Golden Retrievers as a rule, are a very healthy breed but there are some common diseases that owners should be aware of, especially if considering buying a puppy.
Remember if you have bought a puppy or are buying one from a reputable breeder then the chances of your dogs being affected by any of the mentioned diseases is significantly lessened.
As a breeder our aim is to breed goldens with kind, gentle temperaments and sound healthy bodies.
Breeders expect their puppies to live long, happy, healthy lives.
To do this all breeding stock should be hip and elbow x-rayed, have a current clear eye certificate from a specialist ophthalmic vet and a healthy heart certificate, again this certificate is only available from a recognized cardiac veterinarian (there is only one such vet in NZ).
Some breeders also have their breeding stock DNA tested to help try and eliminate other less common diseases that are breed related.
Some diseases affecting the health of our goldens that we should be aware of when purchasing a puppy are :
ORTHOPEDIC HEALTH PROBLEMS : e.g. hip and elbow dysplasia. Always buy from x-rayed parent. Do not overfeed or over exercise young dogs. Feed a recommended puppy diet for the first 2-18 months of your puppy’s life.
EYE DISEASES : Goldies can develop a range of serious eye conditions, which are often hereditary. Reputable breeders have annual eye examinations done by a specialist ophthalmic vet.
HEART DISEASE : The most common heart disease seen in Golden Retrievers in NZ is Aortic Stenosis. Most breeders will only breed from stock with a healthy heart certificate, which again can only be issued by a cardiac specialist.
SKIN AND EARS : hot spots and smelly ears, itchy skin all go hand in hand . Keep your golden’s flea and worming programs up to date. Keep your goldie well groomed. If they are water lovers check under their ears and collars for red areas, this can often be the first sign of a “hotspot” If you notice a wet red area clip away the fur and wash with a chlorhexidine solution then make sure it is completely dry and puff Medipulv antiseptic powder on (obtainable from your chemist) as well as visiting your vet for antibiotics. These areas spread very quickly if left untreated.