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Health In Golden Retrievers

Health Clearances
Our dogs are health tested for hips, elbows, heart, eyes and now I have included PRA-1 and Ichthyosis test to my health schemes. PRA-1 and Ichthyosis are DNA test that or done by several  companies here in the states. A research team at the Animal Health Trust in the UK and the Swedish University in Upsaala have recently identified a mutation GR_PRA-1 that causes Progressive Retinal Atrophy. By having 1 parent normal/clear of PRA-1  none of the offspring will be affected.  As for Ichthyosis this is a common inherited dermatitis in the Golden Retriever. Dogs affected with ichythosis develop white scales on the skin soon after birth and as they get older it may turn blackish and cause dry flaky skin.  
Some affected dogs will show signs of Icthyosis while other affected dogs will have no symptoms at all. We breed to produce only clear and carrier puppies but please realize there are many more factors like temperament, hips, elbows, eyes, longevity, PRA-1/PRA-2 and cancer rate in lines that will take priority. Some breeders sell puppies for more money if they are producing all clear Ichthyosis litters. It is not necessary to get a clear puppy for thousands more. We will only produce clear and carrier puppies. 

Hip/Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia (HD) is a complex condition where the hip joints of a growing puppy develop abnormally. The primary reason for this abnormal development is hip joint laxity ie the joint is too loose; leading to the two articulating parts of the joint of the pelvis – the femoral head and the acetabulum (which form the ball-and-socket of the joint) - moving abnormally relative to one another; the femoral head subluxating (partly dislocating) from the acetabulum. This leads to abnormal stresses and strains on the joint and leads to inflammation and degeneration of the joint tissues. Ultimately, permanent osteoarthritis develops in the joints. These changes produce pain and disability for the dog which may show in a number of ways, such as lameness, abnormal gait (movement), stiffness, reluctance to get up and move and difficulty in running and playing. Both genetic and environmental factors play a part in the development of HD.

 A Few Environmental Factors

Obesity is a common cause of hip dysplasia in dogs for an obvious reason. If a dog is constantly fed a high calorific diet or is fed scraps from the table (or simply too much food) as the dog puts on more weight this can add more stress to the hips.

Calcium & phosphorous imbalance… It is also important to mention that a diet that is not properly balanced with the correct calcium and phosphorous can also lead to poor bone development in dogs and puppies. It is important to feed your puppy/dog a high quality food. I have provided a list on our Puppy Care page.

Exercise given to young dogs and puppies during the age of rapid bone growth can also lead to the condition. To prevent the likelihood of a young dog or puppy from developing the condition owners should avoid walking their pet on hard surfaces (during the stage of rapid bone development) and also discourage their pet from jumping and landing on their back legs i.e. standing up against a fence, on your leg or jumping up and landing on their back legs when attempting to reach a ball or toy during play-time.

BVA  We use the for our hip and elbow health schemes.

Dr. Jean Dobb's Vaccine Protocol

Raw Diet


I give my dogs Diatomaceous Earth,Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Salmon Oil and Coconut Oil daily. 

Natural Rearing

 I am in the beginning stages of researching natural remedies and if you are able to find a holistic vet in your area I strongly urge you to use them. Here is the Natural Rearing site for more information. 

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