The health differences between the English Golden and the American Golden are staggering. It is the greatest reason why more people are considering purchasing an English Golden over an American Golden. The money saved in purchasing an American Golden pales in comparison to the vet bills accumulated over the dog's lifespan.
Cancer was the cause of death for 61.8% of American Goldens according to a 1998 health study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, making it the breed's biggest killer. The most common types of cancers in Goldens are hemangiosarcoma, followed by lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and osteosarcoma. The incidence of cancer among English bloodlines is significantly lower than in the American lines. In fact the British Kennel Club (KC) did a very extensive study recently and found that cancer only caused the death of 38.8% of English Goldens. The median age of an English Golden is 12 years and 3 months according to the study, but the median age of an American Golden is only 10 years and 8 months. This means that on average an English Golden will live 1 year and 7 months longer than an American Golden and English Goldens get cancer almost 1/2 has often as American Goldens.
Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia are much more common in American Goldens than English Golden Retrievers. The reason is two-fold. There has been a much stronger emphasis in Europe placed on the quality development of the breed than in America. Dog shows are found throughout the European continent in every in country and in hundreds of villages. Competition is much more fierce than in America. More competition produces a superior Golden Retriever. Secondly, the American Golden Retrievers have a limited gene pool. They came from a limited number of Goldens imported from Europe a century ago. The genetic limitation contributes a greater risk factor for health defects. It is interesting to note that there are now many English Goldens being imported in the United States to improve the American Golden bloodlines.
Click here to see the Golden Retriever Club of America study:
Click here to see the Brittish Kennel Club study :
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