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Has anybody experienced problems with their Golden’s ears or with hot spots? My dad says every Golden he has ever known or owned has had terrible ear infections and he is therefore hesitant to get another Golden despite otherwise loving the breed. I say that I think getting a Golden from a reputable breeder and feeding a good quality food would help prevent the issue since I think Goldens are also prone to allergies? As well as possibly preventative cleanings? How common are ear problems?
 

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I can only give my limited experience with the three Golden’s we’ve had. Our first was from a backyard breeder and was definitely not well bred. She was a sweetheart with a great personality but she had several ear infections, hot spots and allergies. She lived to age 14. Our second was a stray, about a year old, that my daughter found. She was purebred and very sweet but we obviously couldn’t know if she was well bred or not. We had no problems with ear infections, hot spots or allergies. She lived to age 12. Our current golden is 6 years old and we have no problems with ear infections, hot spots or allergies. She is from a hobby breeder and probably wouldn’t be considered to be particularly well bred but again is very sweet. Other than our first golden, their coats have been easy to care for and maintain.
 

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Kristy
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It's a crapshoot. There are no guarantees with ears. Generally if the dog isn't swimming and you are willing to clean ears out a couple times a month you should be ok. It's a risk that I'm willing to take because I love all the good things about Goldens :)
 

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I have had 3 Goldens
First one from a humane society never had a hot spots, no ear infections. Second one from a fairly decent breeder no hot spots maybe 5-6 ear infections in her 12 years. Rukie from a very good breeder almost 20 months old no hot spots one possible ear infection but I think it was an allergy to some treats. All three were swimmers in the summer. I do use a good ear cleaner after swimming and before baths.
 

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Gabby
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I have had 3 Goldens
First one from a humane society never had a hot spots, no ear infections. Second one from a fairly decent breeder no hot spots maybe 5-6 ear infections in her 12 years. Rukie from a very good breeder almost 20 months old no hot spots one possible ear infection but I think it was an allergy to some treats. All three were swimmers in the summer. I do use a good ear cleaner after swimming and before baths.
Cwag is it better to use an ear cleaner before baths rather than after? I never even thought about it. Just assumed after was the way to do it. Thanks!
 

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I use to do it after the bath. Honestly, I can't remember why I changed. Maybe I read it on the forum somewhere. Anyone else know which is better?
 

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My anecdotal experience: 6 year old golden had multiple ear infections we've attributed to seasonal allergies. Now has one or less per year and swims probably 50+ days a year in a large River. He's an avid hunter.

3 year old golden from an excellent breeder has never had one( I don't regularly clean her ears but my other dog does)

6 month old from my breeding hasnt had a hint of an ear infection but she's young so fingers crossed she takes after mom there too.
 

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Ear infections are not common, at least in my experience if you have a regular weekly ear cleaning routine.

My first Golden lived to be 15.5, had one hot spot in his lifetime, no ear infections.

My second Golden did not have any ear infections or any hot spots, she lived to be 11.

My current boy who is almost 10, has not had a hot spot but when I adopted him, he was dealing with ear infections off and on. I adopted him from my County shelter, he had been turned in as a stray and had been on his own for awhile-he was 15-20 lbs. underweight.

I got his ear infections cleared up, I use a combination of equal parts of water, alcohol, and white vinegar mixed together. I soak a cotton ball with it, place the cotton ball in each ear and rub the base of the ear. Then I put a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe in each ear and rub the base of it-I do this on a weekly basis.

I also make sure after he's been swimming or has a bath, that his ears are dry, I clean them, then put a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe in each ear.

I've seen it recommended when you give your dog a bath to put a cotton ball with nothing on it in each ear to prevent water getting in the ears and to keep them dry.

Here's the Healthy Ear Recipe-

Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane)

1 tube Monistat (generic is fine)
1 tube Polysporin (use the real deal - it's inexpensive)
1 tube Cortaid (generic works here as well)

Use tubes of similar size. Mix all three together in a container that can
be closed well. It takes a bit to incorporate because the Polysporin is a
bit like Vaseline. Once incorporated, it stays mixed.

If ears are gunky, inflamed or smell bad, start with using a pea sized
dollop twice a day. Use your finger to gently push it into the ear. Rub.
Dogs will only shake their heads once or twice! It's a creamy, very
soothing mixture. Once you have the ears under control, lessen how often
you use it till you're only using it once a week. Once a week keeps ears
from getting bad again.

My doctor (human) is the one that came up with this as her dogs were having ear issues that weren't really under control from the things her vet was prescribing! Anyone that I know that has gone to using it has had
remarkable results and the dogs are much happier and SAFER than using
anything with alcohol in it. I was told by my vet that alcohol just dries
the ear out - which includes drying out the ear drum AND that if there is
even the tiniest of perforations in that ear drum, it can let alcohol down
into the middle ear where it can do permanent damage. That's why this cream is SOOOOO good! There's nothing "liquid" about it. It goes in and melts it's way down to where it's needed. No alcohol to cause drying or damage and it will take care of anything yeast, bacterial etc...
You'll need to get the ear infection cleared up before using this Healthy Ear recipe. Once it's cleared up, this can be used as weekly maintenance.
There are all kinds of ear cleaners on the market, if you want to use a mixture that is all natural and less expensive, the water, white vinegar and alcohol mixture works really well. You can buy the items at Walmart or any drug store along with the items for the Healthy Ear Recipe.
 

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Puddles
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Any floppy ear dog can be prone to ear infections. I've owned spaniels, beagles, labs and goldens and (knock on wood) never had problem with hot spots or ear infections. But I work at it... After every dip in the pool, I wash out the ears. I bathe several times a month and (until recently) used Earthborn tea tree oil/aloe shampoo. It's not much work actually, just part of owning a floppy ear pup.
 

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Blondie had ear infection. I learn quickly how to treat the ear infection. I would dry ears out after a swim and would clean her ears regular to help prevent the infections.

Her infection were seasonal every spring and fall. Later in life between age 9 and 13 she got less infections, 2 to 5 it felt like every other week I was fighting an infection. Blondie live for 13 1/2 years.

Very few hot spots.
 

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Cwag is it better to use an ear cleaner before baths rather than after? I never even thought about it. Just assumed after was the way to do it. Thanks!

If it's not fropm allergies (maybe 80% of the time) then most ear infections are from trapped water from swimming or after a bath. So it most important to clean the ears AFTER swimming or a bath (any time water could have gotten in the ears). the ear canal isn't at a 90 degree angle but less so it's very easy for water to get trapped in the canal. Think of a soda straw in a cup of soda, you put you finger on the end and pull it out, all the soda stays in the straw. Think of the same thing with the dogs ears. Plus the extra hair UNDER the ear. Make sure you clear that out and trim it back so more air can get in and keep the ears from getting moist.


Also, if it isn't food allergies, but a moisture issue, your dog could also benefit from using an ear drying cream after the ear cleaning. I think Vet's best makes a 2 pack kit of a cleaner and a drying cream together.
 

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It's a crapshoot. There are no guarantees with ears. Generally if the dog isn't swimming and you are willing to clean ears out a couple times a month you should be ok. It's a risk that I'm willing to take because I love all the good things about Goldens :)

I sort of tend to agree with this. My first Golden was a nice breeding for the time, and she had chronic ear infections. I cleaned her ears, but she seemed prone to them. Had them probably at least 2-3 times a year.

My current dog (5.5 years old) has not had a single ear infection (touch wood). Both of my dogs were/are big swimmers. Both raised the same, fed good food, lived in the same environment. So it's hard to know why one seemed especially prone to them and the other doesn't.

I would never let it be a deterrent to my having the breed. There is way too much good that balances out having to deal with ears.
 

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Gabby
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If it's not fropm allergies (maybe 80% of the time) then most ear infections are from trapped water from swimming or after a bath. So it most important to clean the ears AFTER swimming or a bath (any time water could have gotten in the ears). the ear canal isn't at a 90 degree angle but less so it's very easy for water to get trapped in the canal. Think of a soda straw in a cup of soda, you put you finger on the end and pull it out, all the soda stays in the straw. Think of the same thing with the dogs ears. Plus the extra hair UNDER the ear. Make sure you clear that out and trim it back so more air can get in and keep the ears from getting moist.


Also, if it isn't food allergies, but a moisture issue, your dog could also benefit from using an ear drying cream after the ear cleaning. I think Vet's best makes a 2 pack kit of a cleaner and a drying cream together.
Yes to the trimming under the ear!! Scully is 5 months and thankfully hasn't had any ear issues but oh my word the fluff back there was intense. I trimmed it back with thinning shears last week and it's so nice back there now. Makes cleaning her ears easier as well.
 

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Yep, any dog with floppy ears can be prone to ear infections. However, doing weekly ear cleaning and cleaning after every bath or swim will help prevent them. My first golden came from a backyard breeder and she lived to be 15 1/2. She had maybe 1 or 2 ear infections and usually got hot spots if I let her play in the horse pasture so my guess is her skin didn't like some weed in there. My current golden came from an excellent breeder and she is 7 1/2 and has never had ear infections, hot spots, or allergies. I groom lots of dogs who come from backyard breeders and it seems if they have allergies, they also probably have ear problems. One little maltese I used to do had such horrible ears that you would have to make sure you finished scissoring her face up before cleaning her ears as she would incessantly shake her head after-and that is the dog that stands out in my memory as having the worst ears I ever groomed. So its not just a golden thing, anything with floppy ears-I see it a lot in labs, shih-tzus, cockers, spaniels in general actually I would say have much worse ears than goldens. Also with goldens, you can trim out the hair on the inside of the ear flap and use thinning shears to reduce the bulk under/around the ears-getting some of that hair off will also help prevent ear infections-look at photos of goldens in a conformation class to get an idea of what I'm talking about.
 

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Our 11 year golden started getting ear infections after we moved to Texas when he was 5. Probably the combination of living in a high allergen area along with increased swimming led to multiple ear infections, but unfortunately didn't get to root of problem of allergy till after he suffered several hematomas and 3 ear surgeries. Both ears are cauliflowered/deformed and require lots of maintenance to prevent further infections. The key for him is to keep his allergies under control which now requires every 8 week shot with Cytopoint (which isn't ideal due to side effects and cost). Don't do what I did and start ear maintenance later, start early before they get severe.
 

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My Golden is eight and only had issues with ear infections during swimming season. We live in South Carolina, so swimming season is long and I had to figure it out. Mine has had no ear infections since I started cleaning his ears out after every time he swims with MalAcetic Otic Cleanser. He used to get hot spots when he was younger, but no longer does. For those, I trimmed up the area with scissors, sprayed it with Betagen Topical Spray (from vet), let that dry and then sprinkled lightly with Extra Strength Gold Bond Powder. It helps with the itching and my dog didn't want to lick it, so that also worked like a charm. Goldens sometimes have allergies and mine is allergic to the world. We tried a dermatologist/testing and allergy shots for about a year and a half and then moved on to Apoquel. He's much, much better on the Apoquel. He stopped getting skin infections.
 

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We just clean our Golden’s ears out with a solution from the vet every time we take her swimming or she gets really wet. If they start to feel warm to the touch or start to smell funny it’s the start of an ear infection for our Piper. During the winter we just clean them out a few times to eep them healthy. She truly hates it and runs away the minute she sees the bottle, but it does work.
 

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Kate
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I believe there is a hereditary component to ear infections.

This is what makes dogs prone to developing them if they go swimming, get baths, eat kibble with corn in it, or have skin allergies including ear infections.

This is something you really can't do much about because odds are your dog will develop ear infections from various causes.

Then there is also a grooming related component to ear infections - which is separate from hereditary (I think). This is not so much getting gunk out of the ears, but more keeping the ear canals clear of hair so the moisture does not get caught deep in the ears.

Then also - dogs who get frequent ear infections... I think they develop scar tissue in the ears, which narrows the canals and makes them more prone to ear infections.

Dogs with exasperated ear infections + scar tissue + all that are more likely to get the "balloon ears" condition.

^ I'm listing those off, because it seems like breeders and vets do not adequately sort out what owners could do to avoid the tendency of ear infections + vets seem very eager to put all their patients on allergy meds...

Proper grooming can absolutely help.

My Bertie's ears are kept groomed - including under the flaps around the ear canal - for dog shows. This includes the hair on the ears. This includes the hair going down the neck.

Whether he's one of those lucky dogs who is not prone to ear infections at all OR the grooming we do helps keep him clear of infection? I have no idea. But in his life, we've only had one bout with an ear infection (just one ear). This was a bacterial infection and was easily cleared up.

His coat is not really heavy or thick enough to make him prone to yeasty conditions.

This is a dog who swims multiple times a week + gets weekly baths... and NO, I do not clean his ears out on a routine basis. They only get cleaned out before dog shows - and that's mainly the outer area. That's it. And I just use an alcohol wipe.

My other boy? Yes - he had lots of ear infections in his life. Oddly, did not grow thick hair under his ears and around the ear canal. He used to get yeasty coat until I started keeping him groomed + used a dryer to get him completely dry around the neck and under the ears.

Prior boy with nightmare coat (partly due to me not knowing how to groom and not having the proper tools) - his ear infections were so bad that he got the thickening condition inside his ears + he had balloon ears a few times in his life.

My puppy right now seems to be like his dad - and not at all prone to ear issues. That's with lots of swimming and weekly baths. No routine ear cleaning! Other thing is being too vigilant with cleaning the ears out could strip out good bacteria.


**** Adding because it matters. :)

1. My dogs eat regular kibble. I avoid kibble containing corn.

2. I only feed fresher kibble. Meaning that I do not buy more than 1 bag at a time + I only buy enough that my dogs can eat in about a month (a bag lasts about 40 days). The kibble is kept in the original bag and in a cool indoor/vermin free area (ie kitchen pantry) This ensures they are not eating food that has developed mold on it. <= I had a friend who kept multiple bags of kibble poured into a garbage can in the garage - and that kibble would go old + get moldy + was also affected by bugs and vermin.

3. My dogs get their primary vaccinations (Rabies and DHPP). Yes, vaccinations are spread out - rabies and DHPP every 3 years and not given the same year. They also get the lepto vaccine every year. No other vaccinations.

4. Minimal flea/tick meds + minimal heartworm preventative. But yes, they do get covered as needed. Flea/tick - usually in Apri-June when ticks are prevalent. Heartworm between April and Nov (I stopped this year in Oct).
 

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I had lots of experience with golden retriever ear infections. The allopathic vets always said it was my fault as a goldens ears have to be cleaned daily. The ears would have gunk daily. The vets did not want to admit the truth that the toxic vaccines cause severe ear issues and it is the fault of the vet not the pet owner. We learned to control the ear yeast by cleaning with alcohol gel or vinegar. The vet sold me a tiny bottle 4oz of Pet Alcohol Gel for $10 for cleaning ears, very big rip off. We kept the yeast overgrowth under control with white vinegar to keep the ears free of the yeast. Only use white vinegar in ears with no sores and not red and not inflamed. As vinegar will sting if any redness or sores. Golden's bodies also had yeast doggy smell so we would rinse with fresh water after swimming in natural water or salt water then spray down or soak the entire coat with white vinegar and had a squeeze bottle with vinegar to fill each ear with vinegar, then we let the ears and body air dry. This method controlled the yeast on the body, preventing hotspots and kept the ears healthy and free of yeast overgrowth. If you rinse the vinegar off with water, then the yeast overgrowth goes crazy. So let vinegar air dry. With the vinegar method, my Goldens no longer had any doggy yeast smell, even when wet they smelled clean, and with daily swimming, we were able to control prevent the yeast overgrowth which causes all the ear issues and hot spots.
White Vinegar is a natural Antibacterial and it kills the yeast that causes hot spots and causes ear issues. We also use White Vinegar for cleaning kitchens and bathrooms as it is natural and safe without toxic chemicals.
Using vinegar was just controlling the yeast overgrowth symptoms not healing the body of the yeast overgrowth symptoms.

As the many years went by, with numerous health issues with our Goldens, we starting doing lots of research and learning from holistic, homeopathic and naturopathic veterinarians.
Many Goldens if not most all Goldens are overly sensitive to the toxic vaccines. The allapathic vets will not tell you this.
A common side effect of vaccines is the ear issues, hotspots, yeast doggy smell all caused by yeast overgrowth, a side effect from the vaccines. This is only one of the many side effects you may deal with in Goldens.
Another side effect was puppy seizures around the months of puppy vaccines, another was fatty tumors which cost vet bills to remove from the Golden puppies, allergies, swelling of the face, feet, severe aggression etc The allopathic veterinarians will not warn you about these bad side effects that your Goldens will suffer, as the allopathic vets want you to keep coming back and buying vaccines, then the side effects cause ear issues, back to the vet for more vet bills, hot spots back for more vet bills, seizures back to the vet for more vet bills, immune issues, allergies back to the vet all the time for years, then more fatty tumors for more vet bills, excessive itching and licking back to the vet for more vet bills, then cancer, back to the vet for very high vet bills, and the cancer comes back, etc. It is a non ending circle and your Goldens suffer and the allopathic vets and veterinary big pharma are the winners.

So after years of researching and learning from true health veterinarians, we learned that Goldens will most always have side effects from the toxic vaccines. It does not make a huge difference if they are from a good breeder or adopted from rescue, it is up to you to start them on a healthy natural path. Even goldens that are adopted with health issues, once put on natural regiments, many can heal.
For healthy goldens and to prevent disease using rabies nosodes vaccine, parvo nosode vaccine, distemper nosode vaccines, canine flu nosode vaccines, etc.
The real holistic, homeopathic and naturopathic veterinarians use the nosodes for those that do not want their pets to suffer from the severe suffering and side effects caused by toxic vaccines.

Vaccines are made with numerous chemicals, cancer cells and biologicals so they can be patented for massive profits for Veterinary Big Pharma.
Nosodes are natural vaccines that prevent or treat disease and are natural so they do not have the severe side effects. But nosodes are natural so they cannot be patented, so therefore no massive profits, and nosodes do not cause all the
severe suffering side effects so they do not continual make profits. No profits in health. Only profits in allergies, seizures, sickness, illness, disease and cancer.

In 1910, zionist Abraham Flexner designed the Flexner Allopathic Medical System for the zionists Rothschilds, Carnegies and Rockefellars, using chemical based vaccines and chemical prescription and chemical over the counter medications for exorbitant profits not for health. Flexnor had no medical training. This was done as allopathic (all is profit) medicine is based upon prescribing man made chemical pharmaceuticals and chemical vaccines that can be patented and thus sold at exorbitant profits, whearas homeopathic, holistic, naturopathic medicine is based on natural remedies which had been quite successful at treating the sick people and animals up to that point, more importantly natural remedies did not provide the profits for their interests. The upshot of Flexner's allopathic medical system were the reasons needed to replace the healthy natural homeopathic, holistic, and naturopathic system with the exorbitant profitable chemical based medical system. This is what the government run by the rothschilds, carnegies and rockfellars needed with the help of the media to promote the Flexner Allopathic Medical System and to shut down natural health remedies from back then to present.
Many are not informed of why this allopathic system is so bad for human health and pet health. The entire education industry promotes the allopathic medical system to all students so the masses are uninformed. The media promotes the allopathic medical system, etc.
The upshot is the less or no toxic vaccines for your Goldens, your Goldens will not suffer from the side effects. The difference is amazing. I have been on both sides now, and the natural side works for my Goldens and other pets, and now I have had such great success learning to use more natural, holistic and homeopathic remedies, I am now finding amazing results for my own health.
There is a learning curve, as there is so much to learn about true health. Of course the media is very racist against any natural real health as it is not profitable like the flexnor chemical patented allopathic medical system and the media will always bash and brainwash anything natural because natural works. As a massive amount of people in the medical industry, cancer industry, big pharma industry, chemical industry, education industry, media industry and all that goes with it, live very luxurious lifestyles that would not be possible without the Flexner Allopathic Medical System.
For Goldens that are suffering from the side effects of toxic vaccines, they need to be detoxified. If you cannot find a real homeopathic, holistic or naturopathic veterinarian, then search online, some do facetime or skype video consults.
Sign up for the weekly free enewsletter from Dr Will Falconer at VitalAnimal .com has lots of very informative enewsletters to teach you how to have healthy pets.
For detoxification, some use the Milk Thistle supplements to help heal the liver.
Some have had good results with PureFormulas .com or MyPetForLife .com professional formulas canine immunization aid nosodes remedy to help the dogs immune system heal from the damage from the toxic vaccines.

Put you goldens on a natural diet, no more dry kibble and no more pasteurized canned food as pets with health issues need nutrition and unfortunately the processing kills the nutrients in the kibble and canned.
With more natural nutrition, that will help your Golden's immune system to try to heal, and if the body heals, then the yeast overgrowth in the ears and the yeast overgrowth on the body that causes hot spots, stops when the dog is healed.
An easy way to add some raw to your Golden's diet is a whole organic raw egg, shell has natural calcium
Look for frozen ground raw with NO hpp, no pressurization, no pasteurization and no radiation as these processes kill the nutrients. Most pet shops do not sell a real raw no hpp. I have found real raw at livestock feed stores that keep a freezer as they have lots of requests for frozen ground real raw with no hpp no pressurization. Go to canine raw forums, you may find some small local companies that sell it or deliver it. Or cook homemade pet food, plenty of online canine homemade food recipes. Or many have great success with FreshPet .com lightly cooked meat, veggies, fruits, seeds sold in the pet fridge at costco, target, some grocery stores. Or try freeze dried or dehydrated meat and veggies at OnlyNaturalPet .com The dehydrated can taste like camp food, so add a raw EGG or mix in a teaspoon of cod liver oil, salmon oil, coconut oil in the dehydrated then dogs usually love it. Add a handful of frozen or fresh green beans, lots of fiber for firm poop. Probotics will help improve nutrient absorption to help your Golden to heal from the toxic vaccines, buy plain KEFIR in the dairy fridge at the grocery store and give a teaspoon to tablespoon of Kefir with the food. Kefir is only 1% lactose so most all dogs, cats and people can eat it without any gas.

These are some tips to get you started in healing your Golden from the yeast overgrowth in the ears and hot spots from yeast overgrowth.
There are holistic, homeopathic and naturopathic veterinarians that can help guide you so your Golden can return to health by healing the entire body not just treating the symptoms.

I adopted cats with these yeast overgrowth issues too, ear yeast issues and hot spots, so it was about the same treatment with the cats, they suffered from the toxic vaccines, and the result was health issues and finding natural health to help the adopted cats healthy

When you get your next pet, Golden, etc, start them on the natural path, and there will be no ear infections or hot spots or yeast overgrowth.

Goldens are just super sensitive to chemical vaccines and chemical meds.
I find pet owners with all breeds, mixed breeds, dogs and cats from both good breeders or rescues, are all dealing with a host of health issues, usually starting at young ages now, caused by the toxic vaccines and overvaccination, toxic flea tick pesticides, toxic chemical medications, because they don't know better and it takes time to learn the truth about health and to start learning to find natural alternatives.

Fortunately there are solutions to help heal your Golden.
 
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