Categories: Health

Popular Dog Breeds And Their Common Health Problems

Who doesn’t love the joy of bringing home your new dog? There will be some rough spots at times, but having a pup is just like having a child and a best friend. Through good and bad times, they stick by your side and learn from you. Dog owners are commonly concerned for their dog’s health. That’s why it’s important to know what kinds of health problems your dog may be prone to, which is actually easy to guess by the breed of the dog. In this article, we are going to give you the 3 most common breeds of dogs and the health problems they tend to have.

  1. Labrador Retrievers

Labs are easily one of the most common breeds and have a solid reputation for being a wonderful family pet. If you choose a lab, you’ll more than likely have a playful, but gentle loving companion. However, these are some common health issues to watch for:

Hip and elbow dysplasia.
These are common issues with any larger breed of dog. These can cause pain or limp, especially going up or downstairs. Unfortunately, this can lead to arthritis, another common health concern with this breed, which is seen in older labs especially. To prevent this you’ll want to make sure your lab maintains a healthy weight through exercise and a proper diet. There are also vitamins that can be prescribed by the vet.

Laryngeal Paralysis
This is caused by muscles changing within or around the larynx, which causes issues with airflow through the larynx. Some signs of this condition would be a change in their bark (most of the time reported as a honking sound), difficulty breathing, coughing, and exercise intolerance.

Labs have a chance, though not as high as other conditions, of seizures. It can be diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, however, veterinarians are unable to determine the cause of seizures for your dog. It could be masses in the brain, electrolyte or metabolic disturbances, exposure to certain toxins, or some other causes.

The Veterinary Cancer Center concluded that the number one natural cause of death in cats and dogs is cancer. About 50% of pet deaths in a year are caused by cancer. Common cancers for labs, in particular, are bone cancer, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors. It can look like weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or lumps. If you see any of these signs, in any breed of dog, have a vet check them out as soon as you can.

  1. Huskies

Huskies, without a doubt, are the life of the party. They are a fun, hyper, and adorable breed that many people admire. Like any bigger breed, they have the risk for hip dysplasia but are otherwise known for maintaining a healthy weight with a high-protein diet. They do have quite a few predisposed health problems to be aware of though.

Eye problems
Cataracts affect about 10% of the breed, so they are the most common health problem. They develop within the first year of their life, so having a vet check their eyes regularly is important. Otherwise, it could eventually lead to blindness. Another eye problem for huskies is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) which is when the retina deteriorates. It also leads to blindness, so try to catch both of these early on. Corneal dystrophy is one that affects the cornea, which you can tell by white dots in the cornea. It causes hazy vision and is not currently treatable.

Uveodermatologic Syndrome
This is another eye disease with Siberian Huskies, but it also affects the skin and nervous system. It can cause blindness in severe cases, but it is difficult to detect. If you see redness in their eyes or suspect impaired vision, you should probably get them checked by the vet.

Follicular Dysplasia
This health problem affects huskies, especially Siberian Huskies, from 3 to 4 months of age and results in abnormal hair growth, hair loss, or patchy skin. There is no treatment, but you can use specific shampoos, antimicrobials, and topical applications if needed.

Zinc Deficiency
This will result in hair loss on feet, elbows, eyes, chin, or lip areas. A vet should be consulted before adding any zinc to their diet to prevent a possible overdose.

This common issue means there is an abnormal amount of secretion of the thyroid gland. Your dog may gain weight, although it isn’t as much as usual. There could also be symptoms of fur loss, bald spots, lethargy, and increased sleep.

  1. German Shepherd

Shepherds are in general wonderful companions. German shepherds are commonly seen as great dogs by their jobs with police and commonly being service animals. German shepherds, like most big breeds, also have the risk of hip dysplasia. They also have a chance of PRA and cancer as explained above. There are a few more medical conditions to look out for.

Perinatal Fistula
This extremely unpleasant, serious disorder is where the skin around the anus develops blister-like openings that swell, leak, and drain.
You may notice many symptoms such as: straining during defecation, blood in feces, decreased appetite, excessive licking of tail or rectal area, reluctance to sit or lay, pus, or foul-smelling odor in bedding. You will want to get your dog in immediately to be able to be treated without surgery.

Degenerative Myelopathy
This is a progressive disease that causes degeneration in the spinal cord of older dogs. You may notice a loss of coordination in hind limbs, dragging feet, collapsing, and difficulty standing. German Shepherds have a mutation that greatly impacts their predisposition to the disease. Unfortunately, there is no treatment and it is fatal. You’ll want to prepare yourself and give them all the love and comfort that you can.

As pet owners, we want the absolute best for our fur babies. Sometimes it can be pretty discouraging to see such painful diseases affecting our pets. It is important to stay aware of these predispositions and the symptoms, so a quick diagnosis, treatment, and recovery can be possible. Sometimes the health issues are more severe than we can control. All we can do is give love and affection all we can and hope for the very best!


AK Baloch

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