The German Shepherd Dog is a very popular breed that is unfortunately prone to a host of health issues. Most of these are hereditary, so if you are buying a puppy from a breeder, do plenty of research and make sure they are responsible and genetically test all dogs before breeding them. Whether you own a Shepherd already or are thinking about adding one to your family, you should be aware of the following top 3 health concerns in German Shepherds.
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#1 – Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is prevalent in over 114 breeds of dogs. The German Shepherd is one of the top sufferers of both hip and elbow conditions. This inheritable disease can be diagnosed by a vet with radiographs and can range from mild to severe.
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#2 – Skin Issues
German Shepherds have a host of skin issues, allergies being one of the most common. Aside from allergies, they also are prone to pyoderma (bacteria infection), seborrhea (red, itchy rash), and lick dermatitis (a skin disorder on the legs that looks like lesions), to name a few.
#3 – Autoimmune Diseases
Unfortunately, German Shepherds are extremely prone to autoimmune diseases that often target the skin, resulting in several skin and nail diseases. Sometimes the immune system will also attack internal organs and cause serious diseases including degenerative spinal myelopathy and megaesophagus (enlarged esophagus).