Golden Retriever Health Issues; What To Know

golden retriever health issues

Golden Retriever health problems are more common than the closely related Labrador Retriever. Some of these issues are more frequently seen than others. A veterinarian may recommend different tests during checkups to identify any issues early. 

Golden Retriever Common Health Issues


Golden Retrievers are more likely to have allergies than many other breeds. Their allergies can cause skin problems. Wheat and environmental allergies are common. If your dog's allergies become severe, medication can control them.

Bloat (Gastric dilation volvulus or GDV)

This is when fluid builds up in the stomach causing gas which can put pressure on other organs. This can become deadly and if you see any of these signs you should take your dog to the vet immediately. 

  • excessive drooling
  • inability to stand
  • rapid breathing
  • Restlessness and pacing
  • swollen and painful abdomen
  • Trying to vomit with no success


Cancer is high in Golden Retrievers and the percentage of dogs diagnosed has increased over the years. There are various forms with some being more severe than others. This is something that is being studied to understand the cause. Early detection is important to improve the outcome from treatment. 


This is when the lens of the eyes become cloudy. This develops slowly over time causing blurry vision. There is a surgery that can be performed to reverse the effects. 

Ear infections

Bacteria is the primary cause of infections. This can be caused by your dog scratching their ears or from rubbing their head on the ground. However, yeast, fungus, ear mites, a foreign object, trauma, tumors or polyps can all cause infection. 


This is common in dogs. The most common symptoms are seizures in which your dog can also lose consciousness. If you notice these symptoms you need to take your dog to the vet immediately. Epilepsy can be treated with meds. 

Hip and elbow dysplasia

golden retriever health issues

Hip dysplasia in dogs is an abnormal formation of the hip socket. Elbow dysplasia is a condition involving multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow joint. Severe cases can eventually cause lameness and arthritis of the joints. There are wheelchairs for dogs with hip and elbow dysplasia which helps to stabilize your dog, relieve some of the pressure off of the joints and help them to stay active.


This condition is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of different types of crucial hormones in the body. 

Sub-aortic stenosis

Most commonly seen in large dog breeds and believed to be a Golden Retriever genetic problem. This is when there is a narrowing (stenosis) of the area below the aortic valve. This causes issues with the flow of blood.

Skin problems

  • Lick Granuloma caused by a dog licking the lower part of their legs.
  • Mast cell tumors  – type of tumor consisting of mast cells. 
  • Sebaceous Adenitisan inherited disease where the sebaceous glands become inflamed which leads to hair loss. 
  • Seborrhea chronic inflammatory disease that causes excessive discharge of sebum from the sebaceous glands.
  • Sebaceous cystsswelling in a sebaceous gland which is often filled with yellow colored sebum. 
  • Lipomas fatty tissue that is not cancerous. 

Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)

Blood disorder in which the blood does not clot properly. 


About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our dog wheelchairs. We have small, medium and big dog wheelchairs

We offer a front support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog cart, a dog cart for rear legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only affordable dog wheelchair that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it. 

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