Hip Dysplasia And Golden Retrievers

Hip dysplasia is a poor formation of the hip joints, which is a common growing disease with younger dogs of virtually every breed. With larger breeds, unsteady hip joints are common, although hip dysplasia can be a serious problem that will limit the physical activity of your Golden. Although many Golden Retriever owners don’t realize it, hip dysplasia is something that dogs inherit from their parents, and gets worse with age.

The signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia

Nearly impossible to detect with Golden puppies, although it will start to show once the pup has reached the age of nine months. Even though you may take your Golden to the vet to have him looked at, your vet will tell you that you need to wait to see if the symptoms are there, once the Golden Retriever has reached a certain age.

The symptoms and signs of hip dysplasia vary, although the most common include crippling or the inability to walk properly. This disease can get better once the dog gets older though, due to the joints stabilizing, the inflammation going down, and the muscles in the hips getting stronger and more mature. Keep in mind however, that Golden’s who have hip dysplasia when they are younger will more than likely develop arthritis when they get older.

Golden Retrievers that suffer from hip dysplasia aren’t fit for breeding, although they can still live a long and healthy life. There are certain drugs that your vet can prescribe to your dog, which will help him control his weight and help control the disease. These drugs can also cut down on the pain as well, helping your Golden enjoy himself as much as possible.

Some Golden Retrievers that have hip dysplasia won’t begin to show any signs at all until they get a few years old, once the muscles start to wear down and the damage to the hip muscles start to become more noticeable. Although your dog may be active and healthy for most of his puppy years, dysplasia can slow everything down and make your dog look as if he is old and is suffering from the physical attributes of arthritis.

To eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia

There are surgery options available. Golden Retrievers have a high threshold for pain, and won’t normally show any signs of being in pain, even though you know they are. X-rays won’t show any signs of pain, although the limping or slow walking will tell you that your dog is hurting. Golden Retriever’s who have this disease won’t know it – which is why you should help as much as possible. If you do your part and help your dog seek relief – he will feel better than ever before – although he won’t let you know he hurt any at all.

Eye And Heart Disease Golden Retriever

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. Breeding a Golden who has this condition can lead to serious problems, such as passing it on to the pups.

Several families of the Golden Retriever breed have been known to carry genes for CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy), which affects the retina, and can result in permanent blindness for Golden’s at a young age. There are other types of eye defects as well, such as retinal dysplasia, which prevents a Golden from breeding.

Trouble with both the eyelid and eyelashes

Trouble with both the eyelid and eyelashes are also a possibility with Golden Retrievers, with some being the result of hereditary factors. The eyelids rotating in or out, or the eyelashes rubbing on or in the eye are both common problems with the breed. Even though surgery can help to fix these types of problems, dogs that are experiencing this type of problem shouldn’t be allowed to breed nor compete in shows under any type of AKC rules.

You should always have your Golden Retriever checked annually for eye disease, as it can develop during any age. When you take your Golden to have him examined for eye disease, you should have a veterinary ophthalmologist do the exam. He has all of the necessary equipment, and the proper training needed to make sure that your dog gets the best examination possible.

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. If a Golden Retriever is diagnosed to have any type of heart disease, he should not breed. Breeding Golden Retrievers who have heart disease can lead to serious and sometimes fatal results. To be on the safe side, you should always have your Golden tested for his disease before you plan on breeding.

Common Health Problems Golden Retriever

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
  • 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.

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.

The Combination Approach To Feeding

Although you can get commercial food for your Golden Retriever, the ideal way to feed is to use a combination approach of both commercial food and fresh people foods. Most commercial food is good for your Golden, although it lacks nutrients and vitamins that fresh food has. Vets will tell you that fresh food is good, providing you don’t overdo it. Golden Retrievers love fresh food as well, as they can smell it a mile away. If it smells good to them – they’ll want it.

Foods that contain protein and vitamin sources

Most commercial foods will offer your Golden great sources of protein and vitamins, although fresh food contains far more essential sources. Chicken and meat for instance, have far more protein and minerals than any type of commercial dog food. Fish is another great choice, as it contains a lot of the protein your dog needs to maintain a healthy brain.

The Combination Approach To Feeding

All dogs are well within the capacity of staying healthy, although you need to provide them with the minerals they need. Each dog is an individual, meaning that you can’t continue to feed him the same food on a daily basis. Golden Retrievers love people food, and they also love variety. What they need one day may vary the next, so you should always mix it up a bit and give them something different each day.

The Importance of Animal Protein for your dog

To be on the safe side, you should give your Golden a little bit of everything. This way, he will get everything he needs with his diet. When you design the diet for your growing Golden Retriever, you should always make sure to include animal protein. This is very important for your Golden, as he has to have it. Without animal protein, your dog will find himself literally struggling to stay healthy.

To keep your Golden Retriever healthy

It is very important that he gets quality nutrition. Although quality nutrition is very important, you should never him eat so much that he gains weight too fast. If you monitor his diet and know exactly what you are feeding him, he should remain in his weight class. Sometimes this can be hard to help though, especially if your Golden starts to develop allergies to a certain type of food.

The Combination Approach To Feeding

If you ever have any questions regarding the diet of your Golden Retriever, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your vet. Your vet could make some recommendations for you, even tell you the best type of commercial food for your dog. Depending on his individual needs, what he requires may be totally different than what another dog needs. As long as you keep your dog on a healthy diet and make sure he gets the food he needs – he should grow to be a healthy dog with plenty of energy.