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German Shepherd Health Problems That Are Common

Mar 31, 2008
You can expect health issues with pretty much any pet you bring home and while a small percentage of pets ever do develop health problems you should still know how to recognize the signs of German Shepherd health problems if you are a German Shepherd owner. Your vet and your breeder will give you the information you need to figure out if you are dealing with normal German Shepherd behavior or potential health problems. It is always important to be able to recognize the warning signs.

One of the common health issues of larger dogs like German Shepherds is a dysplasia of the hip or the elbow joint that can result in severe pain and difficulty walking for your pet. If you notice that your German Shepherd is starting to have difficulty moving around then it may be time to get them to the vet for a check up.

Another common German Shepherd health problem is epilepsy. Basically the brain goes into a spasm for several reasons and your dog will go into convulsions and seizures. This can usually start around the age of one year and can be taken care of in conjunction with your vet through diet and medication. It is terrifying to see your pet go through a seizure so make sure you contact the vet immediately if this happens and for your sake and the animal's sake do not panic because even in a state of seizure a dog needs you to be there for it.

German Shepherds can sometimes develop eye problems as well, ranging from cataracts to eyelid issues. The eyelids may develop incorrectly or eyelashes may start forming too close to the eye causing irritation. Any of these eye conditions can be corrected with surgery so if your pet is developing eye problems make sure you take them to the vet.

In some cases there are dog breeds that can develop the blood condition known as Von Willebrand's Disease or VWD. VWD is like hemophilia in humans, in that the dog's blood does not clot as it should and the dog will bleed profusely even with the smallest injury. This is one of the more serious German Shepherd health problems and if you notice your pet with nose bleeds for no apparent reason or if you begin to notice your German Shepherd's gums bleeding then it could be VWD and you need to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.

As a responsible pet owner it is up to you to make sure that you keep track of your pet's health and that you stay in contact with your vet and your breeder so that you will be able to tell when symptoms may arise. Your pet looks to you for its care and health and if you begin to notice health issues with your German Shepherd then you need to make an appointment to get your dog checked out by the vet as soon as possible.
About the Author
Jan Ryan participates in charitable functions for local animal rescue groups and volunteers at local animal clinics. This article is another great resource for German Shepherd care information. This article will tell you when you may need to get emergency care for your German Shepherd.
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