Curly Coated Retriever Health Problems

Curly-Coated Retriever Health Problems

All dogs, both pure-bred and mixed can live healthy, long, full lives if they have proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care.

This is not to say that dogs cannot fall victim to hereditary minor and treatable conditions or severe, often fatal diseases.

The more there is a demand for a breed, some breeders see dollar signs and breed dogs regardless of whether they have just been bred, like puppy mills, or if they have or carry certain genetic and hereditary diseases that can be passed down.


Curly-Coated Retrievers have not been overbred by some to the extent that golden and Labrador retrievers have, yet this is still no guarantee that a Curly you buy from a breeder won’t have any underlying disease-carrying genes in their bloodline.

When deciding to add a Curly-Coated retriever to your familyOpens in a new tab., discuss health issues with your breeder and see if they participate in health screenings and keep good records on all breeding dogs and puppies.

Almost all breeds have their own type of hereditary issues that can develop if breeders breed dogs that carry genetic diseases. Find out if your breeder will guarantee that certain health problems Opens in a new tab.won’t crop up.


The following post will contain information on Curly-Coated retriever health problems and Curly Coated retriever common health problems. Opens in a new tab.Also included will be Curly Coated retriever health problems, causes, and symptoms.

To check your Curly-Coated Retrievers’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet Opens in a new tab.website for all the help you may need.

Curly-Coated Retriever Health Problems
Image from PixabayOpens in a new tab.

Curly-Coated Retriever Health Problems. Do They Exist?

Curly-Coated Retrievers have not been overbred like many of the more well-known retrievers, and many people don’t even know they exist.

They have great stamina, are quite sturdy, and display good health. Of course with that type of sentence, there is always a “but.”

The Curly-Coated retrieverOpens in a new tab. does have a few conditions and diseases they can be predisposed to. This doesn’t mean they’re going to develop them but you should be aware of these issues, their signs, and symptoms.


Curly Coated Retriever Common Health Problems

There are four areas where the Curly-Coated retriever is prone to health Opens in a new tab.conditions. The four are epilepsy, hip dysplasia,Opens in a new tab. heart disease, and eye disease. Below is more in-depth information about these issues.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder that causes seizures. A dog may have a seizure due to illness, but this does not necessarily denote epilepsy.

Epilepsy occurs when seizures or convulsions repeat over time and also begin between 6 months and five years.

It is a disease of the brain and often there is no underlying cause. Seizures may be terrifyingly evident or so mild that you may not realize that your dog is having a seizure.

There are generalized seizures, which you would definitely be aware of, and focal seizures, which only occur in a small part of the brain and you may even think your pup is just acting silly. Signs and symptoms of a seizure can be:

  • Twitching of Lips, Ears, Eyelids
  • Odd Movement of Limbs
  • Snapping Jaw as if catching a fly
  • Shaking
  • Paddling of Limbs
  • Drooling
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Vocalization
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Control of Bladder or Bowels

Seizures are frightening to watch, but keep in mind that your pup is unaware of what is happening. You just need to keep them safe perhaps by surrounding them with pillows so they don’t injure themselves.

Take your Curly to their veterinarian or an animal hospital as soon afterward as you can. Try to remember as much as you can about the seizure, description, time of day, what was going on beforehand, and how long it took your pup to recover.

If you can even manage a video on your phone, this would be an immense help for your veterinarian.

If epilepsy is diagnosed, your Curly will be prescribed a medication to prevent seizures such as potassium bromide, phenobarbital, zonisamide, or Keppra.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can develop in the growth stagesOpens in a new tab. of your Curly=Coated retriever. This occurs when the ball of the femur bone does not fit properly into the hip socket due to a deformity. It will, in fact, be loose.

From grinding and rubbing, this joint will wear down over time causing mobility issues, atrophied muscles, and arthritis.

Hip dysplasia is primarily a hereditary disease and dogsOpens in a new tab. that suffer from this disorder or have it in their bloodline, should not be bred.


When puppies are still growing too much vigorous exercise on still-developing bones and joints can also cause hip dysplasia. Symptoms are:

  • Grinding, Popping, and Cracking joints
  • Difficulty standing, sitting, climbing stairs, or getting into a car
  • Limping
  • Hopping
  • Sitting Abnormally in an attempt to get comfortable
  • Pain

Early diagnosis with an x-ray will help diagnose and treat hip dysplasia early and at the onset. Treatment options are:

  • Pain Management with NSAID’s
  • Supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin which help inflammation and pain
  • Injectable Therapy – Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan
  • Pet Foods for joint health
  • Physical Therapy
  • Water Therapy/swimming
  • Managing weight
  • Acupuncture

Surgery is an option in severe cases. Depending on the type of surgery, it can be quite costly however, many dogs have an excellent prognosis after surgery and long-term pain management can also be costly. Curly-Coated retrievers can go on to live a full life with hip dysplasia if treatment begins early.


Heart Disease

Curly-Coated Retrievers are susceptible to heart disease and can be born with heart defects. Some can be problematic between heart valves or the heartbeat and the electrical signals are given.

Veterinarians usually check out Curly puppiesOpens in a new tab. really well and if anything unusual is found or a heart murmur is detected, further testing will be required. Some symptoms of heart disease are:

  • Coughing
  • Swollen Belly
  • Fainting
  • Tiring Quickly
  • Heart Murmur


Subaortic stenosis is a heart defect found in puppies and causes a narrowing that overworks the heart as it tries to pump blood through this small passage. Although medications can be used, this often leads to sudden death.

Other types of heart disease that they can suffer from are cardiomyopathy and tricuspid valve dysplasia.

Eye Disorders


The Curly-Coated retriever is more at risk for two eye conditionsOpens in a new tab. which are entropion and distichiasis.

When entropion occurs, the eyelid rolls into the eye causing eyelashes to scrape the cornea. This is very painful and can lead to blindness. This is also an inherited condition and requires surgery.

Distichiasis occurs when hair grows inside the eyelid and again rubs and scratches the cornea, leading to pain and corneal ulcers.

This is inherited as well and the Curly is more prone to this than some other breeds. Treatment options vary but all permanently remove the hair.

Curly Coated Retriever Health Problems Causes and Symptoms

A few other health issuesOpens in a new tab. that can plague the Curly-Coated retriever, their causes and symptoms are found below,

Glycogen Storage Disease

This is a newer disease that has been found in Curly-Coated retrievers. In the Curly, glycogen needs to be converted into glucose, which a certain enzyme completes.

Some pups are born with a deficiency of this enzyme and thus glucose cannot be produced to regulate blood sugars, This is a genetic disease and dogs need two genes to inherit this disease but only one gene to pass it on. Symptoms are:

  • Weight Loss
  • Low blood sugar
  • Weakness
  • lethargy
  • Enlarged Liver
  • Collapse
  • Puppies generally don’t live beyond four months.

Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC)

This is a condition that is exactly what the name implies. Your Curly will collapse after about five or ten minutes of strenuous exercise. Symptoms are:

  • Wobbling
  • Collapse
  • Body temperature up to 107 degrees

These dogs are fit and otherwise in good health.Opens in a new tab. This is genetic in nature and the only treatment is to avoid vigorous exercise.

Patterned Baldness

Another genetic condition, autoimmune-related and caused by recessive genes is patterned baldness.

This is often misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism. Curly-Coated retrievers will have nice coats as puppiesOpens in a new tab. but bald patterns generally occur at sexual maturity. Symptoms are:

  • Bald patterns on the back, sides, or front of the neck
  • Baldness on back or inside of flank or legs
  • Bilateral baldness (both sides)

Some cases are mild and hair grows back while others may be completely bald and hair sometimes grows back.

Patterned baldness is generally not curable but some veterinarians offer melatonin pills that may stimulate the regrowth of hair.

Your Curly-Coated retriever may never developOpens in a new tab. any medical conditions including those listed above.

Give your Curly proper care with high quality, protein-rich food, plenty of exercises,s and necessary wellness visits. Never hesitate to check in with your veterinarian if you are concerned about any health issues.

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