Common Health Problems in Seven Popular Dog Breeds

You may think all dogs are a picture of health when you see them playing with their owners in the parks or streets. They're always excited to play and be petted and are a joy to be around. However, just like humans, dogs also tend to have severe health issues which can be lethal if ignored.

Selecting a puppy looks fun and easy; people always go for the cute one. But it's crucial to know beforehand what issues you need to be ready for as the puppy grows up. Watching your companion suffer can be heartbreaking for you as an owner, so it's imperative to be as informed as possible.

Here are a few popular dog breeds and the common health problems they can develop:

German Shepherd

Known for their guard duties, German Shepherds are loving and loyal. They're prone to hereditary hip dysplasia, which can lead to lameness and arthritis. In this condition, the socket and the joint don't fit together, making it difficult for the dog to walk. 

German Shepherds are also prone to Cushing disease. Similar to human internal systems, dogs also produce hormones that help them in certain situations. One such hormone is called cortisol. It helps the body resist infections, helps in stressful situations, and regulates sugar levels in the blood. 

Both overproduction and underproduction of the hormone are harmful to the dog. You should consult your vet in time to determine the right treatment for your dog. Besides traditional medicines, you can also opt for natural remedies such as melatonin and lignans for dogs to help manage the symptoms typically associated with Cushing's. 

Siberian Husky

Bold and beautiful, a Siberian Husky is prone to autoimmune disorders such as uveodermatologic syndrome. This disorder usually affects the skin and results in hair loss on their faces and sores on their skin. One such condition leads to over inflammation in the eyes leading to cataracts and glaucoma. 

Veterinarians give the huskies corticosteroids to inhibit the immune system. It's vital to have your husky visit the vet regularly for checkups to start the treatments early on. The checkups can also detect other common problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Both of these defects can lead to eventual blindness. 


With their cute squashed faces, pugs live long lives. The phrase, ‘good things come in small packages' fits them perfectly. However, because of their face structure, they can develop breathing problems. Pugs start snoring and have difficulty breathing in scorching weather. 

Additionally, their eyes can pop out of the socket from a fight with another dog or an accident. On some occasions, the vet can manage to put it back if the situation is handled well; however, there isn't any guarantee if the vision will be restored or not. 

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are a favorite among dog owners and are known to be the most playful and loyal companions. Sadly, they're prone to obesity and exercise-induced collapse (EIC). Try giving your dog lots of exercise and an area for it to run around to burn off calories. 

EIC can be fatal, so, if your dog is diagnosed with this disorder, you need to reduce its daily exercise. The drawback of reducing activity is your dog's increased risk of becoming obese. Therefore, only feed a healthy diet to your dog and resist giving treats or unhealthy human food.

Yorkshire Terrier

Commonly born with Portosystemic Shunt (PSS), Yorkshire Terriers can live healthy lives if the defect is discovered earlier and remedied with surgery. In PSS, the toxins in the dog's body aren't removed as the vein doesn't carry the toxins to the liver, as it's supposed to. 

This condition results in vomiting and seizures. But most of the time, when diagnosed correctly, surgery can fix the problem. Moreover, their blood sugar levels tend to drop, which results in tremors, drowsiness, and depression. This is why you should take your dog to the vet regularly. 


The dog breed that's most likely to get cancer is a boxer. They usually develop in lymph nodes or the skin, also called mast cell tumors. This type of cancer is treatable only if it's detected early on. 

Consult your dog's vet to check for symptoms and signs of cancer. They're usually found in the form of lumps and bumps on the body. Furthermore, barrel-chested dogs are also likely to get gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). The stomach becomes twisted when extra air is trapped in the abdominal area. To prevent this, you can feed your dog small amounts of food throughout the day instead of three large meals. 

Cocker Spaniel

This fluffy breed is cute but needs to be taken care of in terms of its hair. The hair needs to be brushed, so fleas don't proliferate in the fur. Their ears have to be cleaned regularly to avoid ear infections. Dogs rely heavily on their hearing; so it's crucial to take preventive actions to protect your dog's future. 

Similar to some other dog breeds, cocker spaniels are prone to PRA as well as obesity. When adopting or buying one, you need to ask about the eye history of the parents. Moreover, this particular dog breed needs lots of exercise and less food once you feel the weight is piling on. Don't be fooled by the puppy dog eyes they make when they see you eating. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing to keep a dog as a pet is a great decision, but choosing which dog to keep is tough. You've got to factor in a lot of elements such as the space in your homes, your budget for food and upkeep, children in your house, but most importantly if you're willing to accept and take care of your dog if it develops any such diseases. 

Dogs are animals closest to humans. They are loving and fun to play with it, and if taken care of properly, they'll be the most loyal companions you can ever find. Therefore, always look for a good veterinarian near your home for emergencies. 

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