Ignore June/July: The Golden Retriever

History of the Breed
The Golden Retriever (and equally popular Golden-Doodle), is one of the most common breeds seen at Westgate Pet Clinic.  The Golden Retriever has its roots in Scotland. In the mid-18th century, wildfowl hunting was very popular among the wealthy, and a dog was needed that could retrieve from water and land because the land was covered in ponds and rivers.  Hence the Golden Retriever was developed with a love for the water and boundless energy when they are young. 
 
The Golden Retriever is known for it's intelligence and eager to please attitude.  They make a great family dog because they love people, and generally get along with other dogs and cats in the house.  They have a reputation for being profuse shedders, hence the popularity of crossing them with a poodle.  Although Golden-Doodles can still shed, the amount of hair that you will find around your house is considerably less. 
 
Health Concerns
Hemangiosarcoma http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1449
Atopy (Allergies) http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1535
Chronic Otitis Externa (Ear infections) http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=632
Elbow Dysplasia http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2537
Hip Dysplasia http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1916
Hypothyroidism http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=461
 
Preventative Care Recommendations
Because ear infections are so common in Golden Retrievers, we want your dog to tolerate ear cleaning and treatments.  Starting when she is a puppy, touch and play with the ears regularly.  Also, clean the ears on a regular basis, every 2-4 weeks.  Cleaning the ears keeps them free of wax build up, and also if you clean a lot of black or brown debris out of the ears, then you know that she has an ear infection.  
 
Hip and elbow dysplasia is not uncommon in Golden Retrievers.  If your Golden Retriever develops a lameness, bring her in to the veterinarian to be assessed. Your veterinarian may recommend taking radiographs to assess her joints.  
 
Your veterinarian may recommend abdominal radiographs on your geriatric Golden Retriever to screen for an enlarged spleen.  An enlarged spleen, and anemia can be the first signs of hemangiosarcoma in your dog.  
 
Your veterinarian may recommend screening for thyroid disease when she gets to be middle aged (6-7 years of age).  This is a blood test that can be done at your dog's annual wellness exam. 
 
Resources
Retrieve a Golden Retriever of Minnesota http://ragom.org/