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What Diseases and Conditions are Known to Occur in Goldendoodles?

Goldendoodles are one of the most popular new dog breeds. They are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, making them an ideal family pet because they are allergy friendly, intelligent, and good-natured. But, like any other breed, they are still susceptible to some health problems. As a responsible pet owner, it's important to know what diseases and conditions may affect your Goldendoodle. In this post, we'll discuss the most common diseases and conditions found in Goldendoodles and their symptoms.


Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is common in most large dog breeds and some smaller breeds, including Goldendoodles. It is a malformation of the hip joint that causes the thighbone to dislocate from the hip socket. Symptoms include stiffness, difficulty getting up, limping, and decreased activity. In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the problem.


Seizures

Seizures in Goldendoodles can have many causes, including genetics, head injuries, and infections. Seizures are common in poodles, and as such, some Goldendoodles can be prone to them. Some parasite prevention treatments in the isoxazoline class are known to induce seizures, and should be avoided in Goldendoodles. These products include Bravecto (fluralaner) tablets

  • Bravecto (fluralaner) topical solution

  • Bravecto 1-month (fluralaner) tablets

  • Credelio (lotilaner) tablets

  • Nexgard (afoxolaner) tablets

  • Simparica (sarolaner) tablets

  • Simparica Trio (sarolaner, moxidectin and pyrantel) tablets

Symptoms include uncontrolled twitching, loss of consciousness, and foaming at the mouth. Seizures require immediate veterinary care and medication to control.


Allergies

Like any dog breed, Goldendoodles can develop allergies to food, pollen, or other environmental factors. Symptoms include itching, redness, hair loss, and ear infections. Allergies can be controlled through diet, medication, and allergy shots. Responsible breeders should not breed dogs that have allergies, so be sure to ask your breeder if any of their breeding dogs have allergies or skin problems.


Hypothyroidism

This is a common hormonal disorder in dogs that affects the thyroid gland. Symptoms include lethargy, weight gain, low energy, and a dull coat. Hypothyroidism can be treated with hormone replacement therapy. Hypothyroidism is more common in Poodles than in Goldendoodles, but it still can show up in some Goldendoodles. Responsible breeders should not breed dogs with thyroid problems. At the time of this writing, hypothyroidism is not common enough in Goldendoodles for it to be a recommended test, but it is something a Goldendoodle owner should be aware of


Eye Problems

Goldendoodles are prone to eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Symptoms include cloudiness, redness, and aggression when approached. Early detection and treatment can help prevent vision loss. A responsible breeder will have the eyes of their breeding dogs examined by a board certified veterinary opthalmologist and certified through the OFA CAER program.


Elbow Dysplasia


Goldendoodles, like many other breeds, are susceptible to elbow dysplasia. This condition involves an abnormal development of the elbow joint, which can lead to pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. Symptoms of elbow dysplasia include lameness, stiffness, and reluctance to move. The condition can be managed with pain medication, physical therapy, and, in more severe cases, surgery. To prevent elbow dysplasia, it's important to ensure that your goldendoodle is not overexerted and to provide them with proper nutrition and exercise. Responsible Goldendoodle breeders will have their breeding dogs screened for elbow dysplasia.


Genetic Disorders


As with any dog breed, goldendoodles can be at risk for genetic disorders. It's important to purchase your goldendoodle from a reputable breeder who has screened their dogs for genetic issues. Additionally, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help to catch any potential genetic disorders early on. By doing your research and taking preventative measures, you can help to minimize the risk of genetic disorders in your goldendoodle.


Luxating Patellas


Luxating patellas, also known as floating kneecaps, are a common condition in smaller dog breeds like petite and mini goldendoodles. This occurs when the kneecap moves out of its normal position, causing pain and discomfort for the dog. Symptoms of luxating patellas include limping, reluctance to move, and an abnormal gait. Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition, and may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery. To prevent luxating patellas, it's important to avoid overexertion and to provide your goldendoodle with proper exercise and nutrition. Luxating patellas are hereditary, therefore the best prevention is to ensure your puppy comes from parents who have been screened for and clear of luxating patellas.


Heart Problems


Goldendoodles can be prone to a variety of heart conditions. These include mitral valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy, and pulmonary hypertension, among others. Symptoms of heart problems in dogs include coughing, shortness of breath, and lethargy. Treatment options depend on the specific condition and may include medication, lifestyle changes, or surgical intervention. To prevent heart problems in your goldendoodle, it's important to get your puppy from a breeder who performs cardiac testing before breeding dogs. Once your puppy is home, be sure to provide them with regular exercise, proper nutrition, and regular check-ups with your veterinarian. Many, but not all, heart conditions, can be screened for in parents before breeding.


Addison's Disease

Addison's disease, also known as hypoadrenocorticism, is a serious health risk for goldendoodles. This autoimmune-related condition occurs when the adrenal glands are unable to produce certain hormones. Symptoms of Addison's disease in goldendoodles include vomiting, weight loss, weak or absent appetite, extreme tiredness, and low blood sugar levels. If untreated, it can cause serious damage to internal organs. It's important for owners of goldendoodles to be aware of the risks associated with this condition and monitor their pup for any signs of poor health or changes in behavior. Catching and treating Addison's disease early can help ensure a longer and happier life for your pup. While we know Addison's disease has a strong genetic component, at the time of this writing there is no genetic test for Addison's disease for breeding dogs. A responsible breeder will not breed dogs with Addison's diseases in their lines and will cease breeding any dogs that have produced puppies that go on to develop Addison's disease.


Risk Reduction

Not all, but many of the conditions listed in this post are completely preventable or have significantly reduced likelihood if your breeder tests your puppy's parents for them prior to breeding.


Not all breeders are ethical or honest, so either get your puppy from a GANA certified breeder (GANA reviews all the health testing in their certification so you don't have to) or be sure to ask for and review the health testing on your puppy's parents. A full list of recommended health testing for the breed can be found at the GANA site.


Conclusion


Goldendoodles are generally healthy dogs, but it's important to be aware of their health risks. Getting your Goldendoodle puppy from a breeder that health tests parents prior to breeding is a critical part of risk reduction for your new puppy.




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