If you have a four-legged friend at home, you are wondering whether he is at a risk of hereditary problems. Well, there has been a rise in the incidence of genetic problems among various dog breeds. Then Golden Retriever is no exception. Its people-pleasing, outgoing, playful, and adaptable nature make the beautiful dog breed adored worldwide. Golden Retrievers are easy to train too. However, with an average lifespan of about 10 to 13 years, Golden Retrievers are genetically predisposed to certain diseases. Genetic disease in Golden Retriever may cause eye problems or even cancer and joint problems.
Genetic Disease in Golden Retriever: Eye Problems
Genetic Diseases in Golden Retriever make the playful dog breed vulnerable to eye problems. A majority of these pets are predisposed to eye disorders when they grow old. In order to avert the risk, regular eye exams are important. If left untreated, your pooch is susceptible to an increased risk of cataract.
Some other genetic eye diseases include:
- Entropion – This is a condition of the eye in which an eyelid turns inward. As a result, eyelashes rub against the eye.
- Trichiasis and distichiasis – The conditions involve abnormal eyelash growth.
- Central progressive retinal atrophy – The retina deteriorates in this condition and affects vision. The risk of blindness increases due to gradual damage to retina.
Genetic Disease in Golden Retriever: Joint Problems
Golden retrievers are susceptible to hereditary joint problems. This involves:
This is the malformation of the hip joints traced to genetic disease in Golden Retriever. Due to the abnormal growth of the hip joint, the pooch experiences severe pain from this type of arthritis. Influenced by hereditary and genetic factors, hip dysplasia is a disability of the ball-and-socket joint where the head of the femur and acetabulum are altered.
As a result, there is gradual dislocation in the head of the femur. This results in intense pain and inflammation in the joints due to which the dog is unable to get up or walk with ease.
If left unchecked, hip dysplasia will gradually develop into osteoarthritis. An X-ray is used to confirm whether a Retriever is suffering from the instability of the hip joint.
Another hereditary defect in Golden Retriever, elbow dysplasia is the malformation of the elbow joint. Due to the abnormal development of the elbow joint, there is an intense pain at the site, and the pooch feels disabled at the elbow. The abnormal development of the different sites in the elbow joint, elbow dysplasia affects the functioning of the elbow. These abnormalities are known as primary lesions that affect the bones and cartilage in joints and occur during the growth stages, causing abnormal wear of the joint surfaces. The condition may develop into osteoarthritis, if not treated on time.
The initial signs of this joint-related genetic disease in Golden Retriever manifest with symptoms, such as lameness when the dog is around 4-6 months of age.
If your pooch looks stiff immediately after a resting period or experiences mild lameness that worsens after exercise, these may be symptoms of elbow dysplasia.
A multitude of genes controls the condition while the growth rate influences the severity of the genetic diseases in Golden Retrievers. His activity level also influences the condition. Overfeeding your Retriever or allowing him to carry excess weights can put abnormal stress on his joints. This could worsen the symptoms of the disease.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Another common genetic disease in Golden Retriever, von Willebrand’s Disease is a bleeding disorder in which the affected dogs are more prone to excessive bleeding episodes after an injury. Primarily caused by a deficiency in the clotting factor VIII antigen, von Willebrand disease causes the dog’s gums, nose, or mucous membranes to bleed.
Some Goldens may experience severe bleeding of the internal organs, which could be from the intestine or stomach. In most cases, this is an inherited defect in which the body’s ability to clot blood is affected. As a result, there may be blood in the urine of the suffering dog.
Any incidence of excess bleeding in Golden Retrievers is a cause for concern and needs immediate veterinary care.
Sub-Aortic Stenosis/Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
This is a widespread heart-related genetic disease in Golden Retrievers. A condition of the narrowing of a heart valve, sub-aortic stenosis is a genetic heart disease that may be severe, mild, or moderate. Retrievers with a severe form of the disease are at a high risk of death before the age of 5 years. One parent can pass the mutation to their offspring.
Weakness, breathing problems, fainting, and sudden death are the most noteworthy effects of the heart disease in Retrievers.
Cancers May Be Genetic Disease in Golden Retriever
The breed is highly susceptible to certain types of cancer. The disproportionately high rate of cancer in the breed points toward the hereditary connection. As a common genetic disease in Golden Retriever, cancerous genes put them at a high risk of developing bone tumors, mast cell tumors, or aggressive blood vessel tumors, and cancer of lymphocyte cells.
Some other hereditary defects in Golden Retrievers include skin allergies, ear infections, hot spots, seizures, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and hypothyroidism.