Breed All About It: Dog Breed Health Issues to Know About
Stereotyping animal breeds is no different than stereotyping people. Pitbulls aren’t necessarily vicious creatures and not all toy poodles are purse dogs. There are definitely breed predispositions, though, that pet owners should be aware of, though. This is especially true if you are set on adding a certain breed to your family. So read on for more about pet breed issues that could affect you.
Schertz Animal Hospital thinks it’s important for animal lovers everywhere to recognize which breeds may be at higher risk for certain issues. After all, knowledge is power.
Dog Breed Health Issues to Know About
Purebred dogs in general tend to have a higher rate of health issues. Certain breeds, however, have more than their fair share of certain types of problems.
Some notable examples include:
- Mitral valve disease (a heart problem) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- Hip dysplasia in German Shepherds
- Addison’s disease in Bearded Collies
- Atopy (environmental related skin allergies) in Golden Retrievers
- Mast cell tumors (a type of cancer) in Boxers
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart problem) in Doberman Pinschers
- Pancreatitis in Schnauzers
- Intervertebral disc disease (back problems) in Dachshunds
- Prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid (Cherry eye) in Cocker Spaniels
- Entropion (rolling in of the eyelid) in Shar Peis
- Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in Rottweilers
It is important to do your research when considering taking on a specific breed. Not only will you want to be sure that the dog’s personality, energy level, and size meets your needs, but you will also want to be aware of common health problems in the breed. This will allow you to determine whether you are prepared for these issues, should they arise.
The Brachycephalic Problem
Beyond individual breed issues, there is a whole group of dogs who deserve a mention. Dogs who have that characteristic smushy mug are more properly referred to as brachycephalic, and despite their adorable faces, they come with a whole host of issues.
Brachycephalic pets have all the same size parts as a “normal” dogs, but they are often crammed into a small little head. These dogs often have very small nares (nasal passages), a large tongue, an elongated soft palate, and a disproportionately small windpipe. Together, these problems make breathing an absolute nightmare.
Brachycephalic dogs are very prone to breathing issues, have an increased anesthetic risk, and can easily overheat due to their compromised airway. They also tend to have skin issues due to the folds found in the skin and may have an increased incidence of periodontal disease. These snorty little buggers are adorable, but their care is not for the faint of heart.
A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way
If you are dead set on bringing home an English Bulldog, no need to stick your head in the sand about the potential health issues you are inviting into your home. Knowing what you are getting into is a powerful tool in caring for your new pet. Knowing about breed predispositions allows you to:
- Be alert to small changes that may prompt earlier action on your part
- Monitor your pet for signs of trouble more effectively
- Better plan financially for your pet’s potential needs
- Seek out pet insurance if desired before pre-existing conditions exist
Don’t let a certain breed’s predispositions deter you, we are here to help! We do know, though, that educated pet owners are better pet owners. Doing a little research before committing to a pet is the best way to ensure a good fit.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!