When it comes to German Shepherd health problems, there are many potential ailments that can catch you and your pup off guard. The results can be both emotionally devastating and expensive if they are not dealt with quickly and effectively. Instead of responding to potential health problems as they arrive, learn what you can do to avoid them in the first place and keep your German Shepherd happy and healthy.
Potential German Shepherd Health Problems
German Shepherds can suffer from many different health issues, the same as human beings. The difference is that they cannot tell you where their ache, pain or hurt is. They will often suffer in silence until there is a very real pain that needs to be treated. So, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and the actions you can take to avoid these issues in the first place.
Infections – German shepherd’s can suffer from a number of potential infections, these are often caused by foreign bodies on their skin, in their eyes and their teeth. Of all dog health problems, infections are the easiest to prevent. Clean your dog’s eyes, brush their teeth and brush their hair regularly to avoid any potential bacteria build up; and of course always make sure that he is fed a healthy well balanced diet, as prevention is much better than trying to cure something once it appears. Dogs like humans can suffer from similar lifestyle diseases as humans do especially if obesity and lack of exercise becomes as issue.
Allergies – Allergies in German shepeherds, are one of the most common causes of skin conditions. Allergies are chronic in nature and can be difficult to control. The 3 main types of allergies in relation to skin conditions:
- Food Allergy – A food allergy is a severe issue that should be addressed by a vet
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)
- Allergic Inhaled Dermatitis (Atopy)
By far the most common is a flea allergy that can cause hot spots and lead to infections. Make sure you get flea medication for your German Shepherd every month and have a vet examine him regularly to ensure they are healthy.
It is possible for a pet to have a combination of all 3 allergy types.
Diabetes – German Shepherd health problems tend to mirror human issues in many ways and diabetes is one such potential lifestyle disease. Excess rich, fatty and sugary foods can result in pancreatic issues that cause diabetes. To avoid diabetes, keep your dog on a strict diet of dog foods with very few or no table scraps or excess meals. If your German Shepherd is diagnosed with diabetes, you’ll need to see a vet regularly and may need to administer regular shots. This is one of the conditions where prevention of it is much better than a cure, because as yet there is not actually a cure for diabetes
Arthritis and Dysplasia – Some dogs are highly susceptible to joint problems. When they exhibit symptoms of hip dysplasia they are usually in pain and lame on one or both rear legs, they often have difficulty standing up. Severe arthritis can develop as a result of the malformation of the hip joint and results in pain as the disease progresses. Make sure your German Shepherd receives the necessary vitamins and minerals it requires each day and that your vet checks the joints for degeneration at least once a year.
Obesity – Another one of these lifestyle diseases that many humans suffer from also. Obesity is one of the most common and deadly dog health problems and is directly caused by eating too much and not exercising enough. Obesity itself doesn’t lead to mortality, but the higher rates of heart failure, tumors, liver disease, and skin problems are all very dangerous if not dealt with immediately. Obesity can be treated with a careful diet and exercise.
If your German Shepherd gets plenty of exercise, eats a well balanced diet every day, and you keep him well groomed and clean, then many of these health problems will never be an issue. It is very important that you should make sure you visit your vet annually to check for any potential issues. The earlier you catch a disease, the easier it can be treated.