Discovering the Golden Retriever Digestive Problems

Dogs, such as the Golden Retriever, really love to eat and they almost try to munch on everything along their way. We already have a clear understanding that there are some human foods that are not suitable for dog’s consumption. Actually, the reality is that we are not always on the lookout to see what our dog eats up. So, there would still be instances that dogs will tend to take in the forbidden foods for them. From there, the Golden Retriever digestive problems may occur.

If you are a first-time dog owner, or you do not have enough knowledge about the digestive issues that Goldies may have to experience, no need to worry ‘coz we have you covered. In this blog post, we will detail what are the digestive problems in dogs all about. Also, included here are the specific issues that may occur in the digestive system of the Golden Retriever. Causes, symptoms, and treatment for that kind of medical condition are also detailed here.

So, if you are excited to learn about these medical conditions of the Golden Retriever, come along and read with us until the end!

Golden Retriever Digestive Problems: What it is?

Generally, dogs like the Golden Retriever may also experience diarrhea, constipation, and stomach upset. All of these are considered digestive problems. There are times that Goldies may develop food intolerance; they accidentally eat garbage or acquire infections due to bacteria. Because of that, Golden Retriever digestive problems may occur.

However, the digestive concerns of the Goldies may be very challenging for the pet owners as most cases of dog’s digestive issues share common symptoms. In the end, most problems related to the digestive system of dogs highly depend on a supportive approach as a treatment method.

The organs inside the digestive system have the main responsibilities of absorbing, digesting, moving food, and excreting it. Basically, from the esophagus, stomach, the intestines, down to the pancreas, colon to anus, the digestive system works as one. Most of the time, when the Golden Retriever digestive problems were diagnosed, the primary objective of the veterinarian is to focus on the specific organ where the problem had arisen.

Symptoms of Goldies Digestive Issues

Digestive problems in dogs may vary depending on the dog breed. In general, here are the possible symptoms that you may observe to your Golden Retriever once he is suffering from digestive problems. Check them all out below:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Bloody stool or with the presence of mucous
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain on the abdomen (for colic problem)
  • Stool consistency or color change
  • Vomiting
  • Anorexia (for chronic digestive cases)

Causative Factors of Digestive Problems in Goldies

Generally, there is a number of factors that may lead to the occurrence of digestive problems in dogs such as the Golden Retriever. Check below for those possible causes:

  • Consuming indigestible foods
  • Immediate change of dog food type
  • Eating up of garbage or food from the trash
  • Feeding food containing high levels of fats
  • Presence of bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella
  • There are parasites like Giardia, hookworms, and whipworms
  • Viruses including parvo, rotavirus, and distemper are present

Golden Retriever Digestive Problems: Specific Issues of the Goldies

golden retriever digestive problems

Since all dogs are unique, digestive problems occurring from one breed may not be prevalent in the other breeds. In fact, there are some digestive issues that are commonly seen on Golden Retrievers compared to other breeds. Now, let us try to unravel the specific digestive issues that the Golden Retriever may experience.


Actually, the Golden Retrievers do not really have that intense sensitive stomach as compared to other dog breeds. What most of them have are food allergies to some types of foods such as grain. The Golden Retrievers or even most canines are omnivores. Meaning, their diet specifically requires a combination of meat and vegetables. Definitely, the Golden Retriever can be suitable for a vegetarian diet, but they may generally experience some issues from doing so.

Moreover, the Goldies diet should also include other elements to make it a well-balanced one. The wrong assumption and inappropriate approach most pet owners do are to feed their dogs with anything that they get along the way. That’s the reason why the Golden Retrievers are susceptible to have a sensitive stomach. They may generally suffer from diarrhea or flatulence once they consume foods that are not intended for them.

Causes of Goldies’ Sensitive Stomach

The primary reason behind the stomach sensitivity of the Golden Retrievers is the sudden change in their diet. So, if there is a recent diet modification of your Goldies, consider reverting it back as soon as possible.

In case the upset on the stomach still remains and has diarrhea after reverting their diet, the possible causative factor would be the presence of bacteria. Chances are the Golden Retriever may have a bacterial infection.

Another triggering factor would be motion sickness that the Goldies may develop while they went into travel. It is very crucial as a pet owner to learn how to determine the difference between stomach upset or other digestive concerns. However, it tends to be very challenging most likely if diarrhea is the only symptom that you observe.

Symptoms of Golden Retriever Stomach Sensitivity

If you are suspecting your Golden Retriever to have a sensitive stomach, then try to check the following signs and symptoms:

  • Bloody stool
  • Consistent scratching due to itchy skin
  • Diarrhea or consistently loose stool
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Tear-stains or reddish-brown marks in their face
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Regardless of the causative factor and the sensitivity level of the Golden Retriever’s stomach, the symptoms would greatly vary. The key here is to look for the chronic signs and symptoms. This basically means that the Golden Retriever digestive problem is sensitive stomach if the symptoms persist in a day or two.

Moreover, it is also crucial to keep in mind that the symptoms of the dog’s stomach sensitivity with those of other digestive problems in dogs such as the following:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD
  • Gastroenteritis or Digestive System Infection
  • The pancreatitis or Inflammation of the Pancreas
  • Colitis or Inflammation of the Colon


Usually, bloat in dogs occurs once gas, food, or fluid fill up the dog’s stomach and eventually expand it. That expansion generally gives pressure on the organs inside the dog’s body. It is basically a common condition in dogs most likely to the Golden Retriever breed. In case your Goldies is suffering from it, give treatment right away because it may lead to dangerous problems like the following:

  • Decrease blood flow going to the heart and lining of the stomach
  • Development of tear in the dog’s stomach wall
  • Difficulty of breathing

There are instances that the stomach of the Goldies will twist, and this is called by the vet the Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. Dogs suffering from this digestive problem may have trapped blood in their stomach and prevent it from going back into the heart and to other body areas. That way, your Golden Retriever may end up having shock.

Causes of Bloat in Golden Retriever

Primary, the dog’s breed is one of the main factors for dogs to have bloat. Golden Retriever is one of the dog breeds that are susceptible to have this digestive problem. Bloat is generally common in dogs that are usually large in size and deep chests. Just for added information, below are the other dog breeds that are prone to developing bloat or GDV:

  • German Shepherds
  • Boxers
  • Basset Hounds
  • Akitas

Some dog breeds that are at higher risk for developing GDV are:

  • St. Bernards
  • Weimaraners
  • Irish Setters
  • Gordon Setters
  • Great Danes

Aside from this, the causative factors leading to dogs bloat is unclear according to most veterinarians. Yet, there are things that increase the risk of the Golden Retriever having bloat.

  • Drinking and eating too much
  • Eating one large meal in a day
  • Eating too fast
  • Elevated food bowl that the Goldies use for eating
  • Playing or running too much after eating
  • Stress
Symptoms of Bloat in Goldies

Bloat due to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus immediately comes and affects the Goldies. Initially, signs of stomach pain may be highly observed such as:

  • Anxiousness
  • Drooling
  • Keep looking on their stomach
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Stretching the front body half down having the end body in an up position

If the condition is left untreated, it will continue and may even get worse. In case bloat persists badly, you may notice the following signs:

  • Collapse
  • Malaise
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath

It is always a better idea to rush your Goldies to the veterinarian immediately if you suspect him to be suffering from bloat. Keep in mind that if your Golden Retriever would not be treated right away for bloating, this digestive problem may generally end his life.

Diagnosing Digestive Problems in Golden Retriever

Once you saw the signs of digestive problems in your pooch and rush him to the vet, he will immediately do his assessment to your Goldies and this may include the following:

  • Physical examination on the dog
  • Ask the following information – onset and duration of the signs and symptoms, vaccination records, travel history, behavior of the Golden Retriever
  • Diagnosis of bacterial infection – it generally involves conducting of blood counts, blood chemistry panel, bacterial and/or fungal culture, and urinalysis
  • Assessment of parasitic infection – taking of stool sample will be performed to identify the number of parasitic eggs invading the dog’s digestive system
  • Determination of viral infection – if the digestive problem seems to be viral, collection of tissue samples and antibodies may take place.
  • X-rays and ultrasounds – ruling out the chance of obstructions in the dog’s intestine
  • Endoscopy – this is basically performed when inflammation is highly possible

Treatment for Canines Digestive Problems

The creation of a treatment plan for the Golden Retriever digestive issue is the next step the vet will do since he already knows the root cause. Here is the list of general and specific treatments for a dog’s digestive concerns.


Supportive Treatment:

Generally, the supportive approach is the most applicable treatment method for digestive problems in dogs caused by viral infections. This may also be a helpful approach for dealing with chronic digestive conditions like pancreatitis and colic.

Moreover, if diarrhea and vomiting are the ones to address, the supportive approach may generally include electrolytes and fluids administration. The main goal for this is to prevent dehydration. For minor cases, a subcutaneous mode of administration will do. Yet, the intravenous route is highly needed for severe cases.

The use of antiemetic medications will do the work for reducing nausea and vomiting in canines. This should generally be given in small doses.

Treatment for Severe Cases:

Most likely, if the dog digestive problems tend to be severe and there are too many obstructions in the digestive tract, the best thing to do is surgical intervention. Antibiotic administration is also necessary for those with bloody diarrhea highly related with gastroenteritis. In case there is significant lose of blood plasma, veterinarian will give antiemetics and plasma transfusions.


Treatment for Goldies Sensitive Stomach:
golden retriever digestive problems

The moment that your Goldies has stomach sensitivity, think back on this week and try to recall any diet changes that had happened. Regardless of the type of diet modification that you introduce to your pooch, immediately revert it back. Once you’ve already done that, restrict your dog’s diet that may not cause possible stomach upset.

This basically involves the introduction of food that is totally free from artificial ingredients like sugars and grains. It is also highly recommendable if the protein that you will give to your Golden Retriever comes from a natural source.

Try to feed your dog with homemade food for about a week and from then, observe what will happen next. If the result is good, gradually add new food into the dog’s diet and, at the same time, monitor them closely to see any symptoms. In case symptoms occur, you will know the last food given to them.

Moreover, consider these tips to successfully treat your dog’s sensitive stomach:

  • Eliminate all the table scraps and treats temporarily
  • Tell to the other members of the family not to feed any food to your Goldies
  • Ensure that there are no other food sources anywhere that dogs can able to eat
  • Try feeding them an easily digestible diet having restricted ingredients
  • Ensure a grain-free diet and no chemicals or artificial additives are included
Treatment for Golden Retriever Bloating:

Dog’s bloating generally depends on the severity of their condition. Bloating can be addressed by the following:

Insert stomach tubing

The veterinarian will put a tube going through the throat of the dog down to the stomach. That way, it will help in releasing the build-up pressure inside. There are instances when the twisted stomach keeps the tube to get through. In cases like this, the veterinarian will have to place a big hollow needle into their stomach through their belly. The pressure will also be released through this.


IV fluids will be administered by the veterinarian as soon as the dog will suffer from shock. The IV fluids usually contain antibiotic medication.

X-rays and surgery

Your Goldies will undergo into x-ray to be able to check if the stomach is actually twisted. It is highly recommended that the dog will have immediate surgery to place back the stomach into the normal position. Moreover, part of the surgery is the fixing of the dog’s stomach. Doing this is the best way to prevent the occurrence of bloating in the future.


Generally, prevention is always better than cure. Since bloat in dogs is a scary digestive issue, it is good to keep it from occurring. Here are tips that you may consider to prevent it from happening to your Goldies:

  • Do not feed your dog using a raised or elevated food bowl unless recommended by the veterinarian.
  • Stop them from running or playing just before and after eating a meal.
  • Practice feeding them with small frequent meals within the day.
  • Give them the standard amount of water that they need.

Final Words

Golden Retriever is a dog breed that may also suffer from different digestive problems. Some of it may be generally related to other underlying conditions. Yet, others may be life-threatening and can dangerously affect the Goldies. Example of such Golden Retriever’s digestive issue is bloating.

The good thing is treatments and preventive measures are already available to address the digestive issues of the Goldies. Just don’t hesitate to ask the help of the professionals when the symptoms get too serious. Immediately rush your Golden Retriever to the veterinarian to make a clear diagnosis of the problem. With that, the vet will able to create a better treatment plan that is best for your Goldies.


About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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