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Health Problems in the German Shepherd Dog

The German shepherd breed is an outstanding companion. Nevertheless, like several other large dog breeds, there are some health problems that seriously jeopardize the ability of the German Shepherd to live their entire lifespan.

Some of the serious health concern in this breed range from mild conditions or disorder to life threatening conditions that are commonly reported even in the pure breed German Shepherd dog.

During their growth, the bone and joint are characterized by disorders like all other large breeds of dogs. 

If your German shepherd is affected, he may exhibit no signs initially, or he may exhibit soreness on the hip region or lameness, and the dog will also be very cautious about its movement. Hip dysplasia is the condition that is commonly reported in this breed of dogs and it is usually a common concern for most German shepherd owners. This condition causes leg muscles waste and a sudden change of the stance and gait of the dog.

In addition to hip dysplasia, GSDs also suffer from Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells of internal wall of the blood vessels. This disorder is clearly seen in all the body organs such as spleen, skin, heart and liver. This is characterized by a distended abdomen and pale coloured gums. This condition is serious and may be fatal as it has been reported in some cases to be fatal if the dog does not receive immediate veterinary care.

Inter-vertebral disc dislocation has also been widely reported in the German shepherd and it has bee linked to the wobbling syndrome that is observed in the German shepherd as they age. This is shown by the weakness of the hind legs, lack of good gait, locomotion and coordination of the affected limbs. Experts say that the cause of this condition is due multiple factorials and it is highly attributed to the major conditions as they have been discussed above.

Skin allergies and infections are also not strange in German shepherd. They have been thought to be related to the deficiency of the thyroid gland hormone that is important for normal metabolism in the body.

The skin conditions may also result from reduced immunity and this gives bacteria a chance to thrive in the skin wound and they cause a septicemia that can be very dangerous for the general health of the dog. German shepherds also commonly suffer from an eye condition that is caused by increased keratin in the eye and this condition is commonly called pannus. 

Keeping a German Shepherd as a pet is an enormous responsibility to you as a pet owner because they have a wide range of health conditions that are associated with them. Though these conditions are treatable or manageable, the biggest shortcoming is that these conditions are as a result of inherent genes that are in this breed of dogs. You should therefore be ready to have a vet contact if your pet show signs of any of the health conditions discussed in this article.

german shepherd

For more information on dog training techniques and how to deal with problem dog behavior (like jumping, biting and dog aggression), check out How to Train Your Dog or Puppy. It’s the complete manual for dog ownership and is designed to fast-track your dog’s learning.

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