What are some German Shepherd Heath Issues?

German Shepherd

What are some health issues that German Shepherds are prone to?

German Shepherds can have health issues. It’s a good idea where possible to check the health history of the dog’s lineage. While it may not always insure that your dog won’t have problems, it certainly lets you know what you may expect. For example, my German Shepherd, Quanah, has all the problems attributed to the breed even though her papers show that all her ancestors have good hips.

Quanah suffered with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and stomach torsion. My rescue shepherd, Samantha, who lived for 11 years, also had stomach torsion and chronic otitis. Eventually my vet had to surgically open another canal in her ears so they could drain properly.

When Quanah was 3 years old, I opted to have hip replacement for her as she was obviously in pain and limping on her left side. It is definitely major surgery and in her case, there were complications which were dealt with and she’s fine now. Several months ago I noticed her limping on her right side. (She’s 5 years old now). Rather than put her through that traumatic experience again, I tried a new approach. I gave her 500 mg. of glucosamine chondroitin in the morning and another 500 mg. in the evening every day. She’s still on the treatment and as a bonus one ear that flopped over is now standing. The treatment is safe and some of the tablets made specifically for veterinary use are flavored. She’s been pain free and runs through the garden as lively as ever. Quanah may still have to undergo another hip replacement surgery , but for now she’s doing well. As for the stomach torsion, which is when the stomach twists , Quanah had to have emergency surgery to right her stomach. This is definitely an emergency and requires the immediate attention of a vet otherwise it leads to a painful death for the dog.

Did I mention that I’m a strong advocate for the spaying and neutering of all pets. Unless your pet is in excellent health and you plan to responsibly breed, I recommend spay and neuter as soon as possible. It’s good for the health of the pet and keeps the number of unwanted pets down.

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