataracts may or may not interfere with a dog's vision, some progress to severe or complete vision loss. Golden Retrievers can also have a genetic deficiency in the clotting factor. Dogs with this condition can experience symptoms ranging from very light to severe bleeding. This disease is possible if your pet is prone to death or excessive bleeding.
Hypothyroidism, a metabolic disorder characterized by an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone circulating in the blood, is common in this breed. Symptoms include obesity, lethargy and/or coat problems. Affected animals may also experience various reproductive problems, including irregular or lack of estrus (heat cycle) and reduced fertility.
Another hormonal problem in Goldens is called insulinoma. Dogs with this problem suffer from low blood sugar levels due to excessive insulin intake. They may appear weak, uncoordinated, act erratically, collapse or even have seizures.
This breed is prone to many skin problems, including allergies and hot spots. Common symptoms are excessive scratching, flaky or chapped skin, fur odor, and hair loss. Touch their coats every day because they can develop a malignant melanoma called a mast cell tumor. They may appear as small bumps or areas of inflammation, but they can be very malignant.
Goldens can develop kidney disease at an early age, resulting in kidney failure. Any symptoms of excessive drinking, urination, weight loss, lethargy or loss of appetite require immediate tests and blood tests.
Various eye problems can occur. Any discharge, redness, swelling, squinting or fluttering in the eye is cause for immediate investigation.
Goldens are also prone to ear problems, which can be very painful without you realizing it. Any signs of head shaking, ear clawing, ear irritation or odor require veterinary attention. A daily check for odors or drips and proper cleaning if necessary will help prevent this problem.
Various types of heart problems can affect Goldens. Look for symptoms of lethargy, exercise intolerance, cough and loss of appetite as clues.