Golden Retriever Health Problems & Issues

golden retriever health problems

Golden Retrievers are a loving and loyal breed that make a wonderful addition to a family, but before adding a Golden Retriever to your household it is vital to understand the health problems and issues that Golden Retrievers are prone to.

There are a number of Golden Retriever health issues that have been found to be common among the breed and it is important to understand these in order to keep an eye out for those symptoms.


Cancer is among the most common health problems in both humans and dogs alike. For Golden Retrievers, a few of the most common types of cancer are osteosarcoma (bone cancer), lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and hemangiosarcoma.

The treatments available depend upon the stage and type of the cancer your dog has. It is important to have regular veterinary check-ups and to immediately bring your dog in if he begins to exhibit any strange symptoms.

Skin Allergiesgolden retriever health issues

Skin allergies are an extremely common health issue among Golden Retrievers. Dogs are exposed to a number of allergens every day, and depending on the dog, they may be allergic to one or a handful of these allergens. 

Common allergens include mold, airborne pollen, food (such a poultry, beef, rice, wheat), dust, and flea bites.

The symptoms of a Golden Retriever with a skin allergy include itching, scratching, licking, discharge from the skin, redness, raised bumps, dandruff, and ear infections.

Finding a diet that excludes allergens for the individual dog and a regular exercise routine will help prevent some cases of skin allergies. For severe cases of skin allergies, regular allergy shots may be needed, as well as frequent medicated baths.

Some Golden Retrievers may require oral medication to properly dispel a skin infection due to excessive scratching and itching in response to a skin allergy. Finding the right medication, diet, and exercise routine for your dog will be the key to overcoming common skin allergies.


Hypothyroidism is a common health issue for Golden Retrievers that is a result of a malfunction in the thyroid gland, which controls hormone distribution throughout the body.

Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain and a loss of energy. In addition, hypothyroidism may also cause the texture and appearance of a Golden Retriever’s coat to change. Thankfully, hypothyroidism can be easily managed through a daily oral supplement.

In addition, hypothyroidism may also cause the texture and appearance of a Golden Retriever’s coat to change. Thankfully, hypothyroidism can be easily managed through a daily oral supplement.

Separation Anxiety

Not all health problems are medical, and one behavioral health issue to be aware of in Golden Retrievers in separation anxiety. This is an extremely common issue for Golden Retrievers to exhibit. Golden Retrievers are loving and loyal to their owners, which causes them to form a tight-knit bond.

Separation anxiety can result in a number of adverse behaviors in Golden Retrievers, such as the destruction of property, sullenness, a lack of appetite, or aggression. The worst thing you can do when attempting to help your dog overcome his separation anxiety is to react harshly and punish him.

Instead, focus on making your coming and going a positive experience by giving a treat or special toy each time you leave. This will help change the impression your dog has of your absence from one that is ridden with anxiety to a special time he gets a reward.

golden retriever healthEpilepsy

Epilepsy is a type of seizure disorder that is hereditary and typically brought on by an environmental factor or the onset of a viral infection.

This is a more difficult health issue to diagnose as it is often characterized by the appearance of the dog chewing on something or the presence of foam at the mouth.

As these symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed, it is important to keep a keen eye on the behavior of your pet to ensure they receive the correct diagnosis and subsequent care.

There are some oral medications that can be prescribed to control the reoccurrence of seizures, but these are unfortunately not always effective. It is often recommended that Golden Retrievers diagnosed with epilepsy not be bred as this can be passed down to the puppies and manifested in later generations.

Congenital Eye Defects

A common health problem for Golden Retrievers is congenital eye defects. Golden Retrievers often develop hereditary cataracts, though they can appear at different ages depending on the dog. This is often treatable and will not develop into a more serious issue if diagnosed and treated early.

Now that you know which health issues are common for Golden Retrievers, you can keep an eye out for symptoms. The health issues above are the most common that are associated with this breed, but other health issues may arise based on the dog’s lineage, genetics, environment, and circumstances.

This is why it is extra important to always bring your dog to the vet for regular check ups. With regular check ups and monitoring, you can help keep your furry friend healthy for a long time.

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