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Common Health Problems in Golden Retrievers

What kind of health problems do Golden Retriever dogs commonly suffer from? If you own, or are thinking of getting, a Golden retriever dog it is a good idea to learn what health conditions they often have. Select your dog from a good breeder to avoid some of these common problems. Learn how a low quality diet can cause some health problems for a Golden Retriever dog.

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds as pets. They are also popular as guide dogs and service dogs. Golden retrievers are easily recognized by their long cream to golden coat and generally good disposition, however many people who are thinking of getting one need to be aware of the health problems that are common in golden retriever dogs.

Skin Problems

Golden retrievers are particularly prone to having hot spots, moist areas on their skin that become itchy. These are often caused by certain ingredients in dog food (wheat, soy, pork, beef, and corn). Hot spots make a dog lick, or itch, a particular area over and over. Flea allergies can also cause hot spots.  Food allergies in general also tend to be a problem for Golden Retrievers.


Cancer is a common problem for all dogs and has been cited by the Golden Retriever Club of America as the breed's biggest killer. Note that cancer can be genetic, environmental, linked to lower quality preservatives in dog food, exposure to chemicals, and the result of not being spayed or neutered.

Eye Problems

Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are two of the most common eye problems seen in Golden retrievers, however there are many other eye conditions that can cause problems for these dogs.

Ear Problems

Golden retrievers are prone to having yeast infections in their ears. This can be the result of diet, or getting water in their ear and not having it dried properly.

Leg Problems

Golden Retrievers can suffer from hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia, as such it is suggested to only buy pups from breeders who have had the parents tested against these conditions.

Heart Problems

Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, is common in the Golden Retriever. Another heart problems that Golden retrievers may suffer from is subvalvular aortic stenosis, an abnormal heart murmur.

Blood Problems

Haemophilia is a genetic problem that can occur in Golden Retrievers, it is more common in males than females and affects the dogs blood in terms of ability to clot.

Other Problems Seen in Golden Retriever Dogs

Obesity is also a common problem when dogs are over fed and do not get enough exercise.

Cushings disease is common in older Golden Retrievers.

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Comments (3)

Great useful information on this topic!

Very informative and authoritative guide on this dog breed, Brenda.

Brenda, you articles are always filled with so much vital information.