The most common diseases of German Shepherds

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common problems in this breed, mainly because puppies grow so quickly.

The German Shepherd breed is one of the most famous today, especially due to the beauty of its individuals and extreme intelligence. However, Its history has made it one of the breeds most commonly affected by congenital diseases. The intention of many breeders to profit from these dogs meant that crosses between them did not maintain the purity of the breed, especially due to inbreeding problems. For this reason, there are a number of diseases that these dogs are more likely to suffer from.

Hip dysplasia

This is one of the problems that most affects German Shepherds and can be caused by two reasons. The first is that traditionally strong and resilient dogs are more susceptible to physical overload than smaller dogs, meaning there is more wear and tear on their bones and muscles, so Hip dysplasia has become a hereditary problem for this breed.

Traditionally strong and resilient dogs are more susceptible to physical stress.Traditionally strong and resilient dogs are more susceptible to physical stress.

However, it has been proven that the disease can also be caused by the rapid growth of individuals during the transition to adulthood, which subsequently affects the development of hip joint malformations in many of these dogs. Experts agree that this situation can be reversed by controlling the amount of food which is provided to the animal so that excess weight does not contribute to the development of hip dysplasia.

Lumbosacral instability syndrome

This is a degenerative disease consisting of inflammation of the lower spine, which can be caused by different reasons: wear and tear of the spinal cord, trauma, diseases that directly affect this area, certain types of cancer or also due to hereditary problems. What happens is that the nerves in the lower spine become compressed and, as a result, nerve impulses do not reach that area properly.

We are faced with a rather painful disease caused by inflammation of the nerves and also causing instability due to the inability to carry out orders from the nervous system to the hind legs, genitals, anus and tail. Likewise, one problem that lumbosacral instability can cause is hip dysplasia. Nevertheless, Treatment depends on the severity of the diseaseIn milder cases, treatments may be required to stimulate the area, and in more severe cases, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications must also be taken.

This can be caused by wear and tear on the spinal cord, injury, or hereditary problems.This can be caused by wear and tear on the spinal cord, injury, or hereditary problems.

Constrictive pericarditis in dogs

Although this is a very rare disease in animals, more cases have been found in German Shepherds and this disease affects the heart. In this case, The pericardium, the two-layer membrane surrounding this vital organ, appears inflamed. in one of them, so that the heart is compressed, increasing the pressure on it.

It is actually a serious condition that, in the worst case scenario, can cause the death of your pet if not diagnosed early. Treatment includes antibiotics or surgery. Symptoms of pericarditis are as follows:

  • Anorexia or weight loss.
  • Abdominal pain due to fluid accumulation in this area.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Fatigue or lethargy.


Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects the optic nerve and can occur in both conditions at the same time. This is due to the fact that accumulation of aqueous humor (liquid that protects the eyes) causes an increase in pressure in the eyeball in the same way, in such a way that the animal becomes blind to such an extent that it may be irreversible if not treated in time. In normal cases, aqueous humor is removed by the eye’s own drainage, but in glaucoma, fluid accumulates inside the eye, increasing pressure levels and puncturing the optic nerve.

canine parvovirus

This viral transmission disease causes severe diarrhea with copious amounts of blood and a foul odor, mainly because the virus alters intestinal function. This is a disease that This is especially true for dogs that have not yet entered adulthood. because they still have to deal with vaccines that are also designed to prevent it, and among the symptoms that can detect it are loss of appetite and dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, despondency and, in the worst case, fever. Although the disease is treated with a soft diet and antibiotics to avoid other inflammations worsening the dog’s condition, it is important to carry out early detection to avoid worse consequences.

This is especially true for puppies, who still need to be vaccinated to prevent disease.This is especially true for puppies, who still need to be vaccinated to prevent disease.


Canine distemper, or distemper, is a disease that has some similarities to human measles and can affect your German Shepherd’s digestive and respiratory systems, as well as, in some cases, the nervous system. Caused by a virus The spread of plague occurs through body secretions., and although it can be easily treated in an animal if detected early, it can actually be a fatal disease if the condition is advanced. It is also worth noting that treatment in these cases is not as simple as a cold, since it is a virus for which there is no cure. Therefore, to survive the plague, the veterinarian will provide palliative care based on strengthening the immune system and removing mucus.

Dogs infected with distemper have the ability to transmit the disease even after several months. after an illness, and the incubation of the virus takes about two weeks. Although annual vaccines are designed to immunize any dog ​​against the virus that causes distemper, the possibility of infection still exists, even if it is minimal. For this reason, it is recommended to observe the rules of hygiene not only of the animal, but also of its belongings, pay attention to the symptoms that it presents, checking whether it has conjunctivitis, redness of the eyes, difficulty breathing, coughing, or the presence of mucus. , vomiting or gastroenteritis.

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