What Health Problems Do German Shepherds Have?

Every owner of a dog must be attentive at all times to the health of his pet. These animals are just as or more vulnerable than humans when it comes to disease and health problems.

Unlike people, dogs cannot determine for themselves if they have a condition, much less go to the doctor.

We must be responsible owners and take action quickly if we notice that our German Shepherd is feeling unwell. This breed is generally healthy, unlike others, but it can still be prone to certain diseases and health problems.

Knowing the most common diseases associated with German Shepherds will allow us to act quickly:

German Shepherd Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common problems affecting large breed dogs like German Shepherds.

Dogs of this breed that belong to irresponsible owners who do not care about their pet’s well-being are very likely to suffer from this disease, especially as they age.

It is very important to be attentive at all times to the signs of pain that the German Shepherds present and take them immediately to the veterinarian before the situation worsens. Hip dysplasia is a painful disease due to malformation of the hip joints.

Elbow dysplasia is a similar and painful disease with the difference that it occurs in the elbow of the German Shepherd. It is also very common in large dog breeds.

A good way to prevent these terrible diseases is to avoid over-exercising a German Shepherd. Remember that these are energetic animals that need to exercise every day.

That does not mean that we should provide them with more physical activities per day than their bodies can handle. This is especially delicate in the case of puppies since their bones and joints are still developing.

Allergies In German Shepherds

All breeds can suffer from allergies, but German Shepherds are more prone than many. Generally, these dogs are susceptible to allergies caused by food, chemicals, or fleas.

Keep in mind that allergies tend to affect short-haired German Shepherds more than long-haired ones, and that’s because they have less protection against allergens. Allergies in this breed usually affect their skin in most cases.

Some symptoms of allergic reactions in German Shepherds are:

  • Bald spots
  • Discharge
  • Excessive redness
  • Foul odour
  • Hot spots
  • Itchiness
  • Rash
  • Swelling

If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to take your German Shepherd to the vet immediately for treatment to prevent the reaction from spreading.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus In German Shepherds

This problem is very common, especially in breeds of dogs that eat fast. That’s because when German Shepherds, or any other dog, eat their food too quickly, air rushes through their mouths, making a lot of gas in their stomachs.

That will cause a lot of swelling in that area which will make it difficult for it to breathe.

This is very common in German Shepherds who are exercised right after eating. This condition is very serious as it can be fatal for the canine in some situations.

Diabetes In German Shepherds

Just like humans, many dogs can also suffer from diabetes. This is a common disease that a German Shepherd can genetically inherit. This situation is generally caused by overfeeding it with unhealthy foods.

The most common symptoms of diabetes in these dogs are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive drinking
  • Swelling of the feet
  • Fatigue 
  • Excessive urinating

Diabetes has no cure and must be controlled through a balanced exercise routine and a good diet. You should take your German Shepherd to the vet to check the severity of your pet’s diabetes and thus determine if it needs special treatment or not.

Cancer In German Shepherds

Cancer is one of the most terrible diseases that a dog or person can suffer. German Shepherds are not exempt from suffering from this disease. The most common types of cancer that this breed can suffer from are:

  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Osteosarcoma

It is important to provide a good lifestyle for a German Shepherd to help reduce the risk of this disease.

Cataracts In German Shepherds

It is a condition that tends to affect German Shepherds, especially as they age. There are two easy ways to tell if your dog has cataracts:

  1. Its eyes will become cloudy.
  2. If you notice that it bumps into objects or furniture in your house while walking, it possibly has this condition. It will have difficulty moving easily through places where it was easier to do so before.

If cataracts get worse in your German Shepherd, it may not be able to see anything anymore. Surgery may be an option, but it is something you should consider if you do not have many financial resources.

Haemophilia In German Shepherds

It is a disease that German Shepherds inherit and causes a reduction in the blood’s ability to clot. Any cut or wound can be very dangerous for these dogs.

Although there is no cure for this disease, German Shepherds can have a good life as long as they receive a lot of attention and care. Obviously, a dog with Haemophilia will be limited to certain activities that lead to injury.

Also, if you have a German Shepherd with this disease, be sure to check its body frequently for any bumps or bulges where blood collects under the skin, as this could be dangerous.

Epilepsy In German Shepherds

Epilepsy is generally a rare condition in dogs. However, among all of them, the German Shepherd is one of the ones that suffer the most.

German Shepherds that have inherited this condition often suffer from epileptic seizures. Unfortunately, epilepsy has no cure, but it can be treated through various medications.

The most advisable thing is to keep the animal away from stressful situations and places and provide it with a good lifestyle.

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