Flat-Coated Retriever Health Problems and Raising a Flat-Coated Retriever Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015
The most common health problems in Flat-Coated Retrievers:
The Flat-Coated Retriever Club conducted a health survey which included nearly 2000 dogs. They report that the most common cause of death in the breed is cancer, at a whopping 69%. Sadly, this lovely breed suffers from malignant tumors of all kinds – most notably deadly histiocytic sarcoma, which occurs in Flat-Coats and Bernese Mountain Dogs FAR more than in any other breed. Also lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, mastocytoma, melanoma, fibrosarcoma, adenocarcinoma, and others. Even more tragic is the young age (around 4 years old) at which cancer appears in so many Flat-Coats.
In addition to malignant tumors, many Flat-Coated Retrievers develop benign tumors – over 14% of the Flat-Coats in the survey had a benign histiocytoma.
NON-tumorous skin growths (sebaceous cysts and lipomas) are also common, affecting about 10% of the breed.
As with all deep-chested breeds, Flat-Coated Retrievers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat. In the club health survey, about 6% of Flat-Coat deaths were attributed to bloat.
Epilepsy has become a serious concern in the breed, and heart disease is a concern, as well.
Glaucoma is also a potential problem in the Flat-Coated Retriever. Other eye diseases include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, eyelash abnormalities, and eyelid abnormalities (ectropion and entropion).
Hypothyroidism has become more common and diabetes occurs, as well.
If you look at the hip dysplasia statistics of the Orthopedic Foundation of America, hip X-rays of 4000 Flat-Coats were evaluated and only 4% were dysplastic, which would be a good rate for this size dog – except that the true rate is higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Confirming this, the club health survey reported that over 9% of the Flat-Coated Retrievers in their survey were dysplastic.
Less common orthopedic diseases in Flat-Coats are elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, osteochondritis, and panosteitis.
Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).
Other health issues reported in Flat-Coated Retrievers are laryngeal paralysis and megaesophagus.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Flat-Coated Retriever?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Flat-Coated Retrievers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Flat-Coated Retriever puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Flat-Coated Retriever puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Flat-Coated Retriever puppy or adult dog:
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Copyright © 2000-2015 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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