The Common Golden Retriever Eye Problems to Watch Out For

The Golden Retriever is one of my favorite dog breeds for their majestic appearance and bubbly personality. But even with the best traits of a Golden Retriever, there are bad things to take note of. Unfortunately, this dog breed is no exception to common ailments and diseases dogs suffer from.

In fact, Golden Retrievers are susceptible to a few eye conditions, too! It’s crucial to learn all about their common Golden Retriever eye problems so you know what to expect and how to prevent it. With that said, read on to learn about the common eye problems Golden Retrievers have.

golden retriever eye problems

Three Common Golden Retriever Eye Problems

Are you wondering about what eye problems Golden Retrievers may have as they grow up? Watch out for these three common ailments:

1. Cataracts

Cataracts are actually one of the most reported eye problems found in Golden Retrievers! Besides this, they may also suffer from abnormalities of the eyelashes and eyelids.

Cataracts, specifically congenital cataracts, can develop at around four to six years old. It refers to the cloudiness of their eye’s crystalline lens, which prevents light passing to their retina. This can cause loss of vision!

Usually, cataracts are inherited and there are different types of cataracts Golden Retrievers may have. Those who have less than 30% lens opacity have little to no symptoms. For those who have more than 60% lens opacity, they may suffer from complete vision loss or have trouble seeing in darker areas.

For dogs with diabetes mellitus-related cataract, they also experience other symptoms such as increased thirst, urination frequency, weight loss, and vision impairment. Besides this, one common symptom is seeing cloudiness in your dog’s eyes.

Besides the condition being inheritable, there are other causes like:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Electric shock
  • Old age
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Radiation or toxic substance exposure

The main treatment for cataracts is through surgery, as it’s a progressive disorder that leads to blindness. For dogs who contracted cataracts without it being inherited, surgery isn’t recommended. Instead, they use surgical techniques and/or medicine to treat the condition.

old blind golden retriever
Portrait of an old blind golden retriever, cataract in his eyes.

2. Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or CPRA, is a degenerative retinal disease which would affect both your Retriever’s eyes. It would affect pigment cells at your dog’s retina center. It usually happens to older dogs or those predisposed to CPRA.

While Golden Retrievers with CPRA can’t see stationary objects well, especially when under bright lights, they’re able to see moving objects.

You’ll know that they may have CPRA if they duffer from the following symptoms:

  • Cataracts and cloudy or discoloration around the eye surface
  • Greenish tinge on the eye’s surface
  • Bumping or tripping over things around them
  • They feel reluctant to go in dark areas, stairs, or to explore

Unfortunately, there’s no treatment to fully recover from CPRA and the only thing you can do is to make your dog’s surroundings friendly for their eyesight. Fortunately though, while their vision worsens as the condition progresses, it rarely results in full blindness.

»How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live? Facts You Need to Know

3. Pigmentary Uveitis

Golden Retrievers have a higher risk of getting cancer compared to other dog breeds. Up to 60% of Golden Retrievers get the disease, actually. However, there’s another disease that affects Golden Retrievers as all, which is Pigmentary Uveitis.

This is an eye disease that causes uveal tract inflammation, including around the iris. Unfortunately, there’s’ a high risk of becoming blind from the disease!

There are different signs to watch out for from this disease, including:

  • Redness and minimal drainage to the eyes
  • Squinting
  • Light sensitivity (or photophobia)
  • Cloudiness around the eye/s

It would typically affect Golden Retrievers between six to eight years old. However, it can also appear in younger and senior Golden Retrievers. There isn’t an actual known cause to the disease, though apparently, it’s inherited.

Pigmentary Uveitis doesn’t cause blindness, it’s actually the complications that come with it, which cause blindness. The disease can actually cause glaucoma or cataracts, which is what leads to blindness. Even after blindness from glaucoma, it’s important to closely monitor your dog’s eye health, as it causes severe pain.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to detect Pigmentary Uveitis since there are only minimal noticeable symptoms. That’s why it’s crucial to have their eyes checked every few months to ensure good health.

Learn more about the different common health problems Golden Retrievers may have with this informative video:

Wrapping It Up

Golden Retrievers are susceptible to a host of diseases, even common eye ailments. To prevent blindness or further complications, knowledge is key, so you know how to identify and treat it immediately. That way, your dog stays healthy and will live comfortably for years to come.

I hope my article on the common Golden Retriever eye problems helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and start taking preventive measures to keep your dog healthy now.

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