Before you bring in a German shepherd for a pet, you must be aware that German shepherd health issues are common to this kind of animal. Mostly, the diseases that your dog might get can be congenital or hereditary. The different health conditions may not be seen ahead since these can develop in the later years. However, you can minimize the problem by buying from those tested and proven breeders. You can inquire from those who are also fond of having dog pets at home.
Expert dog breeders possess much knowledge about the genetic compositions of dogs which makes the breeds less prone to hereditary diseases. If you want to know the common health problems of German shepherds, this article has it for you.
One German shepherd health issue is the hip and elbow dysplasia. These two are orthopedic problems which is congenital in nature. This is a condition wherein the joint of the hp or elbow does not properly fit in its socket. This can be the cause for painful arthritis. This condition usually occurs between 6 to 9 months of age.
The second health issue concerns the eye. The most common eye diseases that a shepherd can develop are cataract, progressive retinal atrophy, and retinal dysplasia. Cataract is a condition just like that of humans wherein the black part of the eye is gradually being covered by cloudy substance. Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition wherein there is a gradual deterioration of the retina. This can cause night blindedness to your dog. Lastly is the retinal dysplasia wherein there is an abnormality in the development of the retina. This is inherited or caused by injury and viral infections.
The third health issue concerns the heart. Cardiomyopathy (Dilated and Hypertrophic) and stenosis (Aortic and Pulmonic) are the common heart problems of shepherd dogs. Cardiomyopathy is a rare condition wherein there is a gross thickening of the heart’s wall muscles. Signs are difficulty breathing, coughing, fainting, and exercise intolerance. Stenosis is the narrowing of the left ventricle, aorta, and pulmonary valve. It causes abnormal sound of the heart and exercise intolerance.
The fourth German shepherd health issue is Von Willebrand’s disease. This is a congenital blood disorder wherein there is a deficiency in clotting factor VIII antigen. This is the same with hemophilia in humans.
The fourth health issue is Hemangiosarcoma. This is a cancer in endothelium which is the lining of blood vessels and spleen. The common symptoms are nosebleeds, blood loss, fatigue, paleness, weakness, and abdominal swelling.
The fifth and sixth health issues are the Bloat and Epilepsy. Bloat is the twisting of the stomach which traps the stomach contents. Symptoms of this are salivating, excessive watering of the mouth, swelling in the abdominal area, and panting. Epilepsy on the other hand is a condition wherein there is recurrence of seizures.
If you found your dog with one of these German shepherd health issues, better take him immediately to the vet for proper medication. Overlooking the symptoms can cause a fatal death to your dog.