Diseases and Health of Golden Retriever

This is one of the most popular dogs in the world. His health is particularly well known with countless scientific publications on his health.

The Golden Retriever has a good longevity with a median of 12.25 years and a maximum duration of 17.25 years.

The main reported conditions in this breed concern:


The Golden Retriever is considered to have a certain susceptibility to certain cancers such as fibrosarcomas (cutaneous or mouth), hemangiosarcomas, lymphomas or mastocytomas.


The Golden Retriever has a markedly increased predisposition to pericardial effusion (7.4 times compared to the canine population). Hemangiosarcoma, a cardiac tumor, is a common cause of pericardial effusion in this breed.

Aortic stenosis is a congenital heart defect described in the Golden Retriever with a relative risk compared to the general dog population multiplied by 6 8. A genetic origin is suspected


A predisposition of the Golden Retriever to several skin conditions is reported, and more particularly:

& bull; Canine juvenile cellulitis is a family disease that is probably hereditary and usually affects puppies between 1 and 4 months.

& bull; Atopic dermatitis, also called atopy. In this breed, signs can appear as early as two months of age.

& bull; For pyotraumatic folliculitis, quite common in the Golden Retriever, the risk is 2.3 times higher than in the general canine population, and young dogs are predisposed.

& bull; Finally, ichthyosis is a frequent skin disease since 30% of Golden Retrievers develop more or less marked symptoms. The disease affects very young dogs and is hereditary (mutation PNPLA1 gene). A genetic screening test exists. Ichthyosis has no impact on the quality of life of the dog but gives it an abnormal appearance, called "dirty dog."


Certain predispositions to gastrointestinal disorders are reported in the Golden retriever such as the acquired megapasca or the congenital portosystemic shunt. The clinical signs of the latter appear most often before the age of 1 year and it is most often intrahepatic forms.

Hematology and immune system

In the Netherlands, a population of Golden retriever with hereditary spectrin deficiency has been identified

A familial predisposition to haemophilia A is also described in the Golden Retriever

Nephrology Urology

Idiopathic renal hematuria has been described in the Golden Retriever with a median age of 48 months. The mode of transmission of this condition is unknown.

In the Golden Retriever, a predisposition to urinary silica stones is reported in a study with a predisposition of males and a mean age of 5.8 years.


In the Golden Retriever, idiopathic epilepsy (essential epilepsy) is not exceptional and a genetic origin is invoked. The disease occurs between 6 months and 6 years of age.

The golden retriever is also considered to be predisposed to an idiopathic form of Claude Bernard Horner syndrome


In the Golden Retriever with generalized progressive retinal atrophy ( ARP, GPRA) autosomal recessive heredity is suspected. Two forms are described: one occurs in the first two years of life, the other is later (after 5-7 years)

A form of cataract appearing between 6 and 18 months, non-progressive or of slow evolution is described, with a suspicion of heredity. A congenital form, probably hereditary, is also described.

Distichiasis is a fairly common condition in the Golden Retriever.

In this breed, two forms of retinal dysplasia are described and appear to be hereditary.

In the Golden retriever, a dystrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (formerly central progressive retinal atrophy or CPRA) is described and hereditary transmission is suspected. This disease of the eye is more common in the United States and Great Britain, but its incidence has been reduced by the introduction of screening programs. The first signs are observed in 3-year-old dogs and visual disturbances appear around 5 to 7 years.

In some forms of entropion of the external angle of the lower eyelids, a polygenic hereditary origin is suspected.

It is described in this race primary glaucoma probably of hereditary origin as well as glaucoma secondary to pigmented uveitis or cysts of the uvea.

A predisposition of the Golden Retriever to the cysts of the iris and the uvea is reported with an average age of 7 years. In one study, 34.8% of dogs in the northeastern United States have uveal cysts. Certain forms, associated with an inflammatory pathology, uveitis pigmentosa, can have an impact on the visual prognosis.

Orthopedics - musculoskeletal system

In the Golden retriever, the hip dysplasia is a rather frequent affection, with a predisposition of castrated males

Elbow dysplasia is a common cause of limp deformity of the foreleg of the young Golden Retriever. There are several forms. In this breed, osteochondritis and fragmentation of the medial coronoid process are hereditary.

In the Golden Retriever, sex-related hereditary myopathy, comparable to human Duchenne's disease, is described.

Golden retriever, a clear predisposition to osteochondrosis of the shoulder is reported, especially in males. This joint disease is bilateral in 50% of cases and the average age of onset is 4-7 months, sometimes later. The joint of the stifle (knee) is also concerned by osteochondrosis.

Metaphyseal osteopathy (or hypertrophic osteopathy) is a disease of the bone that affects young dogs (2 to 6 months), with a possible predisposition of males. The risk is 5.4 times higher in the Golden Retriever than in a population of common breed dogs.

> The medical content of this article was written with the kind collaboration of CHV Frégis. More information on the health of the Golden Retriever on CHV Frégis