Health Problems in Golden Retrievers

icon April 22, 2023

Golden Retrievers are a breed of dog that originated in Scotland in the mid-19th century. They were originally bred for hunting and retrieving games, particularly waterfowl, and they have a natural instinct for retrieving objects. Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and gentle temperament, which makes them excellent family pets.

These dogs are typically medium to large in size, with a thick, golden coat that requires regular grooming to maintain their appearance. They are active and energetic, and they require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Golden Retrievers are also intelligent and easy to train, which makes them popular as guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs.

If you’re thinking about adding this breed to your household, you’ll probably be wondering about the possible Golden Retriever health problems. Read on to learn about the most common problems that occur with this breed and how to avoid it and the corresponding remedies to buy if possible.

Health Problems in Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 10-12 years. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health problems. Here are some common health issues that Golden Retrievers may experience:

Hip Dysplasia

This is a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn't develop properly, leading to pain and arthritis. 

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Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to hip dysplasia, this is a genetic condition that affects the elbow joint, causing pain and arthritis.


Golden Retrievers are prone to several types of cancer, including lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumors.

Golden Retriever Eyes

Golden Retrievers may develop cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), or other eye conditions that can lead to blindness.

Golden Retrievers are prone to several eye problems, some of which are inherited while others may develop over time. Here are some common eye problems that Golden Retrievers may experience:


Cataracts are a common eye problem in Golden Retrievers. It causes cloudiness in the eye lens, leading to impaired vision or blindness.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This is an inherited condition that affects the retina, leading to gradual vision loss and ultimately blindness.


This is a condition in which the eyelids roll inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea, leading to irritation and inflammation.


Distichiasis is an abnormal growth of eyelashes from the eyelid margin, which can rub against the cornea, causing discomfort and inflammation.

Corneal Dystrophy

This is a group of inherited eye conditions that affect the cornea and can lead to vision loss.

If you suspect your Golden Retriever is experiencing an eye problem, it's essential to take them to a veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.

Keep some eye drops for dogs at home and consult your vet online for home treatment when symptoms are mild.

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Skin Allergies

This breed is prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness, and inflammation.

best shampoo for golden retriever

best shampoo for golden retriever

Here's an article on dog allergies, click here for details.

Dermatitis in Dogs | Symptoms and Treatment


This is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to weight gain, lethargy, and other symptoms.

Heart Problems

Golden Retrievers may develop heart diseases, such as dilated cardiomyopathy or subaortic stenosis.

Golden Retriever Ears

Golden Retrievers are known for their floppy, pendant ears that hang down close to their cheeks. The ears are medium in size, with a triangular shape and rounded tips. They are set at the level of the eyes and are well-feathered with long hair. As Golden Retrievers have floppy ears, they are more prone to ear infections. It is important to check their ears regularly and clean them with a dog-friendly solution when necessary.

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 Golden Retriever Ears

How to Clean Golden Retriever Ears?

Gather supplies: You'll need a quality ear-cleaning solution that's safe for dogs, cotton balls or pads, and possibly some treats to help keep your dog still during the process.

Check the ears: Before you begin, check your Golden Retriever's ears for any signs of redness, inflammation, discharge, or a foul odor. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian as it may indicate an ear infection.

Apply ear cleaning solution: Pour a small amount of the ear cleaning solution into your Golden Retriever's ear canal. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle, as some solutions require dilution.

Massage the base of the ear: Gently massage the base of your dog's ear for 20-30 seconds to help the solution loosen any dirt, wax, or debris.

Wipe away debris: Use a cotton ball or pad to wipe away any debris from the ear canal. Be careful not to push the debris further into the ear.

Repeat: Repeat steps 3-5 with the other ear.

Reward your dog: Praise and reward your dog with a treat for their cooperation during the process.

It's important to note that you should never insert anything deep into your dog's ear canal, and always use a gentle touch when cleaning their ears. Additionally, if your dog appears to be in discomfort or pain during the cleaning process, stop immediately and consult your veterinarian.

The Golden Retriever's health problems listed above are only the ones they are prone to - there is no guarantee they will get them, they are just at greater risk. To reduce the likelihood of your dog developing these problems, regular veterinary checks, regular exercise, vaccinations, and regular grooming are required.


Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

Golden Retrievers are not considered hypoallergenic dogs. They have a thick double coat that sheds moderately year-round and more heavily during seasonal shedding periods. This shedding can release dander, which is a common allergen, into the air and onto surfaces around the home.

Additionally, Golden Retrievers also produce saliva and urine, which can also cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

However, it's worth noting that some people with mild allergies may be able to tolerate being around a Golden Retriever. If you have allergies and are considering getting a dog, it's important to spend time with the breed before making a decision to see how your body reacts to them.

How Often to Groom Golden Retriever?

Brushing: Golden Retrievers should be brushed at least once a week. This helps to remove loose fur, dirt, and debris from their coats and also helps to distribute their natural oils, which keep their coats healthy and shiny.

Bathing: Golden Retrievers should be bathed every 2-3 months, or whenever they get particularly dirty or smelly. Bathing too frequently can strip their coats of their natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.

Nail Trimming: Golden Retrievers' nails should be trimmed once a month. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort, and pain, and even lead to infections.

Ear Cleaning: Golden Retrievers' ears should be cleaned once a month to prevent wax buildup and infections.

Teeth Cleaning: Golden Retrievers' teeth should be brushed at least twice a week to prevent plaque buildup and dental problems.

When Do Golden Retrievers Calm Down?

Golden Retrievers typically calm down around the age of 2 to 3 years old. This is when they start to reach maturity and their energy levels begin to stabilize. However, it's important to keep in mind that each dog is different and some may take longer or shorter to calm down depending on their individual temperament, genetics, and lifestyle. It's also important to note that Golden Retrievers are an active breed and may always have a certain level of energy and playfulness throughout their lives. Proper exercise, training, and mental stimulation can help them channel their energy in a positive way and help them stay healthy and happy.

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