Golden Retrievers Eye Problems And Causes

6 Common Golden Retrievers Eye Problems And Causes: (A Comprehensive Guide)

Eye diseases are common in all kinds of dogs. However, if the golden retrievers are highlighted, some of the eye diseases are also in them.

This article will provide you with information about the eye diseases that are most often found in golden retrievers. 

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6 Common Golden Retrievers Eye Problems

Golden retrievers are undoubtedly one of the best breeds. They’re well known for their friendly nature, intelligence, and, of course, their stunning golden coats. 

While golden retrievers are healthy and strong dogs, they can be prone to certain eye problems that require serious attention and care from their owner.

Understanding the eye problems of golden retrievers is crucial for their owners, as it allows for early detection, proper management, and a higher quality of life for these beloved companions.

By shedding light on common eye problems of golden retrievers, I aim to empower the owners with the necessary knowledge to identify the signs and symptoms of troubles, strive for timely veterinary care, and provide the best possible eye treatment for their furry golden retrievers.

If I just mention the list of all the common eye problems, it’d be easy for me to explain and easy for you to understand. So, here is the list of golden retrievers’ eye proplems:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion
  • Dry Eye
  • Pigmentary Uveitis
  • Corneal Trauma 

These are commonly found in many golden retrievers or in others, too. We will discuss these problems one by one.

1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

A group of inherited eye diseases that are caused by the gradual degeneration of the retina, which results in progressive vision loss, is known as progressive retinal atrophy. 

This disease is commonly known as PRA. It’s a degenerative disease of the retinal visual cells that can lead to complete blindness.

In this condition, golden retrievers get worse over time. It directly affects the retina of golden retrievers.

The retina is the part of the eye that actually performs the function of vision. It is a genetically inherited disease that is caused by recessive genes inherited from both parents.

There are many genetic types of progressive retinal atrophy that can be caused by more than one genetic mutation.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Experiencing night blindness.
  • Difficulty in vision during low light.
  • Tapetal hyperreflectivity (more reflection in the back of the inside of the eye).
  • Progressive vision loss.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Unwillingness to pass over in an unfamiliar area.


As progressive retinal atrophy is a genetic problem, the main cause is the issue in their genetics. Affected golden retrievers usually inherit it from their parents.

There are different forms of PRA. Each form is associated with a specific genetic mutation.


As a genetic problem, PRA  does not have a specific cure. However, a consistent environment and avoiding barriers can help affected dogs adapt to their vision loss. 

2. Cataracts

Cataracts refer to a medical condition in which the eye’s lens becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision or blindness if left untreated. 

They’re also common in many golden retrievers. This problem may involve complete damage to the eye lens, or it may damage the localized region only.

In cases where cataracts are complete and affect both eyes, blindness results. The most common cataract reported in golden retrievers aged between 9 months and 3 years is a posterior polar cataract.

It mostly affects both eyes. However, it can cause a problem in one eye. Usually, cataracts can remain unchanged, but they may grow or increase over time.

Signs and Symptoms:

Golden retrievers with cataracts disease may display the following signs:

  • Opaque or cloudy appearance of the lens.
  • Eye color changes.
  • Difficulty in seeing.
  • Crashing with objects.
  • Increased sensitivity to light.


Although this problem can be developed due to various factors in golden retrievers or to any other dog breed, some common factors are given below. These are:

  • A problem in their genes
  • Aging
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Trauma to the eye 
  • May develop due to some metabolic diseases such as Diabetes mellitus
  • Certain medications, etc 


If your golden retriever has been affected and it is due to genes, then it’s hard to treat it. We can only reduce the damage with certain medications.

Furthermore, there are some treatments that can be adopted to prevent the disease that includes: 

  • Primarily, surgery.
  • Replacing a cloudy lens with an artificial lens.
  • Early detection and then curing according to the veterinary ophthalmologist generally yields better results.

3. Entropion

A physical abnormality of the eyelid that causes the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the cornea, is known as entropion.

This problem is also found in many dogs and especially in golden retrievers. It results in direct irritation and potential damage to the eye.

Sometimes, when getting worse, can lead to other eye problems like cornea scarring.


The causes of entropion may include:

  • Various genetic factors like enlargement of the skin around the face and eyes.
  • The depth and shape of the eye socket also matter.
  • Scarring from previous eye injuries can also be the cause of entropion.

Clinical Signs

Commonly found symptoms include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness of the eye
  • Screwing up one’s eyes
  • Ulcer or infection in the eye


This problem mainly needs surgical correction. 

4. Dry Eye

Insufficient tear production in the eye, and excessive tear evaporation, which results in the dryness and inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva, is known as a dry eye problem. 

Just like in humans’ dry eye problems can be annoying. It is painful and makes your golden retriever rub their eyes constantly.


The causes of this eye problem include

  • Certain medications.
  • Injury to the tear-producing gland.
  • It can also be caused by autoimmune diseases. 


  • Lubricating ointments are recommended.
  • Medications to stimulate tear production.
  • In some cases, surgery could be the best option.

5. Pigmentary Uveitis

This disease refers to the accumulation of dark pigments in the front of the eye called the uvea. It’s also known as Pigmentary Uveitis Syndrome (PUS).

This disease can be in any kind of dog breed. It is also commonly found in golden retrievers. It normally occurs in middle-aged dogs to older ones and male golden retrievers are mostly infected. 


When dark brown or black pigment develops, it results in: 

  • Inflammation
  • Irritation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Squinting


Unfortunately, there is no known reason that results in this disease. However, in most golden retrievers, it is found as a genetic problem.


Generally, there is no treatment up to now that can be recommended, but the treatment that is given to PUS dogs is to reduce the symptoms and prevent complications.

It includes certain systemic medications to reduce inflammation, control ocular pressure, and manage pain. When the condition gets worse, surgery is recommended.

6. Corneal Trauma

It refers to direct injury or damage to the outermost layer of the eye, called cornea. As golden retrievers are energetic dogs, they play a lot.

During this, anything could happen to their eyes. They may damage their eyes while playing. A foreign object can also lead to this condition. 


The clinical signs of this problem are:

  • Redness of the eye
  • Tearing 
  • Squinting 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Discharge
  • Cloudiness or ulceration in the cornea.


  • Accidental injuries 
  • Chemical irritants 
  • Exposure to environmental factors.


The cure to this problem depends on the severity of the injury. If the injury is not that problematic, it can heal on its own. Or you can give some antibiotics with lubricating eye drops. However, severe injuries need surgery.

Final Thoughts

The above-mentioned diseases are often found in golden retrievers. Moreover, there are some other problems that could be in Golden too. All you need to see for clinical signs in your dog.

Primarily, I suggest you visit a well-experienced vet. If you’re far from the reach of doctors, you can use the medications and strategies I suggested in the article. So, you can save your golden retriever from severe damage. 


Q1. How do I know if my golden retriever’s eyes are bad?

In order to check your dog’s eyes whether affected or not, you need to look for certain clinical signs such as bumping into objects, discharge, tearing, being very sensitive to light, Cloudiness in the eye, changes in behavior, swollen or inflamed eyes, and irritation. These symptoms show that your dog is affected. 

Q2. Do golden retrievers have bad eyesight?

No, they have good eyesight. However, they are prone to certain eye problems like cataracts and entropion, etc. These problems can lead to blindness if left untreated. 

Q3. How common is golden retriever uveitis?

The commonness of this disease in golden retrievers is estimated between 5 to 10 percent. They are found mostly in dogs over the age of 5 years. This disease can be in any kind of dog breed.

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