Health Resources

One of the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health studies in the United States. The Study’s purpose is to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs. Each year, with the help of veterinarians and dog owners, the Foundation collects health, environmental and behavioural data on 3,000+ enrolled golden retrievers. The Golden Retriever lifetime study is now complete, with 3000 Goldens enrolled.
Is the result of improperly formed hip and elbow joints. Puppies aren’t born with dysplasia it develops as a puppy grows. While the primary cause is genetics, diet and exercise can also be factors. There is no cure but there are ways to make your dog’s life more comfortable.
Progressive retinal atrophy is characterised by bilateral degeneration of the retina resulting in progressive vision loss leading to total blindness. Clinical signs of PRA1 appear around 6 years of age. Clinical symptoms of PRA2 appear around 4 years of age. Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal recessive Alleles: N = Normal PRA1 = Golden Retriever progressive retinal atrophy (variant 1) PRA2 = Golden Retriever progressive retinal atrophy (variant 2)
Glaucoma is caused by Increased pressure within the eye. The increased pressure can rapidly cause blindness, and pain. Primary Glaucoma - in some dogs the outflow of fluid from the eye is blocked by an abnormal drainage angle. Secondary Glaucoma - develops due to inflammation of the eye (uveitis), lens luxation, blood in the eye (hyphaemia), or due to growths inside the eye.
Is the most common congenital heart disease in Golden Retrievers. It refers to a narrowing of the area just below the aortic valve. The narrowing causes pressure overload in the left ventricle. Other types of aortic stenosis exist, but SAS is by far the most common and represents more than 95% of the cases. Studies have confirmed that SAS is inherited in the Newfoundland, and it is likely that SAS is inherited in the Golden Retriever.
Ectopic ureter (EU) is a congenital condition in which the lower end of one or both ureters (tubes that drain urine from the kidneys to the bladder) is connected in the wrong place. It is called “congenital” because affected puppies are born with the condition, but this does not automatically mean that it is inherited. There is a suspicion that it may be inherited in golden retrievers. While a possible mode of inheritance is yet unknown, it is probably prudent to avoid repeating a breeding that has produced a puppy with EU.
A skin condition that results in a mild to moderate and in some cases severe scaling of the skin, usually excluding the head, extremities, paw pads, and nose. Scales become pigmented, progressing to gray or black, and range in size from small to large. These scales may give the dog’s hair and skin a “dirty” look as the scales progress to a darker colour. Mode of Inheritance: Autosomal recessive Alleles: N = Normal, Ich1 = congenital ichthyosis 1 variant, Ich2 = congenital ichthyosis 2 variant
A liver shunt (PSS) is a blood vessel abnormality that results in blood from other organs including the gastrointestinal tract (the small intestine, large intestine, and stomach) being diverted directly towards the heart and bypassing the liver. Consequently, this results in a build-up of toxins within the blood that the liver would normally eliminate.
Epilepsy is defined as seizure activity that is repeated over weeks, months, or years. A genetic basis is presumed based on pedigree analysis in golden retrievers. Most dogs with genetic epilepsy will develop seizures between 1-4 years of age. Golden retrievers can develop seizures as late as 5 years of age.
Research suggests a link between some grain-free, legume-rich dog diets and taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Golden Retrievers. Studies are suggesting that taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers is likely multifactorial, including a combination of dietary, metabolic, and genetic factors. DCM is a serious disease of the heart muscle which causes the heart to beat weakly and to enlarge. DCM is the second most common heart disease in dogs. It is primarily considered to be an inherited or genetic disease with a higher prevalence in specific breeds such as Doberman Pinschers and Great Danes. Recently, several publications have reported concerns about cases of DCM in unusual breeds such as the Golden Retriever and associated them with specific diets (grain-free, high in pulses or potatoes, or low in taurine and amino acid precursors). A unique feature of this form of secondary DCM is the hearts of dogs with DCM due to nutritional causes can improve with diet change, something we don’t see in dogs with inherited DCM. Associated diets – not just grain-free Many have linked diet-associated DCM with grain-free diets.  In fact, it appears to be more closely associated with diets containing pulses, rather than with the presence or absence of grains in a diet.  Most dogs with diet-associated DCM have been eating non-traditional diets for over one year (sometimes many years), so DCM does not seem to develop immediately after eating these diets and not every dog that eats these diets develops heart problems.