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What Are German Shepherds Prone To

Your German Shepherd Dog’s Health


We know that because you care so much about your dog, you want to take good care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Shepherd. By knowing about health concerns specific to German Shepherd Dogs, we can tailor a preventive health plan to watch for and hopefully prevent some predictable risks.

Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pets breed. There is a general consensus among canine genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners that the conditions weve described herein have a significant rate of incidence and/or impact in this breed. That does not mean your dog will have these problems it just means that she is more at risk than other dogs. We will describe the most common issues seen in German Shepherd Dogs to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of course, we cant cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.

Top Best Answers To The Question Are German Shepherds Prone To Pancreatitis

German Shepherd as well as rough-coated collies have a genetic predisposition for an immune-mediated condition called atrophic lymphocytic pancreatitis, resulting also in chronic acinar atrophy. Pancreatic hypoplasia is a possible but rare cause of EPI in dogs.

Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Are german shepherds prone to pancreatitis?» often ask the followingquestions:

Discourage Your Mutt From Drinking Large Amounts Of Water

If your mutt drinks large amounts of water, then it stands a higher chance of experiencing bloating.

Instead, you should give it small amounts of water at a go. Also, dont give it water immediately it has eaten. If it does so, it can gulp huge amounts quickly that traps air in its tummy.

Pro tip: Try spacing out the time your dog drinks water so that it doesnt become too dehydrated and gulp water quickly.

Also, dont allow it to indulge in heavy exercises after eating.

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Joint And Bone Disorders In German Shepherds

German Shepherds are beautiful, strong dogs that have been used in a variety of working canine positions over the decades. However, this intelligent breed is also susceptible to several health problems involving the bones and joints that most other dogs are more resistant to. Here, we will examine what is most likely to affect a German Shepherd.

Reasons You Do Not Want A German Shepherd Dog

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Now, wait a minute! youre saying. Of course I want a German Shepherd! Otherwise, I wouldnt be looking at this article! Very good. You have taken the first step towards becoming a responsible purebred dog owner, first by doing your research, and second by taking the time to examine the problems inherent in your chosen breed.

Here are 10 reasons you might want to reconsider your choice of a GSD:

1. Health problems.The GSD is not a dog for those who just want to plunk down cash for the first puppy they see and head home . German Shepherds, like any large breed, are prone to canine hip dysplasia, a crippling and potentially fatal disease. The breed also struggles with or is prone to elbow dysplasia, allergies, cleft palate, degenerative myelopathy, perianal fistulas, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bloat, panostetis, Von Wildebrands disease, Wobblers Syndrome, heart and skin disease and thyroid disease. Many of the congenital diseases in dogs can be tested for and therefore prevented by responsible breeders. But you must be willing to ask questions of your breeder to find out what problems have cropped up in his or her lines. Good GSD rescuers will also be aware of such problems, and whether the rescued dog youre considering has shown symptoms of or has been treated for any health issues while with the rescue.

If youve considered the above and are still interested in getting a German Shepherd, check out our free guide to Choosing Your New German Shepherd!

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Genetic Diseases Of German Shepherds

The most common diseases with genetic origin affecting German Shepherds:

  • Hip dysplasia. This is a common disease among German Shepherds and other large breeds. It is characterized by inflammation and pain in the joint between the dog’s hip and femur, and it causes lameness and decalcification. Hip dysplasia is a congenital hereditary disease. However, it can be fought by controlling the dog’s diet and restricting exercise.
  • Glaucoma. This hereditary disease is detected when the German Shepherd is 2 or 3 years old. The eye is affected, and the dog will rib it with a paw or against any surface. When a dog has glaucoma, intraocular pressure increases and causes pain. An opaque and dilated pupil is a clear symptom showing that something it wrong. The disease is treated through surgery.

Types Of Canine Cancer

Several types of cancers are common with German Shepherd Dogs. They are:

  • Tumors in the abdominal area common yet difficult to detect
  • Neck or head cancers prevalent in many breeds and immediate treatment is usually needed
  • Lymphoma enlarged lymph nodes on the dog
  • Skin tumors should be tested and treated by your veterinarian if you feel or see one
  • Testicular or Ovarian cancer can occur largely in dogs that arent spayed or neutered

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Common German Shepherd Health Issues

Owning a German Shepherd dog is a gift that keeps on giving. They are loving and faithful guardians who will fill your life with joy and laughter. However, as an owner, you must ensure that your German Shepherd is fit and healthy. That starts with regular exercise and a healthy diet. In addition, there are certain German Shepherd health issues theyre predisposed to that you should be aware of. To further understand the breed holistically, its best to be knowledgeable of some. Below, well discuss the most common German Shepherd health problems so that you can be alert for the signs and be readily prepared to act when you spot them.

German Shepherd Insurance Considerations


GSDs can sometimes suffer from gastrointestinal disorders and may be prone to genetic disorders like hip dysplasia. As some of these conditions are lifelong, its important that when choosing that you check for any limits in your cover and understand how long conditions will be covered for.

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What Is Bloat In German Shepherds

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus , commonly known as bloat, German Shepherd stomach flip, or German Shepherd twisted stomach is a potentially fatal condition. It can happen to any dog at any age, but German Shepherds have an increased risk. But what exactly is it?

Bloat in German Shepherds is a serious medical condition that occurs when the dogs stomach fills rapidly with gas and twists. The excess air causes the stomach to swell, which puts pressure on other internal organs. Shock and death can quickly follow if bloat is left untreated.

The pressure inhibits blood flow from the abdomen and hind legs to the heart. This inadequate blood supply also deprives other organs of oxygen the most commonly affected organs are the pancreas and the spleen.

When the stomach flips, the spleen and pancreas are pulled along, which cuts off the blood flow. The dogs pancreas then produces toxins that have adverse effects on the heart and can cause it to stop suddenly.

Theres no doubt bloat is a life-threatening medical emergency in dogs. Even after treatment, many dogs still succumb to the condition because of the massive influx of toxins into essential organs.

Bloat still kills about 30 percent of the dogs it affects, even after extremely intensive treatment.

American Kennel Club

I want to share with you the below 3-minute video. It shows a German Shepherd named Flash experiencing bloat, and I will warn you it is unpleasant to watch, but theres a justification for it.


German Shepherd Health Problems

Your German Shepherd is a large, energetic herding dog. German Shepherds are very intelligent, loyal, and obedient. Originally bred for herding, modern-day German Shepherds work with police and search and rescue units across the world because they are task-oriented, curious, and creative.

Like all dog breeds, German Shepherds are uniquely vulnerable to certain diseases. German Shepherds are more likely than dogs of other breeds to suffer from degenerative myelopathy, hip dysplasia, and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Degenerative Myelopathy in German Shepherds

Degenerative myelopathy is a nerve disease that starts in a dogs spinal cord. If your German Shepherd suffers from degenerative myelopathy, youll begin to notice them losing motor function in their hind legs.

Over time, the weakness will get even worse. Your dog might struggle to get up, and, as the disease progresses, and your dog could lose bowel and urinary control. The dog might also struggle to get up because the disease causes muscles to atrophy. Dogs with degenerative myelopathy can become paralyzed by the disease.

German Shepherds that become partially paralyzed by degenerative myelopathy are good candidates for wheelchairs. Custom made dog wheelchairs by K9 Carts can help your dog stay mobile and preserve their quality of life.

Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherds

Dilated Cardiomyopathy in German Shepherds

Consult Your Vet

Learn More About Your German Shepherds Health

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Keys To Fighting Food

Giving your German Shepherd a fresh food diet is the best way to combat food allergies that cause skin allergies. Commercial dry kibble and wet foods typically dont have the same levels of nutrition found in fresh food because of the heating methods used in the cooking process, commercial foods often lose the essential nutrition that your dog needs to be healthy and allergy-free. Fresh food diets contain essential fatty acids and healthy fats that are often in sources like sunflower oil and fish oil. Critical minerals and vitamins are necessary to reduce inflammatory responses to allergens, and fresh food has those components .

The chart below includes some solutions to the variety of food allergies that German Shepherds may develop:


Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

How To Treat Bloat In German Shepherds

Are German Shepherds Prone To Hip Dysplasia? A Vets ...

Treatment of bloat in German Shepherds involves both the crucial part you play and the vets care.

To treat bloat in German Shepherds, rush your dog to the vet or emergency animal hospital. The vet will then take over in stabilizing your dog by decompressing the stomach. Pain relief and intravenous fluidswill be given. If the stomach remains twisted, surgery is required.

Lets take a look at what these steps may involve.

  • Diagnosis may include taking an abdominal x-ray to determine the position of the stomach and the extent of the condition.
  • To stabilize your German Shepherd, the vet will decompress the stomach to reduce the pressure caused by the gas build. Decompression involves passing a tube in the stomach or using a hypodermic needle on the side of the abdomen if passing a tube is impossible.
  • Depending on the bloat stage, putting your dog on fluids and performing shock therapy may also make up part of the stabilization treatment.

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Allergy Locations On The German Shepherd

Allergies that manifest externally can occur anywhere on a German Shepherds body. Frequent locations for allergic inflammations in this breed are the face, ears, paws, sides, hind end, legs, and stomach. Dandruff, flaky skin, dry skin, hot spots, hair loss in patches, and sores are symptoms of skin allergies that can be found in any of the previously mentioned areas of the dogs body.

Allergies that affect the eyes and ears must be monitored and addressed with care. These are common allergy locations, so look out for irritated, red, teary eyes and ears that are itchy, smelly, and red. The ears, in particular, can lead to painful secondary infections if the allergies are not resolved.

What Causes Your German Shepherd To Collapse During Gdv

If your German Shepherd is experiencing GDV, his inflated, swollen stomach will press against abdominal veins and thus restrict the blood circulating through his body, preventing both blood and the oxygen in the blood from getting to the vital tissues. Improper circulation to the stomach wall will follow next because of the pressure of gas build-up in the dog’s stomach. As a result, systematic shock will occur, impacting even more severely by the toxins now accumulated due to the process of digestion being unable to carry on.

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Causes Of Ear Infection

Dogs have an L-shaped ear canal. Because of this shape, dogs are more prone to ear infections than are animals with straighter ear canals.

In adult dogs, bacteria and yeast are the usual causes of ear infection. In puppies, ear mites are a common cause, as well.

There are some factors that make ear infection more likely:

  • Moisture: Damp ears are a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow.
  • Wax buildup: Letting wax build up in your dogs ears can create a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.
  • Excessive cleaning: Cleaning the ear too often or too vigorously can irritate the ear and lead to infection.
  • Foreign bodies or injury to the ear canal: Getting something stuck in the ear can create the conditions for yeast or bacteria overgrowth.
  • Autoimmune disorders: When the lining of the ear canal swells, it can allow yeast and bacteria to grow out of control, causing infection.
  • Endocrine disorders, such as thyroid disease: These illnesses can lower the bodys immune response and allow ear infections to develop.
  • Allergies: 50-80% of dogs with allergies also develop ear infections.
  • Ear shape: Breeds with floppy ears are more likely to get ear infections because air cant circulate freely inside the ear.

Bone And Joint Problems

Dog lover says her two German shepherds detected her breast CANCER | SWNS

A number of different musculoskeletal problems have been reported in German Shepherd Dogs. While it may seem overwhelming, each condition can be diagnosed and treated to prevent undue pain and suffering. With diligent observation at home and knowledge about the diseases that may affect your friend’s bones, joints, or muscles, you will be able to take great care of him throughout his life.

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Full Report On The German Shepherds Temperament And Personality

German Shepherds are often described as being full of self-confidence. Theyâre smart and fearless to boot. This makes them extremely trainable dogs â and they learn quickly too. Itâs not surprising for your German Shepherd to recall a new cue after only a few training sessions.

They have a naturally protective instinct, so they make great family pets â though German Shepherds are also described as âaloof.â Because they are so loyal to their families, donât expect them to give a warm, tail-wagging welcome to strangers, but once theyâre your friend, that bond cannot be broken.

The saying âa tired dog is a good dogâ is especially true for these easily-bored pups. If a German Shepherd spends too much time alone or without stimulation, you can expect to see the evidence in a shredded couch or ripped up carpet. They love to work, so giving them something to do helps tire them out and keeps them well-behaved.

Are German Shepherds Prone To Allergies

German Shepherds, as a dog breed, are really prone to skin allergies. Pollen-related allergies are one of the most common. The dog’s immune system thinks pollen is a threat so it fights back through an allergic reaction.

9 other answers

Common Questions and Answers about Pancreatitis in german shepherds pancreatitis you could put a cone shaped piece of foam in his ear . stick it there with that stuff that comes in a long tube type .used for filling gaps in walls. it will fall out on its own in about a week .

If you are travelling to Trinidad on holiday with your German Shepherd, one should be aware that it has been known that a scorpion bite can cause acute pancreatitis. Pancreatitis in dogs can, if not caught in time, be fatal.

Improper food: when a dog eats garbage, raw meats, objects, forbidden foods , or rotten food is very prone to pancreatitis, because those are not foods that the body of the dog is accustomed to digest. Hereditary predisposition: such anomalies are not common in German Shepherds, they are more …

Many German Shepherds with EPI along with chronic pancreatitis also have diabetes mellitus. For the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, chronic pancreatitis is the primary cause of most cases of EPI. Other less common causes of EPI in German Shepherds are pancreatic cancer and pancreatic hypoplasia, a rare congenital problem in puppies.

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Combination Allergies And Their Secondary Effects

All dogs affected by allergies, irrespective of breed and including the German Shepherd, can be affected by more than one allergen.

In fact, having allergies to more than one allergen is more common than being allergic to just one thing. Being allergic to a range of things makes allergy in pets a complicated condition.

This may mean an allergy to multiple grasses, tree pollen, foods, insects, etc. in the same dog. Some pets may be affected by a large range of food allergens without having additional allergy triggers.

In dogs affected by multiple allergies, identification of the most important allergen is always the key. Ideally, most or all of the offending allergens need to be identified to help ensure good patient comfort. This in turn, will help limit secondary skin infections in a breed like German Shepherds, that is quite prone to skin infections as we will find in the next blog discussing skin infection related conditions of German Shepherds.

Early and definitive identification of allergy signs is always helpful in stopping progression of allergies and their impact in any dog, but is especially true for German Shepherds. If your German Shepherd shows allergic symptoms of itchiness, redness of skin, hair loss, or changes in skin quality, it may be time to consult with a vet dermatology clinic so that your pet dermatologist can help identify the true problem.


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