Some important German shepherd health problems that can arise during the normal lifespan of your pet.
German shepherds are not likely to suffer from any more serious health problems than any other breed of dog. However, history and statistics show that some conditions do seem to occur more often in this breed of dog so keep a close eye on your pet
Some threats to your dog are seasonal, and German shepherd health problems that are apparent in summer, are no longer a hazard in the Winter time.
Mosquitoes and Ticks are an obvious summer peril. Being bitten by mosquitoes can cause all sorts of health problems for your german shepherd and just as with humans prevention is the best cause of action. Keep him away from areas that are known places for mosquito activity, then you'll both be safe.
This is a tick-borne bacterial disease and it can cause lameness, kidney damage and death
This is the main cause of acute kidney failure, It is a deadly bacterial disease that is spread by contact with urine from other animals and can be communicated from dogs to people.
This is a fatal viral disease transmitted by saliva most often through bite wounds and is a threat to both humans and animals.
This is a mosquito carrying disease that attacks multiple organs and can be fatal if untreated.
Heartworms are parasitic worms that are common in most breeds of dog.
As their name indicates, they live in the dog's heart, generally free-floating in the right ventricle and nearby blood vessels.
Heartworms are passed on to other dogs by mosquitoes which transmit the worm larvae through their saliva.
The presence of heartworms can have a serious affect on the health of the German Shepherd but the dog may not show signs of infection until the condition has progressed considerably.
Heartworms in your German shepherd can be fatal and are sometimes difficult to detect and diagnose. Many dogs that become infected with heartworms will not exhibit any outward signs of disease for as long as up to two years.
Unfortunately, by the time the disease begins to display signs that all is not well in the dog, it is beginning to cause your German Shepherd health problems as the disease could well be in the advanced stages.
These signs depend on several factors, such as the number of adult worms present and their location, how long the infection has been present, and the amount of damage already done to the organs.
Signs of Heartworm Infection in Your German Shepherd
When a dog initially becomes infected with heartworms, there are no signs and the presence of heartworms can not be detected even with a blood test
However, when the worm larva reaches the heart and matures, signs then become detectable by x-rays. These include damage to the blood vessels around the heart and lungs. It is unusual for a dog to be infected by only one worm and as the mature worms in the heart grow in size and number, the condition will get worse eventually causing a blockage in the blood flow.
Now is the time that the dog will start to show physical signs which can include pain, hypertension, difficulty breathing, lethargy or even fainting.
In extremely advanced cases the dog can suffer from heart failure and death although by the time the heartworm disease has reached this level the owner will have certainly realized that something is going on and sought veterinary advice
Groom your dog often and inspect your animal especially after a walk in the woods. Use tick and flea treatments, natural remedies, and medicines that your veterinarian recommends to kill these harmful pests.
Ask your veterinarian about protecting your pet from lyme disease through vaccination, or try one of the many herbal treatments.
Twice a year examinations by your veterinarian should give an early indication of any german shepherd health problems before they take hold and begin difficult to treat.
Remember, dogs age about seven times faster, on average, than people therefore German shepherd health problems can develop within a short period of time.
Furthermore, dogs are living longer, and this increases the chance of potentially serious illnesses developing during their lifetime.
These examinations can help your veterinarian diagnose, treat or prevent problems before they become life threatening. This is also the ideal time to discuss your dog's nutrition and any behavior worries you may have.
This is a condition that affects mostly larger breeds of dog.
Hip Dysplasia is a German shepherd health problem that is hereditary. This is the most common of all hereditary diseases in the german shepherd, although only about 1 in 5 dogs will suffer from it.
It can become a problem in adult German Shepherds of any age, often as young as two years.
The disease is orthopaedic in nature and will lead to an abnormal shaping of the hip, which then causes ill fitting of the joints, pain and cartilage damage. The result is arthritis which can make movements of your dog much more difficult and painful.
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic abnormality that passes down through a particular line of descent of dogs. Naturally, not all dogs with the disease suffer from it or show symptoms at an early age, so it can be hard to determine if your new puppy has a heredity even if its parents have been X-rayed and found healthy.
There are some environmental factors too, including obesity and excessive proteins, vitamins and minerals in food Items and substances that are designed to make puppies grow faster have been shown to increase the risk of Hip Dysplasia and Arthritis as well.
What to Look for
Hip Dysplasia can be signalled by a drop in energy levels, trouble in standing or moving and lameness in your dog's back legs. Your German Shepherd will stop willingly use the stairs, especially when going up, and will seldom want to stand up on it's back legs or jump up on anything. German Shepherds with Hip Dysplasia will start hopping with their back legs when walking, and they will show signs of soreness when they lie down, especially after exercise.
If your German Shepherd shows any of these signs, irrespective of its age, visit the vet for an X-ray as soon as possible.
Treating Hip Dysplasia
The efforts to treat Hip Dysplasia alter depending on the severity of the ailment. Some of the non-invasive treatments include a weight loss program, pain medication, a joint health supplement, the Back and Hip Support Brace, and physical therapy and basic exercise routines to work the hips.
If the disease has become severe, surgery may be suggested. This could mean that the vet can delay or stop the spread of Arthritis too
The only true way to recognise which treatment is best for your German Shepherd when you discover the early warning signs is to visit a vet and have the requisite X-ray and examinations done to determine the existence and extent of Hip Dysplasia. The vet will then ascertain what is the best treatment for the particular issues of your dog.
In the final stages of Hip Dysplasia there may be no other option than to provide your German Shepherd with the best dog wheelchair.
If the front legs and elbows are still strong, the fully adjustable and resalable standard Walkin Wheels will allow your dog to run around with its hind legs in the wheelchair like thousands of dogs around the world are comfortably doing.