German shepherd pups are known for their loyalty, protective behavior, and intelligence, making them a fantastic dog to have in your family!
But like with any pup, it’s important that you know about the breed and how to deal with breed-specific disorders that may affect your pup later in life. Here are some to look out for!
1. Gastrointestinal Disease
Also known as Alimentary Disease, this refers to any issues that involve the digestive system. Some of the more common ones to ail German shepherds are megaesophagus and esophagus, which happen when the esophagus becomes limp and can’t pass food to the stomach. Pups with this condition will vomit when on a solid diet, and this will often need lifelong care and management with liquid diets and elevated feedings. Perianal fistula is another issue that often crops up with GSDs, and it happens with the openings on the skin around the anus begin to drain. This can cause painful defecation, diarrhea, or bloody stools, and affected pups may lick at the anal area frequently.
2. Orthopedic issues
This refers to health conditions that affect the ones and joints, like hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. The former is very common and often happens when the ball and socket joint at the hip becomes malformed and unstable. This condition is often passed down genetically and will likely require a lifetime of management and treatment.
Cancers are, in short, diseases that result due to the increased growth of cells in a certain area. While most cancers can affect any pups, some are more common in certain breeds. German shepherd pups are higher at risk for osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, and hemangiosarcoma, which has to do with blood vessels. Early detection is key in cancer, so don’t miss any routine assessments and veterinary exams.
These issues may seem frightening, but talking to your veterinarian about each one and setting up preventative care can do wonders for reducing your pup’s risk. Don’t forget to like and share!