A German Shepherd dog can fill your life with laughter and joy. Throughout the history of this breed and during the initial stage of breed standardization, there was a lot of inbreeding, leading to several common health-related problems. However, not all ailments occur owing to inbreeding. The type of work they do and their size are also responsible for some health issues. Read this article to know when to take action when you spot in your German Shepherd health issues.
When it comes to German Shepherds, hip dysplasia aces all health problems. Eventhough many other large dog breeds suffer from this issue, this breed encounters the problem the most. The problem is prominent among puppies in those kennels where the dog’s health is ignored.
As the problem is a malformation in the hip joint, it is tough to mitigate and is very painful for the poor canine. Hip damage can also occur when a dog suffers injury in its early days, is fed more food than necessary, and made to exercise too hard.
Elbow dysplasia affects German Shepherds that have generations of poorly bred ancestors. It is usually caused by bad genetics and can range from being extremely mild to extremely severe.
If the problem is mild at first, with time, it worsens, making it difficult for the canine to walk. As the issue is among the most common health concerns of this breed, ethical breeders ensure to mate dogs free of the ailment. If a dog has elbow dysplasia, neither the owner nor the breeder can do much about it but feed nutritious dog food so that its joints stay lubricated and it lives a pain-free life for as long as possible.
This condition is more common among humans, but many German Shepherd owners have discovered this seizure problem in their pets. Interestingly, this breed is often trained to detect seizures in humans having epilepsy or other seizure-oriented disorders.
Despite being incurable and genetic, a number of medications can help manage the symptoms and treat epilepsy. Most canines will not understand that they have this issue, especially if they live in comfortable conditions with an attentive family and are happy in their lives.
If a dog is epileptic, the owner should not expect it to perform in kennel club shows, as the animal may get stressed and experience seizures.
Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)
This problem occurs when the dog eats a lot of food in a short time and then indulges in too much physical activity. Gas builds up in the stomach, and if the dog cannot expel it via the usual methods, the bloat’s pressure creates difficulty in breathing, and the body is in shock.
When it comes to a German Shepherd, certain health issues like diabetes cannot be ignored. The dogs tend to overeat if they get food, and many believe this habit leads to diabetes. The symptoms are dry mouth, fatigue, excessive urinating, excessive drinking, and swollen feet.
It is a genetic as well as an environment-caused ailment. The canine may be born with the issue or develop it over the years despite proper exercise routines and feeding.
When compared to other breeds of dogs, German Shepherds are more allergic. The reaction can be to food or the environment. Common food allergies are corn, chicken, gluten, and rice.
Therefore, it is better to feed them formulated dog feed. Even then, you should ensure that it does not contain allergens.
Environmental causes are certain types of pollen and grass. That said, there is no rule that all dogs in this breed are allergic.
Having discussed some of the common health issues, keeping the dog in a happy and healthy environment, regular visits to a vet, a healthy diet and proper exercise are among the most important things if you have a pet.