German Shepherd health problems

German Shepherd health problems

As a breed, German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and bravery. It's difficult to image these canines as anything but tough, given their history working with law enforcement and the military. However, German Shepherds, like all dogs, have health problems as they get older. Some of the prevalent health issues related with the Shepherd breed are listed below.

German Shepherd health problems

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Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia affects numerous dog breeds, but German Shepherds are particularly vulnerable. If you don't take your dog's health and activity needs seriously, you're going to have an issue with this breed. Most dog breeders know not to breed dogs who carry the hip dysplasia gene. However, they do so anyhow. It is handed down from litter after litter and is extremely painful because of the hip joint deformity.

Dysplasia of the Elbow

Elbow dysplasia, like hip dysplasia, is common in large dog breeds descended from sloppy breeders. The elbows are more commonly affected than the hips, and the symptoms can range from minor to severe. Unfortunately, once a dog has been diagnosed, there is little that can be done.

Dilatation-Volvulus of the Gastrum (GDV)

GDV, or "dog bloat," is a dangerous condition that can develop when dogs eat too quickly and then engage in much physical activity at the same time. Dogs have a hard time breathing because of the bloating caused by the gas buildup in the stomach. To induce vomiting, some pups go into shocks or eat grass. Your pets must be taken to the clinic promptly if you suspect they have this life-threatening disease. To prevent your German Shepherds from becoming overweight, feed them three light meals a day.


Seizures in German Shepherds are not uncommon. There are various strategies to help avoid the symptoms of epilepsy despite the fact that it is an incurable disease. If kept away of stressful settings, many dogs won't show signs of separation anxiety.


German Shepherds have a lengthy history of inbreeding, which has resulted in hemophilia. Whenever the blood does not clot properly, this illness occurs. Even the tiniest of wounds can be life-threatening for a dog. In German Shepherds, the condition is more prevalent, so be careful when exercising with them.


In order to avoid overeating, German Shepherds should be fed in smaller portions. Diabetes is widespread in this breed as a result. Symptoms of diabetes include swollen ankles and feet, excessive thirst and urination, and a dry mouth.


Cataracts are another possible aging health issue for your German Shepherd. Because their eyes begin to appear foggy or they begin to bump into things more frequently, you can usually tell when this is happening. They become increasingly difficult to see for dogs as they advance.

Inflammatory Disc Degeneration

If you haven't noticed by now, German Shepherds' size is a major factor in many of their health problems. It's not uncommon for large animals to suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease, which can even begin to show up while a dog is a puppy. This is something that many breeders attempt to avoid. From the time they are puppies, German Shepherds should be screened for spinal anomalies.


Between the ages of five and fourteen months, German Shepherds grow rapidly and occasionally limp. You may observe panosteitis in the new German Shepherd puppy, however it is not a long-term ailment. Have a vet perform an x-ray on your Shepherd to make sure this is what you're dealing with.


Pancreatitis occurs only once in a dog's lifetime. Environmental factors are often to blame for this condition, which occurs when pancreatic inflammation occurs. When it comes to German Shepherds, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is more common.


Regardless of the type of dog you bring into your home, you'll have to deal with a variety of health issues at some point. There are, of course, certain breeds that have fewer health issues than the others, but a healthy dietary habits can help prevent many of them. Don't be afraid to buy from trustworthy breeders that offer a health assurance and bring them to the veterinarian for normal health checks.

Additional Information

Why are German Shepherds unsuitable as a pet animal?

When it comes to dog hip dysplasia, German Shepherds are just like any other large breed.... There may be other health issues that you'll want to know about if you're considering adopting a rescued GSD from a reputable rescue.

When it comes to weaknesses, what can you expect from a German Shepherd.

A dog's spinal cord is the origin of degenerative myelopathy, a nerve disease. For dogs with degenerative myelopathy, the loss of motor function in the hind legs will become apparent. The problem will only get worse over time.

From when do German Shepherds begin to have problems with their physical well-being?

Degenerative myelopathy is the next most common health concern in German Shepherds. Dogs between the ages of 8 and 14 are most at risk for developing this severe and debilitating disease, which attacks the spinal cord.

To tell if my Shepherd is in good health, how do I know?

General: Inability to walk, asymmetry of muscles, bloated abdomen, coughing and choking, lethargy, increased hostility and water consumption are all symptoms of a leg injury. Body: swollen, red, bleeding or stained gums; loose or unclean teeth; mouth sores or gums; foul odor.

Back legs of my German Shepherd are weak. What can I do to help them?

The hind legs of your dog will benefit greatly from regular walks. It's best to keep your pet's walks short and slow. Taking a long stroll could actually be detrimental to your health in the long run. Your dog might benefit from a swim or some leg-strengthening exercises.

There must be a reason why my German Shepherd is limping.

A dog's back legs may droop as a result of a spinal injury. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by accidents such being struck by a car, falling, or being physically abused. Irritation of the bones is known as osteomyelitis. If the infection was caused by an infected animal, injury and bone fracture, it is possible that it was caused by this.

Is there such a thing as German Shepherd bloat, and what causes it?

Bloat, also known as stomach dilatation volvulus, is a common condition in German Shepherds (GDV). When the gut spins on its axis, it blocks the passage of water and food as well as restricting the flow of blood to the digestive tract. This is considered a life-threatening condition.