Seven Common Health Issues In German Shepherd

German Shepherd Dogs, like other breeds, are prone to a variety of health issues, some of which are genetic in nature and others which are viral in nature. Below are some of the most common health issues that have been observed in the breed:


Diabetes, which can be caused by both overfeeding and genetic reasons, affects some German shepherds. Excessive drinking, dry mouth, weariness, foot swelling, and frequent urination are among the symptoms. Even if you maintain good nutrition and a regular exercise schedule, a dog can be born with an undeveloped pancreas, which can lead to diabetes later in life. Diet and exercise are frequently two of the most important factors in keeping diabetes under control. A veterinarian may administer insulin injections to help monitor the condition in extreme situations.

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia

German shepherds are famous for their devotion, and large ears, but they are also associated with hip and elbow dysplasia. The disorders create an irregularity in your pet’s elbow or hip joint. The joint might even become dislocated at times. If your dog is affected, he or she will most likely limp sometimes or frequently and appear less energetic. Because the disorders are commonly genetic, it is critical to have the parents of each shepherd puppy you bring home examined by a veterinarian.

Degenerative Myelopathy

One of the most concerning illnesses that can affect German Shepherds is degenerative myelopathy. DM, like the human disorder multiple sclerosis, is chronic, neurological, and can result in permanent paralysis of the dog’s hind legs because it slowly affects the nerves in the spinal cord. Unfortunately, there are no effective treatments for degenerative myelopathy. It is a degenerative disorder, and dogs who are diagnosed frequently suffer as they age. If the condition progresses to the point of paralysis, mobility devices may be utilized to assist a dog in remaining mobile despite paralysis.


Bloat, also known as gastric dilation-volvulus, is a serious disease in which air accumulates in a dog’s stomach and puts pressure on the diaphragm, making it difficult for the dog to breathe. The air-filled stomach can also strain their veins, preventing appropriate blood flow to the dog’s heart and possibly causing the stomach to rotate, resulting in a lack of blood supply to the stomach. Bloat is particularly common in large, deep-chested canines such as German Shepherds.

Digestive Disorders

Many digestive problems in shepherds can induce frequent or chronic vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. Feed them a high-quality pet food that is recommended to help prevent these issues. Most essential, stay away from snacking and table scraps. Fat-rich substances, sodium, and artificial ingredients are all unhealthy for your pet’s stomach.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid problems are occasionally encountered in German Shepherd Dogs. Most are extremely controllable, and treatment is not prohibitively expensive, despite the fact that it is lifelong. Hypothyroidism can cause the hair to get thin, coarsen, and become brittle. The dog may become lazy, fat, and dull very rapidly. A dog with a moderate deficiency may exhibit little or no visible signs of it. A blood test would be prescribed your veterinarian to make the diagnosis. Thyroid dysfunction in dogs should not be reproduced because it is genetically connected and sustained. Untreated thyroid disease can lead to a number of other health issues.


This is a disease that, while not as widespread in German Shepherds, affects a significant number of them. If you’re not aware with canine epilepsy, it’s a neurological condition that produces seizures. Seizures in German Shepherds can manifest as excessive running, barking, walking with an odd stride, hiding in dark corners for hours, and other symptoms. Epilepsy is not a fatal condition, and with the right treatments, your dog can have a completely healthy life.

The Takeaway

Vaccinations are required to prevent your German Shepherd from a possible bacterial infection; discover more about the vaccination program for puppies and dogs. Don’t forget to deworm your dog on a regular basis.  The de-worming should be performed once a month externally and once every three months internally. Visiting the veterinarian twice a year is the best approach to diagnose an illness when and if it develops; keep in mind that most of the diseases above have a positive prognosis if detected early.

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