Before you get a German Shepherd you should familiarize yourself with not only the temperament, personality, and care requirements of the breed, but also their health problems.
Once you are familiar with them, it will be easier to choose a reputable breeder or to adopt a dog with your eyes wide open to the possible health problems your German Shepherd may one day face.
One health condition that German Shepherds are prone to is hip dysplasia. While this inherited disease is not breed specific to German Shepherds, it is one of the more popular ailments affecting the breed. Hip dysplasia can range from mild to severe. By learning more about this condition, new dog owners can help prevent it from getting worse.
Degenerative Myelopathy or (DM) is also referred to as Chronic Degenerative RadiculoMylopathy (CDRM). DM is believed to be a neurological autoimmune disease that gravely impacts the myelin sheathing that insulates nerve fibers and the axons that carry signals from the nerves to the muscles. There is no treatment for the disease, which as it progresses, eventually causes paralysis in the back and front limbs and leads to death.
Anal Furunculosis, or the development of Perianal Fistuals, is a condition that causes severe, deep penetrating lesions around the anus of the dog. These lesions are chronic, often resulting in persistent ulcers. It is believed that they result from inflamed sebaceous glands, which become infected with bacteria in the warm environment under tail.
Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) has become more common in German Shepherds and is usually first noticed when the dog suddenly begins losing copious amounts of weight despite excessive hunger. Dogs suffering from EPI are unable to digest food properly and pancreatic enzymes supplemented in food will required for the rest of the dog’s life.
Bloat or Gastric Torsion:
Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a condition seen in German Shepherds, as well as other large, deep chested dogs. Bloat is a true life threatening emergency that requires emergency intervention or the dog will die. It is caused by a build up gas in the dog’s stomach which cuts off circulation and immediately begins killing tissues. All large dog owners should know the signs and symptoms of bloat.
Haemophilia A is a bleeding disorder that can affect German Shepherd Dogs,w hich causes severe bleeding at the slightest trauma. Male dogs are affected by the disease, however females can be carriers. In some cases, there can be no family history of the disease.
Epilepsy or seizure disorders can affect German Shepherds, as well as other breeds. It is disorder of the brain characterized by repeated seizures. Epilepsy can be caused by various diseases but in idiopathic epilepsy (IE) no underlying disease of the brain or body can be found to account for the repeated seizure activity. Males are more prone to seizures than female German Shepherd Dogs.