Common Ailments of Your Golden Retriever

There’s almost no dog as majestic, loyal and friendly as the golden retriever. We bring them into our homes and let them live among family (and like kings, in most cases), providing us with companionship and security. They’re undoubtedly intelligent animals that are often the pinnacle of hunting breeds, with the right temperament and confidence. They’re also popular; according to the American Kennel Club, they’ve been ranked the third most popular breed every year for the past three years.

But with the good comes the bad. In this case, no matter how majestic a dog looks on the outside, they could be a ticking timebomb of health issues on the inside. Let’s discuss some of the most common health ailments of golden retrievers.

1. Hip Dysplasia

One of the most common health ailments of golden retrievers is hip dysplasia. This debilitating form of arthritis refers to the abnormal growth or development of the ball and socket joint of a golden’s hips. In a healthy dog’s hip area, the upper portion of the thighbone, shaped like a ball, fits properly into the socket of the hipbone. The ball rotates smoothly within the socket as the leg is moved so the dog can run, walk and lay down. These two bones of the leg and hip are held together by a strong ligament and a band of connective tissue which provides maximum stability.

A golden retriever with hip dysplasia will have a deformed joint and socket at the hip. Whether the socket is too shallow, the ball is too big, or the ligament isn’t strong enough, there’s a number of ways that this could develop into a permanent disability. If hip dysplasia goes medically untreated your golden may develop degeneration of the hip, inflammation and pain, and may not be able to walk at all.

As pets age, they need additional support for their joints, kidneys and immune system. We used the same natural blend of Elk Velvet Antler and traditional herbs found in Wapiti Labs’ Mobility Formula, Senior Mobility has been reformulated specially for the senior dog who is suffering from hip dysplasia. It also contains a higher level of ginseng for additional support.

Mobility for dogs in second stage of life


Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ Elk Velvet Antler Senior Mobility Pet Supplement to provide relief from hip dysplasia for dogs in the second stage of their life.


2. Skin Conditions

Skin diseases can be found in many golden retrievers since their dense undercoat and long outer coat make a perfect habitat for disease-ridden bacteria. About one in every two goldens develop some sort of skin problem, like allergies, which case itchy, flaky, red skin and can lead to serious infections such as pyoderma. Skin problems can come from a number of sources, including mold, dirt, pollen, food, fleas, mites, ticks, parasites, warm or cold air, fungus and bacteria. If your golden is experiencing skin conditions, visit the vet immediately as it could be a sign of a more-serious underlying problem.

More common skin diseases and their symptoms found in golden retrievers:

  • Lick Granuloma – results from the dog’s urge to lick the lower portion of his legs.
  • Sebaceous Adenitis – hereditary disease in which the sebaceous glands become inflamed and lead to hair loss
  • Seborrhea – chronic inflammatory skin disease that includes the excessive discharge of sebum from the sebaceous glands
  • Sebaceous cysts – swelling in the skin arising in a sebaceous gland, typically filled with yellowish sebum.
  • Lipomas – a benign tumor of fatty tissue

3. Chest Conditions

Like many other animals, golden retrievers are known to develop conditions of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. Large breeds like goldens most commonly develop the congenital condition known as subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), which is a narrowing of the front part of the aorta, which is the artery that carries oxygenated blood out of the heart. When narrowed, the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta is partially blocked, causing the heart to work harder than normal. Over time, the heart has more trouble pushing the blood through the opening and can lead to death.

A big issue with heart conditions is knowing whether or not your golden retriever actually has a chest condition. It’s hard to know whether your dog is being lethargic because he simply wants to be or there’s an underlying issue like SAS. Make sure you’re taking your dogs for regular check ups at the vet and that their hearts are being monitored for health.

Wapiti Labs’ Chest Formula is perfect for giving your golden what he needs to live a pain-free life. Our concentrated liquid supplement is formulated with natural herbal ingredients to help support normal respiratory function and health.

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Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ Elk Velvet Antler Senior Mobility Pet Supplement to provide relief from hip dysplasia for dogs in the second stage of their life.


4. Cancer

Sadly, golden retrievers have the highest rate of cancer among all dogs. According to the Golden Retriever Club, “Approximately 60% of all Goldens will die from cancer. By gender, it’s 57% of females and 66% of males. the rate of cancer in Goldens is just slightly less than double the rate of cancer in all dogs, which is estimated to be about one in three.”

In the US our most common Golden cancer is hemangiosarcoma, a rapidly growing, highly invasive variety of cancer, occurring almost exclusively in dogs and rarely in cats. It is a sarcoma arising from the lining of blood vessels; that is, blood-filled channels and spaces are commonly observed microscopically.

Other forms of common cancer in golden retrievers include:

  • Lymphosarcoma
  • Mastocytoma
  • Osteosarcoma

If your dog is recently recovering from cancer, he will undoubtedly need some supplemental support to aid his body. Wapiti Labs developed our Recuperate Formula to aid in healthy recovery specifically for dogs. Our Recuperate liquid supplement is a traditional Eastern Medicine herbal formula that supports the natural healing process, the body’s normal inflammation response and normal recovery time.

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Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ Elk Velvet Antler Senior Mobility Pet Supplement to provide relief from hip dysplasia for dogs in the second stage of their life.


5. Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is a common, genetic blood disorder that’s found in golden retrievers. Caused by missing or defective von Willebrand factor (VWF), a clotting protein, VWF platelets in blood vessel walls when it binds factor VIII, another key clotting protein. These help form a platelet plug during the clotting process. A golden retriever that suffers from VWD will more likely suffer from excessive bleeding upon an injury. They also might bleed excessively from the nose or gums, while some may also develop internal organ bleeding and may even experience blood in their urine.

More common health ailments of the golden retriever:

6. Loose Knees (Luxating Patella)

Luxating (dislocated) patella (kneecap) refers to when the kneecap moves out of position. Lying in a cartilaginous groove at the end of the femur, the patella of a dog is shaped like an almond and assists in knee extension. Symptoms include limping, intermittent skip, sudden loss of limb support and abnormal sitting posture.

If your dog slows down or seems weak, you can restore warmth and re-establish strength in your dog’s cartilage with Strength Formula for dogs. This concentrated liquid formula is a natural blend of Elk Velvet Antler and traditional herbs.

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Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ Strength Formula to keep your golden retriever in peak physical condition, the natural way.



7. Cataracts

One of the most widely reported eye problems of golden retrievers are cataracts and abnormalities of the eyelids or eyelashes. These eye problems develop around the age of 4-5 and may cause poor seeing abilities or even blindness.

8. Low Thyroid

The thyroid gland is located in the back of your golden’s neck. It produces a hormone called thyroxine that regulates your dog’s metabolism. If your dog is suffering from a low thyroid, the gland doesn’t produce enough of that hormone which causes your dog’s immune system to attack its own thyroid. This disease causes hair loss, dull coat, flakey skin, weight gain, muscle loss, ear infections and more.

9. Ear Infections

Ear infections can be found in all dog breeds, but because of the golden’s big, floppy ears, they are much more susceptible to this condition. Dogs with firm ears receive better airflow, so they stay drier. If your golden’s ear is itchy and smelly, or you notice your dog shaking his head aggressively and scratching excessively, there may be cause for concern. While treatable at home, you want to detect an ear infection early.

10. Bloat & GDV

Bloat is a serious condition affecting not only golden retrievers, but all large, barrel-chested dog breeds. Bloat happens when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food or fluid making it rapidly expand. The stomach puts unneeded pressure on other organs causing potentially damaging issues, such as stopping blood flow, tearing the stomach wall and interrupting normal breathing. In many cases, the dog’s stomach will flip upside down in a condition known as gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). This unfortunate incident can trap blood in the stomach and stop it from getting to the necessary places in the body, sending your dog into shock. If left untreated, your golden can die within hours.

Keeping your dog’s overall stomach health in good standing is just as important in preventing this tragedy as well. With Wapiti Labs’ GI Tract Formula, you can keep your pup’s spirits up. Soothe your dog’s upset stomach with this all-natural herbal supplement based on time-tested, traditional Eastern Medicine formulas. Our concentrated liquid formula harmonizes the stomach.

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Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ GI Tract Herbal Supplement to naturally reduce occasional discomfort due to sickness, infections and diseases of the stomach.


11. Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasias evil sidekick, elbow dysplasia can cause just as much concern. According to Embrace Pet Insurance, elbow dysplasia is one of the top diseases found in golden retrievers and costs about $1,500-$4,000 to diagnose and treat.

Any age golden retriever can suffer from painful elbow dysplasia. If you’re worried that your dog might have the dibilitating condition, try Wapiti Labs natural blend of Elk Velvet Antler (EVA) and traditional herbs is formulated to support positive joint function as well as help maintain joint mobility for dogs.

Mobility for dogs in first stage of life—————————————————————————————-

Click here to view Wapiti Labs’ Mobility Formula to improve joint flexibility and mobility for dogs in the first stage of their life.