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Hip Dysplasia in Golden Retrievers

Hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers is a genetic disorder, an inherited instability of the dog’s joints which is common in the breed.

Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever was first developed in Scotland, the original breeding being a cross between a male yellow-colored Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel female dog.

Some variations exist between the British type Golden Retrievers prevalent throughout Europe and Australia, and those of American lines, and these differences are reflected in the breed standard.

The muzzle of the British type of dog is wider and shorter, and its forehead is blockier. It has shorter legs, with a slightly deeper chest, and a shorter tail. Its features make it generally heavier than the American Retriever. The eyes of the European type are noted for their roundness and darkness as contrasted with the triangular or slanted composition of American Golden Retrievers.

Retrievers’ coat colors range from a light golden color to dark golden. The Golden’s coat can also be mahogany colored, which is referred to as “redhead”. As a Golden grows older, its coat can become darker or lighter, along with a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the muzzle. A puppy’s color is usually much lighter than its adult coat.

Golden Retrievers shed moderately to heavily, shedding year round, especially in the spring and early summer. The coat and undercoat are dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy.

The temperament of the Golden Retriever is described as kindly, friendly and confident. They are equally friendly with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog. Unprovoked aggression or hostility towards people, dogs or other animals is not in keeping with the character of the breed. The typical Golden Retriever is calm and naturally intelligent, with an exceptional eagerness to please.

Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence, ranking fourth after the Border Collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd. Goldens are one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability. These dogs are also renowned for their patience with children.

The average life span for a Golden Retriever is 11 to 11½ years.

Hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are susceptible to genetic disorders like hip and elbow dysplasia which is common in the breed.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited instability of the dog’s joints. This instability can be compounded by environmental factors such as injury to the joint and by dietary factors such as pushing rapid growth in puppies.

It is not possible to predict when or even if hip dysplasia will occur in a Golden.

However, there are some easily noticeable symptoms of hip dysplasia which include moving more slowly, difficulty in getting up or lying down, reluctance to walk, jump or play, refusing to use stairs or get into the car, muscle atrophy, limping, yelping when touched, changes in appetite, and personality changes.

X-rays are the easiest way to diagnose hip dysplasia in a Golden Retriever.

A vet will evaluate the joints and take into consideration any symptoms like those listed above because sometimes an x-ray won’t reveal the full extent of the dog’s pain. The vet will also consider the dog’s movements and any evidence of lameness before making a diagnosis.


When a Golden is diagnosed with hip dysplasia and the choices for treatment seem limited to expensive surgery or questionable drugs, many holistic vets recommend you begin treating your dog with Winston’s Joint System, an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. This proven formula has been giving relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs for more than 20 years.

Although there is no actual cure for canine hip dysplasia, arthritis, or osteochondrosis (OCD), regular treatment with Winston’s Joint System can give immediate and long-term relief without drugs.

Surgery is normally only considered in cases of hip dysplasia if all other treatments have failed to improve the dog’s condition. This procedure is expensive and the recovery time for a dog can be considerably lengthened if the post-surgical dog is not cared for properly. The desired result of any surgical procedure is to provide an acceptable quality of life for the dog, so surgery should be considered only if a vet is reasonably certain of success.

The best way to treat hip dysplasia is of course to prevent it. Before buying a puppy, be sure it has been certified free of hip dysplasia. Certified-free parents are not guaranteed to have dysplasia-free pups.

You want your beautiful Golden to be with you as long as possible, so be alert to any signs or symptoms of hip dysplasia or arthritis, and begin early treatment.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.


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