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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

15 of the Most Popular Dog Breeds and Their Health Issues


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When you’re ready to get a dog, such an important decision means making sure you know a lot about the different breeds that are out there. An informed decision also means knowing what the most common health problems are with each breed. Here are some of the most popular dog breeds along with the most common dog health issues they experience.

labrador retriever

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers tend to experience orthopedic problems fairly regularly, particularly in the form of elbow and hip dysplasia. This breed also gets eye diseases like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which usually appears when the dog is around 4 to 8 years old. In some cases, this can lead to blindness.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers

Sadly, one of the most common dog health problems in golden retrievers is cancer, with about half developing the disease at some point, usually in the form of hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, and mastocytoma. Golden retrievers also have a propensity for developing skin diseases, often leading to bacterial infections.



Bulldogs suffer from a number of common dog health problems. One of the most common is respiratory issues, which is why bulldogs often have difficulty running. Bulldogs also have to deal with overheating, so make sure they’re kept in a cool environment during the summer. Other health problems they have include severe skin allergies and arthritis.



While beagles are generally healthier than other breeds, they still have a number of problems when it comes to their ears and skins. Skin diseases like seborrhea, for example, are fairly common, and their floppy ears sometimes lead to ear infections. Beagles also tend to get eye diseases like glaucoma, cherry eye, and cataracts.

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs

French bulldogs, like their English cousins, tend to experience a number of respiratory problems during their lives. It’s also common for them to suffer from joint diseases like hip dysplasia, preventing their hips from functioning in the correct manner. Eye diseases are also found in the breed, with cherry eye being one of the most common.



Some of the most common health issues found in poodles are eye problems. Eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and progressive retinal atrophy happen in large numbers of poodles. Cancer also happens with alarming regularity, the most common type being digital squamous cell carcinoma, which starts in the breed’s toenails. Be aware of skin allergies as well, along with ear infections causes by having narrow ear canals.



Rottweilers are considered a deep-chested breed, which means they can develop bloat, a type of gastrointestinal syndrome. They also suffer from certain orthopedic conditions like cruciate ligament rupture, osteochondritis, wobbler’s syndrome, and hip dysplasia. In fact, studies have shown that about 1 out of every 5 Rottweilers are dysplastic, making Rottweilers one of the least healthy dog breeds when it comes to that issue.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers

One severe problem Yorkshire terriers experience is liver shunt, an inherited disease that can be diagnosed through blood work and is usually treated through surgery. Yorkshire terriers also tend to get injured fairly easily, mainly due to their smaller size. That makes concussions and bone fractures a more common issue they face when compared with other breeds. Heart problems like valve disease and cardiomyopathy have also become a problem with Yorkies.



Boxers are susceptible to heart diseases like cardiomyopathy, which often proves fatal. They can also develop a type of neurologic dysfunction called degenerative myelopathy. Like rottweilers, boxers are susceptible to bloat, which in turn can develop into gastric torsion. Skin issues, allergies, and certain types of cancer can also appear in the breed.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers

For German Shorthairs, one of the biggest health problems they’ll often come across is blood-clotting diseases. Those diseases include hemophilia, von Willebrand’s disease, and thrombocytopathia. Shorthairs can also develop eye diseases like cataracts and heart diseases like subaortic stenosis. Epilepsy in the form of seizures is also fairly common, as is orthopedic problems like osteochondritis.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies

About 1 out of every 10 Siberian Huskies suffer from cataracts, and if the eye disease develops early in life, it can lead to blindness by the time the dog is 2 or 3 years old. Huskies also have a tendency to develop skin problems, particularly when it comes to allergies. Huskies can also get a condition where they lose pigment in their nose — sometimes referred to as “snow nose” — and while some causes of this include lupus or vitiligo, if it only happens in winter, it’s considered harmless.



Dachshunds are one of the unhealthiest dog breeds for disk diseases. When they’re around 3 to 7 years old, roughly a quarter of all Dachshunds experiences disk problems, largely due to their body structure. Other orthopedic problems found in the breed include luxating patella, also known as loose knees, and hip dysplasia. Epilepsy is also a condition many Dachshunds go through during their lifetimes.

Great Dane

Great Danes

Unfortunately, Great Danes are one of the most unhealthy dog breeds out there. Bloat is frighteningly common in the breed as they are the most likely to develop the disease. About half of all Great Danes will get it at some point. Heart diseases like cardiomyopathy are also very common as is osteosarcoma, also known as bone cancer. Great Danes may also develop serious orthopedic problems.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers

The heart disease cardiomyopathy is one of the most serious health problems experienced by Dobermans. That’s in addition to other heart diseases like patent arteriosus and valve disease. Wobbler’s syndrome is a disk disease Doberman owners should be aware of as well. Doberman puppies also have to deal with carpal flexion syndrome, though in most cases the problem goes away as the dog gets older.

Border Collie

Border Collies

Many border collies experience hip dysplasia and osteochondritis at a rate which is unusually high for the size of the dog. Border collies also have high incidents of an eye disease called eye anomaly. More cases of epilepsy have been reported in recent years as well. Border collies also tend to have negative reactions to certain types of drugs like ivermectin (found in some heartworm medications), flagyl, and some anesthetics.

No matter what great breed your dog may be, your dog dedicates their life to making you happy. There’s nothing easy about seeing them go through these difficulties. That’s why you should support the health of your best friends with the right nutrition so they can stay active for longer.

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