The German Shepherd breed is an excellent choice for a canine companion. However, just like many other popular breeds, there are certain health problems that you need to be aware of. Here are a few of the most prevalent German Shepherd dog health issues to look out for:
Developmental bone and joint disease is a common problem prevalent in young large breed dogs like German Shepherds. Dogs may not exhibit any symptom or may show pain, lameness and reluctance to exercise. Hip dysphasia is characterized by wasting of hind limb muscle.
Another problem that may affect German Shepherds is Hemangiosarcoma. It is basically a cancer of the cells lining the inside of blood vessels. Weakness, a distended abdomen, sudden collapse and pale gums are the symptoms associated with this disease. Skin, heart, liver and spleen are the affected areas.
A common German Shepherd dog health problem is hind limb weakness. It may be caused by a slipped disc, degeneration of the bones of the spine and degeneration of the spinal cord. Weakness and sometimes a lack of coordination or wobbliness affects the rear limbs in these cases.
Another problem to look out for is a diseased thyroid gland which will cause either over or under-production of thyroid hormones in some dogs. If your dog is experiencing skin infections, lethargy, hair loss, or cold intolerance it could indicate a thyroid problem.
Your German Shepherd may also have health concerns with the eyes. Pannus which is an inflammation of the cornea and can affect the dogs vision, can be diagnosed by observing – pink to black growths over the front of the eye, squinting, excessive tearing or eye discharge, eye redness, rubbing or pawing at the eyes.
A bacterial infection of the skin, sometimes accompanied by puss, is known as Pyoderma and can be a problem in German Shepherds. It is unknown what causes this condition, but it may be due to an immune deficiency. Your dog may have this if he displays pimples or sores, hair loss, redness or other abnormal skin conditions. Some dogs also become lethargic, or lose their interest in food.
To avoid the occurrence of such troubles it is better to confirm that the parents of your new pet does not have any of these German Shepherd dog health problems. Be watchful and get a Vet’s advice immediately if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above.