Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Health Issues

Chesapeake’s make excellent hunting partners because they are devoted to pleasing those they love.

These puppies enjoy swimming as much as other retrievers.

As a Chesapeake Bay retriever owner, your dog must ensure your dog is exercising regularly to stay in peak physical condition.

Because puppies can be difficult at times, you must train them frequently and in a positive manner.

Chesapeakes are charming and dedicated family pets that are ideal for a busy household, but you should research the breed’s health before bringing one into your home.

What Are Common Health Issues in Chesapeake Bay Retrievers?

Many illnesses and health issues are inherited, which means they are linked to your dog’s breed.

We’ll go over the most common problems with Chesapeake Bay retrievers so you know what to expect in the future. This information will help you plan for your dog’s specific medical needs.

Hip Dysplasia

Dog hip dysplasia is a condition that affects active dogs and is caused by a misalignment of the hip socket and joint. As a result, the hip ball and socket scrape against each other, resulting in inflammation, soreness, and discomfort. 

Your dog will have difficulty moving around, whether they are walking, standing up, or simply putting some mass on their back legs. 

Fortunately, treatment for this condition is available.

In extreme cases, your veterinarian will recommend surgery. In less serious cases, your dog will benefit from physical therapy, pain relievers, stem cell therapies, or nutritional supplements.


Bloat is a fatal condition that occurs when your dog’s stomach swells with air, cutting off circulation to its vital organs.

If this happens to your dog, you must treat it as an emergency because it has the potential to be fatal in some circumstances.

When your dog is bloated, it will experience stomach swelling, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, and abnormal salivation. If you notice any of these symptoms, you must immediately take your dog to the nearest emergency clinic.

This condition requires immediate surgical intervention. While this is not always possible, you can help by ensuring that your dog eats slowly and in small portions instead of large meals.


There are three types of dog epilepsy: primary, secondary, and reactive.

Reactive seizures occur as a result of the brain’s response to a metabolic issue, such as hypoglycemia, organ damage, or poison.

Secondary seizures occur when something happens to the brain, such as a tumor or a hemorrhage.

Primary epilepsy, also known as idiopathic epilepsy, is diagnosed when no underlying cause of the condition can be identified. It’s a hereditary condition that frequently affects Chesapeake Bay retrievers.

If your dog is epileptic, seizures will most likely begin between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Finding the source of the problem might necessitate a preliminary diagnostic evaluation.

Your dog will require medication for the rest of its life to keep epilepsy under control if diagnosed and will need frequent blood tests to assess adverse reactions and efficacy.

When your dog has a seizure, you should keep them from hurting themselves, but don’t try to restrain their lips or tongue. That won’t be helpful, and you can accidentally get bitten.

You should take note of how long the seizures last and contact an emergency clinic.


When the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones, hypothyroidism develops.

Because the thyroid gland is important in your dog’s metabolic activities, any disruption can have serious consequences.

Your dog might have an increased or decreased appetite, hair growth issues, or sleepiness. It is properly identified by blood tests but cannot be cured.

To alleviate symptoms, hypothyroidism treatment options include thyroid replacement medication. Your dog will need to receive this treatment regularly, but its life will otherwise go on as usual.


Umbilical hernias are abdominal wall defects that occur at the umbilicus (the belly button). It frequently appears as a soft bulge in the middle of the abdomen.

Most canine hernias are congenital, putting your Chessie at a higher risk than most dogs.

Most of the time, a little massage will be enough to press the protruding organs back to their original position, but if the intestines get caught in the hernia, you’ll need to take your pet to the vet right away.

They will examine your dog for this genetic disorder and, if necessary, discuss treatment options.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans

With this condition, the cartilage in a bone joint develops abnormally. It typically occurs during the first six to nine months of a dog’s life in medium- to large-sized canines.

While the exact cause of Osteochondrosis Dissecans is unknown, most puppies recover without needing surgery.

In the worst-case scenario, if your dog is diagnosed with this condition, it will require surgery to realign the damaged joint.


Allergies to dust, mold, and pollen cause sneezing and itchy eyes in humans. In dogs, allergies cause skin irritation rather than sneezing.

Atopy is a type of skin irritation that is common in Chesapeake Bay retrievers.

Their foot, abdomen, skin folds, and ears are frequently affected. Symptoms usually appear between the first three years of your dog’s life and can worsen each year after that.

Lapping the paws, stroking the face, and recurring ear and skin infections are the most common symptoms.

This illness, fortunately, can be treated in a variety of ways. If you notice this in your dog, don’t waste any time; contact your vet immediately.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This condition affects the visual receptor cells (photoreceptors) in your dog’s retina, causing it to deteriorate over time. The cones and rods of the eye gradually lose some of their sensitivity over time due to changes in the gene.

Unfortunately, some canines are affected to the point of blindness. Although there is no effective treatment for this health issue, many dogs can still live normal lives.

To ensure that your puppy does not contract this disease, choose a breeder who can show you proof that this problem is not in the family tree.


Chesapeake Bay retrievers are susceptible to the same canine infections that affect other dogs, such as parvovirus, rabies, and influenza. The majority of these diseases can be avoided by getting immunized.


Your Chessie is vulnerable to parasite infestations, both external and internal.

Parasites, such as ear mites, ticks, and fleas, can infest their body and ears. Hookworms, whipworms, heartworms, and roundworms can enter their bodies in many ways, including drinking contaminated water, playing in contaminated soil, or having mosquito bites.

Because of the possibility of transmission, infectious parasites pose a significant risk to you and your loved ones.

You must check for these parasites regularly because they can cause severe illness or death in your pet dog if left untreated.

Teeth Abnormalities

Teeth anomalies are genetically driven and fairly common in dogs, especially in dog breeds such as Chesapeake Bay retrievers. This illness is known as oligodontia when only a few teeth are found.

Unaligned teeth can also cause problems, but they are usually treatable with orthodontics or extractions. You should be concerned about your dog’s dental health, so keep a close eye on them as they grow.


Cancer is the leading cause of death in older dogs. Chessies are more likely to develop cancer as they age because they live longer than other breeds of dogs.

Some cancers can be surgically treated, while others can be treated with chemotherapy. Early detection is critical! You should make it a routine always to have your dog checked for lumps.

Bleeding Disorders

There are several types of hereditary bleeding diseases in dogs.

They range in severity from mild to extremely severe. Bleeding is usually not an issue in a healthy dog until a blood vessel bursts due to an accident or surgery. Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood clotting disorder common in Chessies.

To rule out this possibility, veterinarians usually look for changes in the normal rate of blood clotting or perform a genetic blood test for a related illness before surgery.

Final Thoughts

Like many other dog breeds, the Chesapeake Bay retriever faces unique medical issues.

As a dog parent, you will fare better in the long run if you consider these issues now.

These wavy little darlings deserve your tender care and attention. Have some fun with these devoted family pet companions, and add that extra spark to your home and surroundings. 

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