Guild of Shepherds & Collies

10 Most Common Health Issues for Larger Dogs

1. Hip dysplasia

As dogs grow, a loose fit of the hip joint results. Hip dysplasia can eventually lead to pain, joint degeneration, and arthritis. What you might not know is genetics is the biggest single factor causing hip dysplasia in dogs.

2.  Elbow dysplasia

A lesser known symptom of large canine bodies, a malformation can occur of the elbow. Continued wear and tear of the elbow can lead to inflammation and osteoarthritis. Genetics also play a large role in what dogs are affected by it and which are not.

3.  Arthritis

This can occur in any dog, but it is most seen in large, senior dogs. This happens because of their growth and weight. Symptoms can include stiffness, limping, pain, and difficulty moving or exercising.

4. Wobbler syndrome

Also known as “Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM)” – try saying that five times fast – is a disease of the spine at the neck. It affects how vertebrae line up with one another.

5.  Dilated cardiomyopathy

Due to the size of the body, as a dog ages, the heart ages, too. Basically, the heart becomes weak and can no longer adequately pump blood throughout the body. Symptoms include weakness, exercise intolerance, coughing, and difficulty breathing.

6.  Hypothyroidism

This is a clinical condition resulting from a lowered production and release of T4 AND T3 hormones by the thyroid gland. As a result, the dog can suffer lethargy, mental dullness, weight gain, hair loss, excessive scaling, and recurring skin infections.

7.  Bloat

This is a disease in dogs in which their stomachs dilates and rotates around its short axis. The twisting prevents the dog from being able to burp or vomit, then eventually cuts of the blood supply to the stomach. This can quickly lead to shock or death.

8.  Entropion

This is a genetic condition which a portion of the eyelid is folded inward; the shape of the face is the primary genetic cause.

9. Ectropoin

Off by one letter, but not to be confused with number eight, this is an abnormality which causes the margin of the eyelid to roll outward. This results in exposure of tissue of the inner lids.

10. Cherry Eye

Is a pink mass protruding from the dog’s eyelid. It is most commonly associated with inherited weaknesses of the eye’s gland.

As always, if you think there is something wrong with your dog, consult your veterinary doctor immediately.

Information from PetMD

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