Curly Health


Photo reproduced by kind permission of Louise Thomas

For the results of the Curly Coated Retriever Club and outside bodies Health Surveys into the breed in the UK please CLICK HERE.


In general, it is fair to say that the Curly is a relatively healthy breed.


The ‘Top 5’ conditions reported to the Health Coordinator are currently;


  1. Cancer. Cancer can appear at any age and in almost any part of the body, the highest reported Cancer in Curlies is Lymphoma.
  2. Bloat and Gastric Torsion.  (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus/GDV). These conditions are true emergencies. It is essential if you suspect your Curly is bloating or experiencing a torsion that you seek veterinary attention immediately. The speed with which your Curly receives veterinary attention could determine whether he lives or dies. Unfortunately, from the onset of the first symptoms you have very little time so know your dog and know when it is not acting it’s usual self. A useful link to more information on Bloat and Gastric Torsions including symptoms to look out for is:
  3. Epilepsy & Seizures. Not all seizures will be diagnosed as Epilepsy. The youngest reported case was 2 years old, the oldest was 9 years.
  4. Renal Failure.
  5. Allergies. These were various cases of stings, bites, mites and food intolerance

If you are thinking of breeding from your Curly bitch, or allowing your Curly male to be used at stud, the Kennel Club ask for the dogs’ hips to be scored. Most breeders will also carry out eye testing on their breeding stock. These are both recommendations in the CCRC ‘Code of Ethics’


When looking for a puppy, never be afraid to ask questions of the breeder. It is advisable to see the dam of the puppies and where possible the sire too, although this may prove more difficult as not all stud dogs live with the dams.



2014 saw the launch of the most comprehensive breed health survey the Curly Coated Retriever Club has ever undertaken. It is hoped that a completed questionnaire will be received from owners of all Curlies owned since 2004. Please see Health Survey page for results.


Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus article from Dr Ben Harris, Curly Congress 2010



DNA Archive article



For a list of UK hip scores please click here.


The breed health coordinator also holds a Breed Health Database including a Cause of Death Register.  If you have any information regarding any illness your Curly may be experiencing or has had in the past please contact the health coordinator,