The Most Common Health Problems in 14 Popular Dog Breeds
Your dog’s unique DNA affects his health in the same way your genes impact yours. Here are the conditions to look for in your dog—and what you can do about them.
This intelligent, medium-to-large breed is known for its fearlessness and loyalty—and for having Von Willebrand disease, a lifelong, genetic bleeding disorder that causes blood clotting complications, says Dr. Hughes. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, four is the average age of onset for the condition in Dobermans. Dobermans do not show signs of the disease until they are in a situation where they are bleeding. This often occurs for the first time when they are spayed or neutered. Knowing that your dog has this condition can save its life in an emergency; talk to your dog’s veterinarian about getting a buccal mucosal screening test for this condition. If your dog has Von Willebrand disease, certain medications should be avoided. Your veterinarian will also need to take special precautions during surgery and/or emergency situations, where bleeding occurs.
American Pit Bull Terrier
These medium-sized dogs are very protective of their owners. Many make great companions, especially if they are socialized and trained well from an early age. American pit bull terriers are prone to several conditions, including hip dysplasia, a genetic condition that leads to arthritis. Dogs with hip dysplasia have hip joints that do not form properly and are loose. This causes the leg bones to get less support than they need, causing added wear and tear on the joint. The resulting arthritis can range from mild to severe. Flexpet recommends moderate amounts of low-impact exercise that doesn’t significantly affect the dog’s hip joints. Obesity exacerbates this condition, so it’s also important to keep your dog trim. Any signs of stiffness or a reluctance to move signals the need for a veterinarian appointment. Don’t miss these secrets dog trainers won’t tell you for free.
Known for their tiny frame and long life span, these little sweeties are also prone to a genetic condition called patellar luxation. The condition causes the rear knee caps of dogs to become loose and slip out of grooves located at the base of the femur. According to Healthline, this condition may be hereditary or caused by activities affecting the knee, such as jumping or excess weight. There are several types and grades of severity for this condition. Keeping your Chihuahua from jumping off and on furniture may help to alleviate the condition’s severity. Since treatments are limited, it’s important to keep an eye on your tiny pup and to see their vet immediately if they start to limp or hop in an attempt to reduce pressure on their affected legs. In some cases, surgery can be highly effective in eliminating this condition.
Gabriela Emi Sanada/Shutterstock
This highly intelligent, loyal breed is known for its ability to be trained for serious work, such as sniffing out bombs or contraband. Due to overbreeding, however, German shepherds are prone to several genetic conditions, including degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease that affects the spinal cord. Degenerative myelopathy starts to occur in middle-aged-to-older dogs, and its symptoms include a lack of coordinated movements and wobbling legs. According to the Canine Genetic Disease Network, this condition ultimately results in paralysis and can only be diagnosed via autopsy. The symptoms of degenerative myelopathy are very similar to those of other, curable conditions, so don’t panic if you see signs of it in your dog. Don’t miss these 19 things your dog actually wants from you.
Known for their gorgeous coats and penetrating blue eyes, Siberian Huskies are prone to Uveodermatologic syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, that affects the skin and eyes. Siberian Huskies with Uveodermatologic syndrome have loss of skin pigment on their footpads, eyelids, snout, and lips. They also experience inflammation in the uvea, the pigmented layer of the eye’s interior. This condition can permanently damage the eye, so determining if your dog has it, either through genetic testing or frequent veterinary examinations, is paramount.
Next, read on to learn the 50 secrets your pet won’t tell you.