Golden Retriever

Hereditary Problems

Golden retrievers are generally a very healthy breed and as long as they are fed with a high quality diet and exercised correctly should live a long, healthy and happy life. Like most pure breed dogs, they are prone to some genetic disease. To try to control and eradicate these conditions the breeding stock are screened prior to mating, and although it is never possible to guarantee that clear parents will produce all clear off-spring the likelihood is increased dramatically.  


Hips Dysplasia 

Golden retrievers are subject to hip dysplasia. ANKC registered golden retriever breeders in Australia are required to take hips and elbows xrays of breeding dogs at 1 year of age to ensure they have good hips and elbows prior to breeding. The hip xrays are taken then reviewed and scored by a veterinary radiology specialist. Each hip is assessed independently and a score is given for each hip. The best score you can get is 0/0 and the worst is 53/53.  


Elbow Dysplasia 

Similar to hip dysplasia, elbows xrays were taken at the same time as hip xrays and sent off for veterinary radiology specialist to review. A score is given for each elbow from 0 to 3, 0 being completely clear and 3 being badly affected.  


Eye Scheme 

At present Goldens are examined for the below eye conditions: 

- Hereditary cataract  

- Progressive retinal atrophy 

- Multifocal retinal dysplasia  

Examination of dogs over 12 months is done by a veterinary specialist ophthalmology. The eye examination should ideally be repeated yearly as hereditary eye problems can develop at varying ages.  


Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis of the heart  

Golden retrievers are at higher risk of getting subvalvular aortic stenosis. This condition causes narrowing of the aorta, which is the main artery from the heart leading to the heart needing to work harder to push blood around the body. This disease causes a heart murmur and can be fatal from an early age. 


Prepared by Dr Victor Law - BSc (Vet Bioscience), DVM 

Small Animal Veterinarian and Breeder