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 problem common to many large dog breeds, affecting the younger animals. If your dog is affected, he may show no symptoms at all, or he may demonstrate pain or lameness, and seem cautious about movement. Hip dysplasia may cause leg muscles to actually waste.
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.
Another German Shepherd dog health problem is weakness in the hind legs. This can also include wobbliness or a lack of coordination in the affected limbs. Multiple factors can cause this, including bone or spinal degeneration or possibly a slipped disc in the dog’s back.
Insufficient thyroid hormone production or hypothyroidism can be a problem in some of the dogs. Hair loss, obesity, lethargy, cold intolerance and skin infections are some of the symptoms of this disease of the thyroid gland.
Eye problems are another health issue with German Shepherds. If you observe any eye irritations or growths ranging from pink to black in color, this could be a condition called Pannus, corneal inflammation which could damage the dogs eyesight.
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.