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10 Problems With Your German Shepherd



No need to let time slip through the hourglass of life, let’s look at the problems with your loyal and regal German Shepherd. I am not a veterinarian, this is merely a curated list from various internet sources. To view those references and take a deep dive into each issue, please click on the hyperlinked subheadings. They will take you to an authoritative article from a much more educated source. Let’s get tucked in.



Basically, it is common that your German Shepherd’s pancreas cannot produce enough digestive enzymes. Your German Shepherd will be eating a large amount of food and still losing weight. If you notice these symptoms, talk to your vet immediately. Also, buy your pooch from a reputable breeder.



Hemophilia is a blood disorder in which your German Shepherd cannot properly coagulate after a trauma. You will notice excessive bruising or bleeding as well as nosebleeds and stiffness from internal muscular bleeding. Your vet can test for this condition. It is very important to choose an ethical seller.



Your German Shepherd can suffer from diabetes and unfortunately, it is pretty common. Unfixed females and older dogs seem to suffer from this condition more often. Some steroid medications also seem to correlate to diabetes in German Shepherds. There are treatments available if your vet can diagnose the issue in time.


Cataracts are a somewhat common occurrence in German Shepherds. A milky opacity can develop on your German Shepherd’s eye or possibly both eyes. It can be hereditary or develop as a result of trauma, toxicity, or disturbances to their metabolic state. It is important to get your German Shepherd to your vet if you notice any discoloration because left untreated it can cause blindness.



Unfortunately, German Shepherds often have a genetic predisposition to degenerative disk disease. Shepherds affected by this condition will experience a gradual loss of mobility and eventually can become paralyzed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a known cure and is a progressive illness that comes on slowly. I’ve said it before, but a reputable breeder is essential.


Hip dysplasia means your German Shepherd’s ball and socket hip joint is malformed. This can result in pain and lameness for your dog. It is a genetic disorder, often caused by excessively breeding for hip angle as a breed standard. Surgeries exist, but are pretty expensive. Talk to your vet if you notice your dog has bent back legs or is limping.



Bloat is a problem with most large breeds and the German Shepherd is no different. A twist in the stomach blocks food and water from entering the digestive tract, and it can prove fatal. It is unclear exactly what causes bloat, but it is believed that exercising too soon after a meal can contribute. If you notice your shepherd excessively drooling, trying to vomit with no results, or if they collapse, you need to get them to the veterinarian immediately.



An excess of electrical activity in the brain can cause seizures, muscular twitching, and convulsions. Unfortunately, epilepsy is somewhat common in German Shepherds. Medications exist, but do have side effects. Most dogs are unaffected between episodes. You and your vet should keep tabs on any progression, and finding good historical breeding information is vital.



I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but cancer is a common occurence in German Shepherds. Hemangiosarcoma, which is a cancerous lesion on the spleen, is the most common, but many lymphatic cancers can also affect German Shepherds. Lethargy, an offensive odor, and skin lesions are all bad signs. Depending on the stage of the cancer, surgeries are possible, but if you see any of these symptoms, time is of the essence.


Your German Shepherd is not spared from allergies. These can include pollen and plant allergies, skin irritation from external factors in the environment, and food allergies. Some Shepherds also exhibit severe reaction to flea bites. Watch for any excessive itching, redness, or hair loss. These can all be signs of some of the other issues we’ve mentioned, so a vet visit is in order. Hypoallergenic shampoos can reduce the risk of skin problems, and finding and maintaining a healthy diet and consistent successful food source helps.


So what do you think and what did we miss? As I’ve said, I’m not an expert of any sort, just a writer and researcher that curated these conditions. Please click the reference links and take the deep dive into these problems to keep you and your dog safe. Until next time, keep being a different breed.






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