Categorized | Skin Care

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Golden Retriever Breed Diseases and Health Problems

Golden Retrievers are prone to afflictions form six common illnesses. Although they are not unhealthy by nature, and are considered one of the hardier dogs around, there exists common afflictions that would still affect them badly. Then, it is up to the owner to try to understand the condition and causes of these illnesses to try to spot the symptoms to help their dogs cope with them.

Skin diseases are one of the top problems with Golden Retrievers. They can have something as simple as a mosquito bite or a flea itch that will cause an itchy part of their skin. These dogs will then chew the area until they create a lesion or something known as a hot spot. A hot spot is a raw, red and moist patch that will get larger every time the dog messes with it. It normally requires a bandage or a special collar to stop the dog from touching the area so as to give it time to recover.

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 usually not harmful and are easily removed when your dog gets his teeth cleaned and general anesthesia is given to him. They can develop and become larger, but they are not a threat and can be ignored. Liposarcomas, however, are malignant and need to be removed as quickly as possible. They need to undergo treatment as soon as they are diagnosed.

Eye problems, such as cataracts, can be common in Golden Retrievers that are older than the age of 10. These eye problems can lead to blindness or at least reduced vision in the animal. There is no treatment for these conditions.

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 an obstruction in the ventricle left vein that will cause a reduction in blood flow. Sometimes, the condition is harmless, although the dog will not be allowed to run around as much. When the condition is serious, the heart has to work harder due to the heart muscle thickening. This heart problem is usually genetic and the treatment can be beta blockers to mild antibiotics. Surgery is always a possibility but unlike human heart surgery, it has had limited 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. Your dog can lead a fulfilling life with the correct nutrition and adequate exercise.

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