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Three Health Conditions to Be Aware of When You Adopt a Golden Retriever

Three Health Conditions to Be Aware of When You Adopt a Golden Retriever

Golden retriever are known for their loyalty, activeness, playfullness, and they’re generally know to make and be great pets. However, sadly they are also known for specific types of ailments that all owners should be aware of. It’s important for you, as a Golden retriever owner, to be informed about these health issues because it means that you can catch them early for medical attention and be in better sync with your beloved pet.

Chest Problems

Since Golden Retrievers are a larger breed, issues with the heart and lungs can also be quite common. Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), when the part of the heart that carries oxygenated blood out of the heart is narrowed, subsequently causing blockages, is a common ailment in Golden Retrievers. But there’s an upside: “A lot of dogs with SAS are typically asymptomatic, and it rarely progresses to something more serious,” Dr. Sarno explained. “While there are surgical options to excise abnormal tissue, the procedure is rarely performed because of the few studies proving it helps.” This issue can be apparent if your dog is more lethargic than usual. If you notice this, it’s best to bring your dog for an annual checkup.

Von Willebrand Disease

VWD is a bleeding disorder often developed hereditarily. Veterinarian Ann F. Hubbs writes for the Golden Retriever Club of America, “Goldens can develop a tendency to bleed with resulting excessive bruising, bleeding from the gums, and other mucous membranes, or bleeding during surgery. Bleeding tendencies most often result from cancer, autoimmune diseases, liver failure, toxin exposure, or infectious diseases that affect the ability of the blood to clot. In other cases there is an inherited defect in the ability to clot blood.” Without the ability to clot blood, VWD can be fatal. However, “many doctors are currently working with genetic testing to find a potential cure for the disorder,” Dr. Sarno said.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, or “loose knees,” is a congenital disease where the kneecap often comes out of position. While this issue can be identified quickly as dogs will limp, skip, and have abnormal sitting positions, it may not be noticed until about six weeks of age, according to dog-walking site Wag. “Depending on the severity and movement of the patella, a vet may recommend surgery,” Dr. Sarno said. “It also helps when owners support the treatment with joint supplements and pain-relief methods.” Think: steroids, pain relievers, braces, and bandages. And even better, the prognosis is usually positive. Dogs can live with the disease while still leading a healthy, normal life!