Golden Retrievers are actually considered quite strong and hearty animals. However, they are still susceptible to approximately six common diseases that can be rather harmful to the dogs. These problems can cause the Golden retriever some amount of inconvenience and suffering, so owners should be prepared to be on the look-out for such symptoms.
Skin diseases are one of the top problems with Golden Retrievers. They could have causes as simple as a flea itch or mosquito bite that can cause their skin to be irritated and inflamed. The dogs will worry or bite on that spot until they cut themselves or cause something known as a hot spot. A red, moist and raw spot is known as a hot spot and it can grow in size every time the dog worries it. It will usually require a bandage or a special collar to keep the dog away from this area in order to give it a chance to heal.
Golden Retrievers can suffer from allergies faster than most other breeds. Wheat is typically an offending factor and a lot of commercial dog foods have wheat in their recipes. It is not lethal to animals but it can cause them to have problems with their digestion or cause their skin to become inflamed and irritated. If the dog licks its face excessively or scratches constantly, you might have a dog that is allergic.
Beneath the outer layers of the skin, there could be more severe types of diseases. There are different types of fatty lipomas and the severe liposarcoma that can become common as the dogs grow older.
Fatty lipomas are typically benign and will be able to be removed the next time a dog gets his teeth cleaned and gets general anesthesia. They can develop and become larger, but they are not a threat and can be ignored. On the other hand, liposarcomas are dangerous and need to be removed as soon as possible. They need to be treated as soon as they are diagnosed.
Cataracts and eye afflictions can be frequent among Golden Retrievers that are beyond 10 years of age. Such eye afflictions can lead to poorer vision or even blindness in the dog. There is no cure for such afflictions.
Less frequently seen in Golden Retrievers are problems with the heart, however, should heart problems develop, they are usually subvalvular aortic stenosis or cardiomyopathy. Subvalvular aortic stenosis is a blockage in the left vein of the ventricle and will cause a decrease in the blood flow. At times, the situation is benign, however the dog will be restrained from running around as aften. When the condition is dangerous, the heart is forced to strain itself, working harder when the heart muscles thicken. This heart problem is usually genetic and the treatment can be beta blockers to mild antibiotics. An operation is always a solution but compared to operations on the human heart, it has a lower chance of success.
Cardiomyopathy is an acquired disease which is more serious. It tends to happen in dogs that are 4 to 10 years old and the cause is unknown. The heart muscle will become thin and flabby, progressively getting worse until the dog passes away.
Nevertheless, most Golden Retrievers live a long and healthy live. With the right diet and plenty of exercise, your animal has a better shot at living a wonderful life.