Common Flat-Coated Retriever Health Issues

by Matt Bostic

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When you bring home a flat-coated retriever to your home, you want to take care of them and make sure that they do not get sick or have a variety of other health problems. As a breed, there are a few different health issues that are common in the flat-coated retriever compared to some of the other breeds you can choose. 

But what are some of the common flat-coated retriever health issues?

Common Flat-Coated Retriever Health Issues

Some common flat-coated retriever health issues include genetic problems like hip dysplasia and cancer. They may also have orthopedic health problems, bloat and torsion, and even luxating patellas or a kneecap that will slip out of place. Visiting with the vet for routine checkups will help keep your flat-coated retriever healthy. 

Let’s take a closer look at the flat-coated retriever and learn a bit more about some of the common health issues that these dogs will have. 

There are a number of health issues that the Flat-Coated Retriever is going to deal with. 

Pet owners need to be aware of some of these issues before choosing this dog, or it could be a big surprise and they may end up with a dog that has health issues they were not aware of. 

While most dogs of this breed are going to stay healthy and will not cause problems, there are a few health conditions that all dog owners of this breed need to know about. 

Some of the most common health issues that a flat-coated retriever may have to deal with include:

Genetic Health Problems

There are several genetic health problems that the flat-coated retriever is going to deal with. 

They may suffer from several eye problems that are hard to work with on your own. 

You will need to get the dog an eye appointment to make sure that they are fine and there are several methods that you can use to help get it healed as well. 

There are also several types of genetic cancers that the flat-coated retriever is able to get as well. 

There is no genetic testing available for these cancers and they can quickly take over and claim the life of this kind of dog. 

This is why you need to pay attention to anything that is off for your dog and do some of the routine checkups for the dog as well. 

Orthopedic Health Problems

There are also some orthopedic health problems to work with as well. 

It is not uncommon for this dog to have issues like hip dysplasia and a luxating patella, which is when these bones are not going to stay in place where they should be. 

Hip dysplasia is going to be a crippling malformation of the hip socket that can make it difficult for the dog to walk and move around. 

It will require expensive surgery and can lead the dog to have arthritis later on as well. 

Bloat and Torsion

It is also possible that your flat-coated retriever is going to suffer from something known as bloat and torsion. 

This is a type of condition in which the stomach is going to be able to twist around on itself. 

When this gets severe enough, it is going to cut off the flow of blood for the dog. 

Bloat is going to strike suddenly and it is possible for a dog who appeared fine and bouncing around at one moment could be in pain and even dead a few hours later. 

There are a few symptoms that the pet owner is going to need to look for to determine if bloat and torsion are to blame. 

Look for drooling, restlessness and pacing, pale gums, and even lip licking. 

Some dogs are going to try to throw up, but they are not able to bring anything up. 

The dog is also going to show lots of signs of pain in the process. 

Bloat is going to require surgery from a vet right away. 

If your dog has bloated up once before, it is likely that this problem is going to come again. 

Because of this issue, the vet is likely to opt for a procedure that is known as stomach tacking. 

This is going to be effective at preventing the stomach from twisting again in the future. 

Luxating Patellas

Another issue that is common with a flat-coated retriever is a patellar luxation. 

This is when the kneecap for the dog is able to slip in and out of place. 

If this is not treated, it can cause lameness that is going to come and go for the dog. 

It is possible to get this issue fixed with surgery. 

The cost will be somewhere between $1500 to $3000 depending on if one knee needs to be replaced and how long the problem was allowed to go on. 

How to Make Sure the Flat-Coated Retriever is Healthy?

The best way to make sure that your flat-coated retriever is going to be healthy is to work with a good vet. 

They will be able to do routine checkups with the dog to make sure that they are healthy and take the right preventive methods to keep the dog healthy. 

Many of the health issues above can be prevented if they are caught early and a good vet will help you to get that done. 

As soon as you bring the dog home, you need to take the time to get them into a good vet. 

The vet will be able to take a look at the dog and determine whether they are healthy or if there are any potential problems that can come up later. 

From there, you and the vet will be able to work together to come up with the right checkup schedule and make sure that the flat-coated retriever will stay healthy and happy for a long time. 

Tips to Help Bring Home a Healthy Flat-Coated Retriever Puppy

There are a few things that you are able to do to help make sure that any flat-coated retriever that you bring home is going to be healthy and will not run into some of these health problems. 

The first thing to remember is that you should not bring home a puppy from a pet store. 

These are more likely to be unhealthy and will not come with the right paperwork. 

They can be difficult to house train and are often unsocialized so there are several reasons why choosing a puppy from a pet store is a bad idea. 

Choosing a reputable breeder is going to be important. 

There are several breeders who belong to the Flat-Coated Retriever Society of America. 

This is a great website to visit to find a breeder referral service. 

This ensures that the breeder you choose will take care of the puppies and follows the rules for ensuring the parents and the puppies are as healthy as possible. 

While this is not a guarantee that the puppy will never get sick, it does help to make the risks lower. 

Never purchase a puppy from a breeder who is not able to provide you with the written documentation that you need.

This documentation needs to provide proof that the parents are cleared of health problems that will affect the breed.

A vet check is a good idea, but it will not be a substitute for the necessary genetic health testing. 

The documentation helps to prove this. 

You can also consider bringing home an adult flat-coated retriever rather than a puppy

Most of the behavioral and health problems that show up in this breed will not show up while they are a puppy.

If you find an adult dog in this breed that does not have these conditions, then it is likely they are not going to develop the issues later. 

After you pick out your dog, whether they are a puppy or an adult, you should take them to a vet you can trust as soon as possible. 

Your vet is going to be a good resource to spot some of the visible problems and can help you set up the right regimen that will help you to avoid many of the common health issues that this dog can have. 

Keeping Your Flat-Coated Retriever Healthy

All dog breeds are going to have some health concerns that tend to be more common in them than in other breeds. 

Knowing what they are in the flat-coated retriever is not meant to make you scared of getting this breed. 

But it does alert you of the problems and will provide you with a way to be proactive and keep the puppy safe and healthy. 

With the help of your chosen vet, you will be able to keep the puppy healthy and can even prevent some of the common health problems that we talked about above. 

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