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The health of the German Shepherd, how to prevent the most common diseases

the health of the German Shepherd prevent the most common diseases

German Shepherds are generally healthy dogs , but like all breeds, they are prone to certain diseases and pathologies. Not all German Shepherds will get any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of this if you are considering this breed for your next pet. Continue reading …

German Shepherd Health Problems

If you are determined to buy a German Shepherd puppy , you should look for a good breeder who can show you the health clearances for both parents of the puppy. These health clearances demonstrate that a dog has been verified and cleared of a particular condition (disease or pathology).
In the breed of German Shepherds it is important to verify that the puppy’s parents are free from certain pathologies such as hip dysplasia), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and von Willebrand’s disease, and that they have good eye health.

Most common diseases of the German shepherd

Here are some of the more serious health problems that a German Shepherd can suffer from

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the femur does not fit perfectly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint.

Hip dysplasia can exist with or without clinical signs. Some dogs show pain and a limp in one or both hind legs. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop and cause great suffering to the animal.

Hip dysplasia can be detected from X-rays and use of the specimens that suffer from it as breeding dogs should be avoided. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. Ask the breeder to prove that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are problem free.

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a fairly common inherited condition in large breed dogs . It is believed to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to a painful limp. The vet may recommend surgery to correct the problem, or medications to control pain.

Gastric dilation

Commonly called bloating of the stomach , gastric dilation is a life-threatening condition of large, broad-chested dogs such as the German Shepherd, Golden Retrievers, Fila Basileiro, and all Molossian dogs.

This pathology is especially common if they are given a large meal a day, or if the dog tends to eat quickly or drink large volumes of water after eating, or exercise vigorously after eating. For this reason, it is very important to take care of the diet of your German Shepherd , controlling the amounts of food and the times that it is supplied, as well as not allowing him to drink in abundance once eaten or to do a lot of exercise until some time has passed. from food intake.

Bloating occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists. The dog is unable to shed or vomit to rid itself of excess air in its stomach, and the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure drops and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog can die.

Some symptoms that may make you suspect that your dog suffers from this type of bloating is if he has a distended abdomen, is excessively salivated and tries to vomit without success. You may also be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak with a rapid heart rate. In any of these cases it is important to take the dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Degenerative myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord , specifically the part of the spine that connects the brain with the hind legs. Dogs with degenerative myelopathy act like they don’t know where their hind legs are and can’t move them properly.

The disease progresses to the point that the dog cannot walk. Most of the time, there is no treatment and the dog is left paralyzed. However, in a few cases, the condition is related to a lack of vitamin 12 or vitamin E. If this is the case, vitamin supplements can stabilize the pathology.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a genetic disease of the pancreas in which the cells that produce digestive enzymes are destroyed . As a result, the dog can no longer digest and absorb food. The first signs of this disease are gastric gas, loss of appetite, weight loss, and change in stool. The dog becomes thin and very hungry. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is diagnosed with a simple blood test, and the treatment is simple: pancreatic enzymes are added to the dog’s food. With proper medication supervision, most dogs recover favorably.


Some German Shepherds suffer from a wide variety of allergies, ranging from contact allergies to food allergies. Allergy symptoms in dogs are similar to those in people. If your German Shepherd scratches, licks his paws, or rubs his face a lot, suspect that he has an allergy and get him checked out by your vet.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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