Common German Shepherd Health Issues

Our dogs mean so much to us; we want them to be around for as long as possible. By knowing what health conditions to keep an out for, you’ll be better able to detect and address warning signs early. Understanding common German Shepherd health issues that they may have a predisposition to can help you maintain your dog’s well-being.

Hip Dysplasia

Dog hip brace for hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is more common in large-breed dogs. It is hereditary and comes from an improperly formed hip. As the ball and socket do not fit together perfectly, they tend to grind and rub together rather than moving smoothly, causing pain and discomfort. Improper exercises, excessive growth, lack of sufficient nutrition in the diet, and unsuitable weight can exacerbate symptoms and pain.

To alleviate the indicators of hip dysplasia, opt for Walkin’ Pets’ Hip EEZ support system. This dog hip support harness provides both compression and lifting support to relieve discomfort in your German Shepherd’s hips. It is beneficial for dogs of all ages, carefully lending assistance to allow your pup to remain active and comfortable. It is compatible with other products to give your dog the best chances for relief and more options for regular life tasks and activities.

You can take preventative measures to aid in the proper development of your German Shepherd’s joints. Speak with your veterinarian about progressive and supportive exercises, diet options to prevent rapid growth rate, and supplements such as glucosamine to foster joint development and health.

Degenerative Myelopathy

A German Shepherd lakeside with degenerative myelopathy uses a dog wheelchair to live longer life

Degenerative Myelopathy or DM is the the most common mobility condition impacting the German Shepherd breed. At least 35% of all German Shepherds carry the genetic mutation for DM. Although that does not mean that they all have the condition, it is possible for them to pass it along to their puppies. Signs of DM usually present later in a dog’s life, and although not preventable, the only way to know if your dog is at risk is to have genetic testing done. The disease is impossible to cure and eventually leads to progressive German Shepherd mobility loss.

All GSD with DM will eventually become paralyzed and require a wheelchair to maintain their active lifestyle. Although not curable, there are ways to manage a dog’s DM symptoms and improve the quality of its life.

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, also known as bloat, is a condition that affects many dogs. It often occurs with a build-up of food, fluid, or air in a dog’s digestive tract and an inability to release the gases. Sometimes the stomach can twist, blocking gas from escaping through either the stomach’s opening or exit. This condition needs immediate treatment because leaving it will result in severe infections within the stomach that could cause death.

Because bloat is sudden and life-threatening, seek medical attention immediately. If your vet’s office isn’t open or nearby, consider an animal emergency room. As a vet will need to attend to your dog within an hour. Pay attention to warning signs. Restlessness after eating, an inability to sit or lay comfortably, sudden anxiety or pacing, attempting to vomit, a stomach that looks abnormally bloated, excessive salivation and whining, and an increased heart rate and labored breathing.

There are many conditions to which larger dogs are predisposed. It’s essential to educate yourself on the possible health risks when becoming a dog parent. Allowing you to respond quickly to the signs of pain and discomfort in your pup, leading to better health and happiness. Being able to identify common German Shepherd health issues will ensure that your Shepherd has the best chance at a long and robust life.

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