The intelligence and gentle temperament of Golden Retrievers makes them excellent hunting companions and a very popular breed overall. Also useful as guide dogs and search and rescue dogs, this breed responds well to training and has an eager-to-please personality. The size and coloration of Golden Retrievers varies according to breeding but soft, golden coats are a hallmark of the breed. These dogs shed their dense, water-repellant coats seasonally and require regular brushing to prevent matting. This active, energetic breed often forms a loyal bond with its caretakers and is very patient with children, making it the perfect family pet.
Golden Retrievers generally live between ten and twelve years but they are prone to a number of hereditary conditions that can shorten the life span. Like many large breed dogs, Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia as well as eye defects and Von Willebrand’s disease. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
This congenital defect is diagnosed in Golden Retrievers whose hip joints are loose or unstable. The femoral head in a healthy dog sits snugly within the hip joint but dogs with hip dysplasia experience joint changes and deformation which can lead to arthritis and lameness. Surgery is the best treatment for this condition and, though joint repairs can be done for around $2,500 on both hips, total hip replacements are often needed – these can cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per hip.
As a breed, Golden Retrievers have a tendency toward several congenital eye defects including cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. A cataract affects the lens of the eye in the form of opacity which can result in a partial or total loss of vision. Surgical repair for this condition is an option which typically costs between $1,000 and $1,500. Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition which causes retinal degeneration and eventual blindness. There is currently no cure for this condition but many dogs are able to successfully adapt to partial or total loss of vision.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
One of the most common hereditary bleeding disorders, Von Willebrand’s disease affects more than fifty breeds of dog and Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds in which this disease is most common. Von Willebrand’s disease is a condition involving a platelet defect which prevents blood from clotting properly. Dogs with this disease are prone to nosebleeds, bleeding gums and are more likely than other dogs to bleed to death following surgery or injury. There is no known cure for this disease and treatments are generally limited to controlling bleeding episodes with blood transfusions.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.