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German Shepherd Dog Health

Jun 20, 2008
A favorite breed of dog is the German Shepherd. Unfortunately, German Shepherds tend to suffer from certain health problems the way other purebred dogs do. In the following article, we'll cover some common German Shepherd dog health problems.

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.

Many German Shepherds also suffer from Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells of the interior lining of the blood vessels. This condition can affect the skin, heart, liver, and spleen, as well as other organs. If you dog has Hemangiosarcoma, he may display weakness, light-colored gums, a distended abdomen, or even physical collapse.

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.

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.

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.
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