Golden Retriever Health Problems

Common health problems that Golden Retrievers have include problems that tend to afflict large breed dogs, such as hip and elbow dysplasia and bloat. There are other illnesses that Golden Retrievers are prone to. Read on to find out more.

Golden Retriever Health Problems The Golden Retriever is playful, eager, alert and self-confident. Extremely friendly, reliable, and devoted, the Golden Retriever is an excellent companion dog.

Because they are so friendly to people, Golden Retrievers cannot make good guard dogs - they are "people dogs". They enjoy and thrive on human companionship and must be allowed to interact with people.

Besides being an excellent companion dog, the Golden Retriever is also a wonderful hunting dog, tracking dog, and field trial competitor. Because Golden Retrievers are intelligent, easy to train, and have a good temperament, they are often used as service dogs such as seeing-eye dogs, and therapy dogs.

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the U.S.A.- Ranked 1st most registered breed by the AKC for 2017.

The average lifespan of Golden Retriever is between 10 and 12 years.

Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are susceptible to quite a few health problems, as you can see below.

Golden Retriever Health Problems
Related to the Joints

Golden retrievers are notorious for being prone to develop hereditary joint problems, such as:

  • Hip Dysplasia; and
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Although elbow dysplasia is primarily a hereditary disease, it can also occur as a result of injury or malnutrition.

    This joint problem is characterized by the malformation of the elbow joints of the front legs, due probably to different growth rates of the three bones making up the elbow. It is a lifelong problem, which sometimes can be helped by surgery.

    If your Golden has this problem, you will see an obvious limp, or in serious cases, the dog may avoid putting weight on the affected limp.

Golden Retriever Health Problems
Related to the Skin

Golden retrievers are also prone to skin irritations, which are largely due to allergies.

Yes, golden retrievers are very susceptible to the development of allergies in response to environmental allergens, such as house dust mite and pollens. Flea and other parasitic infections such as sarcoptic mange (scabies) can also cause allergic-type reactions.

Common signs of allergies are itching, sometimes with hair loss; foot licking and chewing, and recurrent ear infections.

If you have a Golden who is allergy-prone, feed her a high-quality, natural diet.

Also, avoid over-vaccination - vaccinate your dog only when necessary and for the fewest diseases. This can greatly help prevent and manage immune problems, such as allergies.

Other Golden Retriever Health Problems

Other common health problems that afflict Golden Retrievers include:

  • Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Epilepsy: Epilepsy, characterized by seizures, is also rather common in GDs.
  • von Willebrand's Disease: This is a relatively common hereditary blood disorder that affects Golden Retrievers.

    Golden Retriever Health Problems There is a deficiency in clotting factor VIII antigen in the affected dog. As a result, dogs affected by this disease are more likely to have excessive bleeding episodes upon injury.

    They may also develop nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums. Some dogs may have internal organ bleeding (e.g. the stomach or intestine), and you may see blood in their urine.

  • Heart Disease: Golden Retrievers are prone to heart conditions.

    One of the most common heart conditions seen in large breed dogs such as Golden Retrievers is aortic stenosis (AS), which is a narrowing just above the aortic valve in the heart. This narrowing causes the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta to be partially obstructed.

    Because of the obstruction, the heart must work harder to push the blood through the opening and, over time, this can cause problems and even death.

    Aortic stenosis is not easy to detect, especially if the condition is mild. However, in moderate or more serious cases, you may notice some symptoms when the dog is exercising.

    For example, the dog may show low exercise tolerance - he may seem to run out of steam, or he may even faint due to inadequate blood supply to the brain. Restricting the amount and intensity of exercise is necessary for Goldens with moderate to severe AS.

Health Supplements for Golden Retrievers

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Recommendations for Your Golden Retriever!

Cosequin DS Chewables Plus MSM by Nutramax

This supplement contains glucosamine and MSM and is effective in supporting mobility and joint health in dogs.

Doc Ackerman's Epilepsy & Seizure Formula for Dogs and Cats

This is an effective herbal formula that contains nerve-calming and nourishing herbs such as chamomile, ginseng, passion flower, St.-John's wort, valerian root, etc. It greatly helps dogs with epilepsy.

Furminator De-shedding Tool

Golden Retrievers have long double coats of an outer hair and an under coat. The thick coat may become matted unless groomed twice a week. Goldens shed throughout the year with increased shedding once or twice a year. This excellent tool helps to control shedding by removing the loose and dead undercoat hair, without damaging the topcoat. Highly recommended!


  • Dog Breed Facts - Hereditary Diseases (
  • Canada's Guide to Dogs - Golden Retrievers ( )