Dealing With German Shepherd Health Concerns

The German Shepherd is a dog characterized by having high intelligence and is the best friend that human beings can have. It is an animal of a very fine breed and in demand; it also has the particularity of being very obedient and protective, so it becomes the best ally a family can have at home.

However, the German Shepherd has a series of genetic defects that usually appear at 2 to 3 years of age, seriously affecting the quality of life, and is somewhat expensive in treatment. This phenomenon is due to its owners’ carelessness and inexperienced breeders who have not sought to improve the breed.

German Shepherd Diseases

German Shepherd Health Issues 2021 - Image By Allshepherd

The German Shepherd is an extraordinary dog and is one of the most intelligent breeds. This canine, however, presents genetic ailments:

  • Rage

It is a virus that usually commonly affects dogs, and the German Shepherd is no exception for this disease and is considered deadly for these animals. It has several phases from incubation, and after this, the dog tends to be very withdrawn and can last about a week, sometimes less.

After this phase, it usually passes to the most dangerous one, where strong levels of general aggressiveness are generated. The muscles of the face become spasmodic and the lips back, unpleasantly showing the teeth. In this case, extreme caution must be taken not to put it in isolation.

After the final phase generates a paralysis of the throat, causing the mouth to be completely open by not swallowing saliva, drools, and forming a foam. In this terminal stage, the dog suffers encephalitis; it damages the motor function and dies of respiratory failure.

The form of prevention is through the vaccine that must be applied in the first months of life, and regularly every year, revaccination must be applied. Also, if another animal bit the dog, rabies are immediately suspected. It should be subjected to isolation in some cases for up to 6 months, and revaccination should be applied if it does not give results. Unfortunately, it must be euthanized.

  • Bladder stones

This disease is known as urolithiasis and is very common in dogs, although its first symptoms vary in each breed. This disease consists of a high accumulation of minerals in the urine until they crystallize, causing difficulties in urinating and pain.

Generally, to solve this problem, you can undergo surgical treatment to remove the “stones” and recover after a short time.

  • Liver disease

The liver is the second largest organ of the dog. The disease’s detection is usually very difficult to diagnose since it can be very late when symptoms appear. The causes are associated with cleaning chemicals, vaccines, and flea medications due to the high capacity these products have in forming free radicals.

  • Distemper

It is a common serious, and highly contagious disease generated by a virus called Paramyxoviridae. Contagion is by direct contact through fluids. It is accompanied by fever, watery discharge up to encephalitis and generally affects elderly and newborn dogs.

  • Parvovirus

It is very common in dogs in some countries. It is a virus that is transmitted through feces and vomit of other infected canines. It is characterized by high resistance to cold, heat, and various common disinfectants. It affects both the German Shepherd and other breeds, the gastrointestinal system, and in some cases, the heart.

Normal GSD Genetic Problems

  • Hip dysplasia

It is an inflammation and pain between the hip and the femur, generally generating severe pain, making it impossible for the dog to move easily. Although it can be prevented through a correct diet and exercise, they become the best alternatives to avoid generating this complication in the future.

  • Bloat

It is a condition that is usually very serious for canines, and its causes have not yet been determined despite long investigations. This disease consists of an acute distention of the stomach and can lead to paralysis in the same axis.

  • Elbow dysplasia

Due to trauma, excessive exercise, especially genetic predisposition, consists of abnormal development of the elbow. It usually manifests with pain, lameness when walking, lack of interest in typical dog activities, and the elbow tends to have a usually seen rotation with the naked eye.

  • Heart disease

In this case, it affects the heart and blood vessels, becoming a serious problem for our pet that needs to be treated urgently. However, it is necessary to regularly carry out a check-up and follow the veterinarian’s recommendations to guarantee maximum prevention.

  • Allergies

It is usually very sensitive to allergies, especially to pollen and some chemical products; therefore, it is advisable to keep it out of places where these elements may be present. Also, fleas can sometimes aggressively generate an allergy reaction; therefore, if fleas are a problem for the German Shepherd, it is much worse.

  • Epilepsy

It usually occurs suddenly, and there are no apparent causes that generate this problem. However, this problem is attributed to a genetic predisposition. The most common symptoms, abnormal movement of the limbs combined with incontinence and drooling, usually occur at an early age between 1 to 3 years.

  • Cancer

Hemangiosarcoma is a very common type of cancer in the German Shepherd. It has been shown that it is due to their genetic predisposition that they increase the chances of developing it. This type of pathology is characterized by the spleen in the heart’s right atrium. It very rarely causes pain, but its diagnosis is very difficult and usually develops very slowly.

  • Cataracts

Normally, they usually suffer from this disease, forming a whitish opaque coating that forms the eye’s lens. This can occur when the dog is young or at other stages of his life, sometimes they can be harmless, and in other cases, they can cloud his vision considerably.

  • Diabetes

It is characterized by causing a low weight in the dog, excessive ingestion of water and food. It usually affects females more, and around eight years of age, symptoms may appear. Although due to the German Shepherd’s genetics, it can increase the chances of suffering from this disease.

How do You protect your GSD from these health risks?

It is advisable to provide a balanced diet according to what is recommended by the veterinarian. Carrying out a regular check-up every three months is ideal, and being up-to-date with all vaccinations. If any disease or something abnormal in his health is suspected, he should be urgently taken to the vet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the majority of GSDs die from?

Probably the most common diseases found in the GSD breed which could result in death are osteosarcoma or hemangiosarcoma. Nevertheless, there are a lot of disease processes which can afflict this particular breed and shorten the lifetime.

How many times should a GSD dog be fed each day?

Clean, fresh water should be accessible to the German shepherd puppy during the day time. Make sure you remove the water immediately. Feed three times each day from eight to twelve weeks of age and two times each day. In case you would like to change the food, always select a good puppy food labeled for big breeds.

At what age does a GSD dog die?

A lot of GSD dogs can live about 10-13 year olds. Those who own tiny breeds of dogs could see their animals are as many as 17 or perhaps 20, but the bigger dogs put more stress on the bodies of theirs and can’t live so long time, no matter how nicely they’re taken care of.