Six Dangerous German Shepherd Health Problems You Should Look For

Published: 04th February 2011
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Just like any popular dog breeds, German shepherd health problems can be expected although these canines are naturally fit and healthy with an average life span of 12-15 years. That is why it is important to ensure that you purchase only a healthy German shepherd puppy from a reputable breeder.

Some German shepherd health problems are hereditary while some are non-hereditary or bacterial in nature. If you are a German shepherd owner, you should be alert with any warning signs of diseases or ailments. The veterinarian as well as the breeder can help identify if you are dealing with normal German shepherd health problems or behavior of your pet.

You may also consult the vet with the German shepherd health problems that can be vaccinated to protect your pet from common illnesses in the future. Around 8-10 weeks, your German shepherd puppy may undergo vaccinations. Yearly worming and treating ticks or fleas are also recommended.

To keep your German shepherd fit, provide him a healthy diet. Feed him foods that are only suitable to him. Definitely no sweets and other foods that will rot his teeth. Moreover, German shepherds are sociable dogs so they need to bond with their family and have plenty of exercises. Spend quality time with him to show your love and support to him.

Here are six illnesses that can be seen in German shepherd dogs that you need to be aware of:

Bone or joint dysplasia

Developmental dysplasia of the hip or elbow joint is a German shepherd health problem that is also common in large dog breeds. Initially, your German shepherd dog may display no symptoms at all. Nevertheless, this can result to severe pain and lameness or difficulty in walking.

German shepherds suffering from hip dysplasia may be cautious with their movement. If you notice your canine having difficulty in moving around, then, take him to the veterinarian right away.


Sometimes, German shepherd health problems are very hard to deal with as they begin to show symptoms. They may even cause you to panic and feel helpless. Among these terrifying disorders is the epilepsy. It can cause seizures and convulsions to your German shepherd dog and this is seen quite often in this breed.

Although this can be alarming, epilepsy can be controlled with medications. Therefore, if this happens, contact a dog professional right away to help you eliminate the seizures and may also provide advice on proper diet to control the condition.

Visual problems

Always keep an eye on German shepherd problems that may affect your German shepherd's eyes. Cataract may develop but can be easily removed with surgery. A certain condition called Pannus is an inflammation in the cornea and can be detrimental to your German shepherd dog's optical health.

In other cases, the German shepherd's eyelids may not develop properly which can cause irritation and infection. If you notice your animal squinting, having excessive tearing or discharges, redness or any growth in his eyes, immediately have him checked with a veterinarian.

Bacterial infection

German shepherd health problems may also be brought about by bacteria. Pyoderma is a good example. This is a bacterial infection in the German shepherd's skin. Its cause is unknown but is said to be due to immune deficiency.

Watch your German shepherd dog for any sores, hair loss, redness and other abnormal skin conditions. In serious cases, Pyoderma may cause loss of appetite and lethargy.


German shepherd dogs may also suffer from cancer diseases, just like human beings. Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer of the cells in the interior lining of the blood vessels and may affect the skin, heart, liver and spleen. Common symptoms are weakness, light-colored gums, abdominal distention and even unconsciousness.

Hemangiosarcoma is a fatal disease. Regular dog check-ups will help you recognize the disorder at an early stage.

Anal furuncolosis

Anal furuncolosis is a German shepherd health problem which is a deep penetrating infection around the anus of the German shepherd with an unidentified cause. However, it may be partly due to the German Shepherds large bushy tail, which curves down over the anus and prevents ventilation of the area.

This condition can be treated surgically or through antibiotics, although these may be costly. If not eliminated early on, there is a big tendency for this to recur.

German shepherd health problems can be prevented by proper diet, exercise, and frequent visits to the veterinarian. You cannot afford to see your German shepherd dog too much, so save his life and enjoy his company longer.


Marcus Stephens "The Dog Guy" has been a professional dog raiser and trainer for over 20 years. He founded the well-known website "Fix German Shepherd Health Problems". Get your FREE report that reveals how to stop your German shepherd health problems for good

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