disease dogs

What are the Health Problems in German Shepherds

Are you a German Shepherds owner? Then you must have the information about these Health Problems in German Shepherds.

As their name suggests, German Shepherd dogs are a breed that originated in Germany. They were created by crossing various herding breeds at the end of the 1800s. The breed went through rigorous selection and made rapid progress. Alsatians are the dog breed’s name in the United Kingdom because breeders there wanted to keep the dog safe from anti-German sentiment after World War I.

German Shepherds are charming animals: large and bulky, they have a distinctive square muzzle, a bushy tail, and (usually) a black mask. They typically have “saddle” and “blanket” markings across their backs, and their coloring is typically red/black or tan/black. Sable, silver, liver, and panda are a few of the rarer colorings. White German Shepherds and pure black German Shepherds also exist.

A dense double coat with a water-resistant outer layer and a thick undercoat is typical of German Shepherds. Furthermore, they are unquestionably shedders. These dogs shed usually once or twice a year, but weekly grooming is good for them. during the months of shedding, as well as daily brushing.

German Shepherds are well-known for their ability to be trained and their success in obedience training. Many German Shepherds go on to be excellent service dogs due to their strong desire to learn. Some dogs have the nose to be used in search and rescue. Guide dogs, watchdogs, and guard dogs are all roles that German Shepherds excel at. Some even turn into policing dogs.

Similar Articles

The average weight of this large dog breed ranges from 67 to 92 pounds. They typically have a lifespan of 11 to 13 years and a height of 24 to 26 inches.

Health Problems in German Shepherds

Although German Shepherds have a long life expectancy, they are prone to several diseases. Some of the Health Problems in German Shepherds are:

  • Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease 
  • Pannus
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  •  exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
  • Allergies


Health Problems in German Shepherds

German shepherds usually suffer from elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Degenerative joint disease known as elbow dysplasia can cause pain in the front limbs for the rest of one’s life. Another hind end-affecting degenerative joint disease is hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia affects about 20% of German Shepherd dogs. A limp, a reduced range of motion, and other signs of pain are clinical signs, especially later in life as arthritis develops as the disease progresses.

Weight loss, reduced activity, joint protection supplements, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, and surgery are all options for treating degenerative joint diseases. Your dog’s lifetime risk of hip dysplasia can be predicted using available testing, such as the PennHIP.


Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is a sudden, potentially fatal condition in which the stomach bulges with gas and then twists on itself. This is common in large breed dogs with deep chests, like German Shepherds.If your dog’s stomach appears to be expanding rapidly or if they are experiencing abdominal pain (such as: whining when touched or not, stretching with front legs down and back legs up, refusing to walk, and not eating), take them right away to the vet.

While aggressive medical treatment can sometimes be used to treat bloat, a GDV necessitates immediate corrective surgery to save the dog’s life. German Shepherds should wait at least 30 minutes to an hour after eating before exercising to reduce the risk of GDV.One more method for keeping your German Shepherd from fostering a perilous GDV would be through gastropexy. When performed concurrently with a young dog’s spay or neuter, this surgery has the greatest chance of success. The stomach is permanently attached to the inside wall of the body during a gastropexy. The ability of the stomach to twist in on itself is hindered by this fixation.


German Shepherds can get cancer at any age, but it usually happens later in life.Hemangiosarcoma, bone, lung, and intestinal cancers are all common types of cancer. A malignant tumor known as hemangiosarcoma is most frequently found in blood-rich organs like the heart and spleen.

The symptoms of hemangiosarcoma, which typically involve internal bleeding, include weakness, pale or white gums, difficulty breathing, a distended abdomen, and collapse. Other signs, such as lethargy, panting, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or a loss of weight, are typically nonspecific and point to a general malaise.

Chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery are all options for cancer treatment, depending on the extent of the disease.

Heart diseases

Multiple types of heart disease, which can strike at any age, are common in German Shepherds. To see if your dog has any problems, your vet will listen for heart murmurs and abnormal heart rhythms. The severity of the disease may necessitate additional testing.

To keep track of progress, the same tests will need to be taken again each year. Prescription medications can be used to prolong life for many years if heart disease is detected early. Weight management and dental care for pets can help ease symptoms.


Health Problems in German Shepherds

Chronic Superficial Keratitis (Pannus) is a disease seen most commonly in the German Shepherds, but does occur in other breeds.Pannus is a condition that lasts a lifetime and can typically be managed, but not treated. At high altitudes and in areas with high levels of air pollution, pannus is more prevalent and more severe. It is generally thought to be a disease mediated by the immune system, possibly as a result of being exposed to ultraviolet light or other irritants.

It is an eye related disease. Although one eye may appear worse than the other, both are affected. The clear outer covering of the eye that connects to the white sclera is called the cornea. Typically, a pinkish film begins at the cornea and conjunctiva  and spreads to the eye’s center. The film becomes opaque as it covers the cornea. The cornea gets darker or more pigmented over time.

Depending on the severity of the disease at the time of diagnosis, aggressive treatment may be initiated to halt its progression, and therapy may be tapered to less frequent applications once the disease is under control. Eye drops or ointments must be applied several times daily at first. In most cases, a corticosteroid product is used first. The steroid may be supplemented with cyclosporine or tacrolimus in severe cases or plasmoma cases. Subconjunctival injections of corticosteroids can be used to accelerate the dog’s response to treatment when the disease has rendered the dog blind or nearly blind.

Degenerative myelopathy 

It is a genetic condition that affects your dog’s hind legs and causes nerve damage and weakness. German Shepherd dogs are more frequently affected than other breeds. The initial signs include progressive weakness and disability in the hind legs before progressing to paralysis in the hindquarters and incontinence.

Dietary supplements, acupuncture, rehabilitation, and exercise may be helpful, but there is no cure for this condition. It is possible to find out if your dog is at risk by taking a genetic test.


An issue with digestive health known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) occurs when the cells of the pancreas do not normally produce hormones and enzymes.Despite your pet’s ravenous appetite, weight loss is the most common symptom. Soft stools or diarrhea are additional EPI symptoms; a lot of gas; desire to consume unusual foods and waste; scaly skin; or a coarse coat.

Unfortunately, dogs with EPI cannot be cured. Pancreatic enzyme supplements and other treatments are required for the rest of your dog’s life once the pancreas is damaged to the point where EPI symptoms appear. Despite this, your dog can still live a happy life with this condition if it is managed properly.


Health Problems in German Shepherds

Allergies are a problem for German Shepherds. Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD), a skin allergy, is more likely in this breed. Fleas, food, environmental triggers like mold, pollen, or dust mites, or contact with other irritants are the most common causes of allergies.

If you notice your German Shepherd shaking his head excessively or frequently, chewing, scratching, or biting on parts of his body, or doing any of these things, he most likely has an allergy .

If you think your dog has allergies, you should take a complete medical history, have a thorough physical exam, do diagnostic testing on the skin and ears, get blood work, and look at his feces.Dog allergies can be treated through diet therapy and medication, avoiding the allergen and its cause, and managing symptoms.


German shepherds are prone to many other diseases. There are several steps for maintaining the proper health of your German Shepherd. As we know prevention is always better than cure. Although some genetic diseases cannot be prevented there are a lot others which can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your dog. Always provide proper nutrition and adequate physical exercise to your dog. German shepherds are prone to skin allergies so make sure to provide a clean living space for him. 

Always keep a knowledge on what’s best for your dog. Know about the foods best for him, diseases he is susceptible to. If you find any disease related symptoms, always remember to call the vet first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

feeding dog food for golden retrievers

Best Foods for Your Golden Retriever

Know abit About Golden retriever  The Golden Retriever was first bred by Dudley Marjoribanks in the Highlands of Scotland in the

coping with pet loss pet loss

Coping With Pet Loss

Pet loss is really heartbreaking thing to experience.we know, The hardest part of living are goodbyes. It really hurts when

dog Dogs eating poop

Dog and poop

Do you own a dog? If you do, you might have noticed some unusual behaviors your dog exhibits like scooting