Thursday, 08/06/2020

As a pet parent, you know that each of your canine companions has its unique personality and health requirements! Even though it is not definitive, certain dog breeds are known for their longevity, healthiness, and endless energy. 

As a fact, some dog breeds are more prone to diseases compared to other species. In fact, in mortality and disease prevalence, specific dog breeds such as German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Boxer, Chihuahua, etc. holds the risk of diseases such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Obesity, Elbow Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Cancer, heat, eye, and ear ailment.

Getting in-depth knowledge about dog breeds concerning the prevalence of diseases can help early diagnosis. It can be a lifesaver for your canine companion. In this article, we have enlisted some popular dog breeds and common diseases they are prone to. Prior to that, let’s check out some of the common health problems in dogs. Let’s scroll through the list:

What Are Some Common Health Issues In Dogs?

Canine Arthritis

Canine arthritis is one of the prevalent diseases in senior dogs. The disease causes pain and stiffness and its impact on mobility. The primary factors that cause arthritis due to dogs are aging, congenital joint disorders like hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis, elbow dysplasia, old injuries, repeated trauma, metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Glucosamine is effective in preventing the disease. Besides, to delay and prevent arthritis in your dog, provide a wholesome diet with added calcium and omega 3.


As per statistical data, nearly 60% of dogs are overweight or obese. Obesity in your canine increases the risk factor of certain types of cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Among the primary causes of this disease, the prime reason is the imbalance between energy intake and usage. Offering your pet high-calorie foods, frequent treats, and table scraps can exacerbate this condition. Other causes of obesity include Hypothyroidism, Insulinoma, Hyperadrenocorticism, Neutering. To avoid and treat canine obesity, provide your dog with a healthy diet and ensure regular exercise. Avoid the urge to overfeed them as dogs require far fewer calories.

Dental Diseases

Dental diseases are another common medical condition observed in dogs. While dental ailments vary in canines, the most common issues seen are periodontal disease and fractured teeth.

Periodontal disease causes the infection and associated inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth. The disease starts with gingivitis, and left untreated, the infection spreads deeper into the tooth socket, destroying the bone. To prevent any oral ailment, you should add regular dental care for your canine companions. 

Skin Ailments

Skin allergies are also prevalent in dogs; skin allergies are found in the form of atopic dermatitis.,i.e., itchy, red, and scaly skin. Skin allergies are manageable when treated with the proper medication. If your pet suffers from a scratch or abrasion, seek veterinary care. Hot spots or traumatic pyodermatitis are other common skin diseases seen on dogs. It appears as a discrete moist patch of hair loss on your dog’s skin that is very itchy.

Fleas allergy dermatitis or FAD is another skin issue seen in dogs. Short-term treatments can include topical steroids, antibiotic creams or shampoos, oral antihistamines, steroids, and antibiotics to cure this ailment. However, consult your vet to get guidance on any skin issue as soon as possible.

What Are Some Common Diseases Prevalent In Popular Canine Breeds?

Many popular dog breeds are prone to certain genetic disorders and fitness. From the past couple of decades, canines have been bred strategically for their physical attributes, and when they mate within the same breed, the future of offspring’s gene pool limits, which results in breed-specific health risks. 

Purebred dogs have higher instances of inherited diseases, and giant breeds such as German Shepherds have health issues such as hip dysplasia due to their bodily frames and shapes. Following are a few dog breeds and common health issues. You can also glance at the infographic included to get an insight into the disease of the species before rolling down:

Popular Dog Breeds and their Health Issues Infographic - GreatVet

Labrador Retriever

As mentioned, obesity is a common issue for dogs, and breeds like Labrador Retrievers are more prone to it. And this breed requires a vet suggested exercise routine and a precise nutrition plan to maintain the ideal weight. Besides, they suffer more from exercise intolerance and Collapse (EIC) than other dogs due to strenuous exercise. So it is suitable for taking consultation with your veterinarian to get expert guidance. Other illnesses in this breed are Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Obesity, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia. PRA occurs due to degeneration of both rod and cone-type Photoreceptor Cells of the Retina.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds canine breeds are intelligent, loyal, and brave dogs! But this breed is also prone to certain diseases like Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Skin Problems, Dermatitis. Hip dysplasia is frequently seen in German Shepherds; hence if you own this breed, ensure to take proper care of their exercise requirements and health seriously. This breed also sees pancreatitis; it happens when the dog’s pancreas is inflamed. The illness is caused and common in German Shepherds because they have many stomach issues like Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. Degenerative myelopathy results in dynamic loss of motion, another common illness among German Shepherds.

Yorkshire Terrier

The toy breed, which is popular among Americans, is a healthy dog breed that often lives 12 to 15 years. But this breed is also prone to specific inherited health issues and ailments that are commonly seen among small dog breeds. Most common health issues in Yorkies include Hypoglycemia, Periodontal disease, Legg-Perthes disease, Retinal dysplasia, Luxating patella, Collapsed trachea, and Portosystemic Shunt.

Hypoglycemia, i.e., a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, occurs in Yorkie puppies under five months. The primary causes of this ailment in Yorkie puppies are poor quality food, dehydration, stress, infection, and hypothermia. The illness can be life-threatening; immediately consult your vet whenever any symptoms are seen. On the other hand, retinal dysplasia is a genetic disease seen in this breed. It may result in complete retinal detachment, leading to blindness. Consult a vet ophthalmologist to get immediate treatment. 

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel’s lively dogs, originally the canine breed, were bred as gun dogs. Gradually, they became popular family pets due to their people-oriented happy nature, and the dog breed is very adaptable. Some of the diseases found in this breed are Hip dysplasia, Atopy, i.e., allergies result in itchy skin and ear infections; they are also prone to inherited conditions such as familial nephropathy and adult-onset neuropathy, and acral mutilation syndrome. Also, ear infection is quite prevalent in this breed, and to avoid that, frequently clean their ear and trim the hair underneath their ears.  


This canine breed is also nicknamed the ‘Dutch mastiff’ and a popular companion due to its charismatic personality and effortless charm. While they have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, Pugs are prone to significant health issues such as Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). They also have minor concerns such as patellar luxation, stenotic nares, Legg-Perthes disease, entropion, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), hemivertebra, obesity, and skin infections, eye ailments. The species quickly gain weight, so take an eye on their weight and keep their wrinkles clean to prevent skin fold dermatitis.


They are the small dog breed known for their significant personality and loyalty. The species is prone to a hereditary ailment like luxating patella, also known as patellar luxation,i.e., the dislocation of the kneecap. Hypoglycemia or blood sugar is also seen in Chihuahuas, making them weak, dizzy, disorientated, unusually drowsy, or even losing consciousness. Whenever you suspect they are hypoglycemic, immediately consult your vet. As Hypoglycemia can be diabetes or liver disease, a veterinarian can diagnose it better. Tracheal Collapse is also common in them. The trachea collapses, your pet has trouble breathing and develops a chronic honking cough, and it may lead to severity where the dog may have blue gums or faint because they can’t breathe. It requires immediate treatment to save your pet.


The dog breed has excellent immune systems, and they have hyper-athletic physiology. Besides, the canine breed has an incredibly high tolerance for discomfort. Some of the common diseases that are seen in this breed are Heart Problems, Cancer, Hip Dysplasia, Gastric Torsion (Bloat), Tumors. Besides, Degenerative Myelopathy is one of the significant health issues in this breed. It affects the nervous system and lower spinal cord and results in partial or total paralysis of the lower limbs.

Doberman Pinscher

Some of the common health issues seen in this breed are Colitis, i.e., inflammatory reaction in the colon, Hypothyroidism, Allergies, Gastroenteritis – intestinal infection marked by diarrhea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, Congestive heart failure, Otitis, Dermatitis, etc. Besides, Wobbler’s Syndrome is seen in this breed, an inherited condition resulting in spinal cord compression. Consulting a veterinarian regularly for a regular check-up is crucial to avoid potential risks.


Some of the common health issues seen in bulldogs are Respiratory Problems, Brachycephalic Syndrome, Heart Problems, Hip Dysplasia, Dry Eye, Eyelid Problems, Internalized Tail, Shoulder Luxation. Besides, Eczema, or “canine atopic dermatitis,” is a usual skin issue found in bulldogs, and it causes itchy, dried-out skin that may result in a scaly rash.

Final Thought!

Irrespective of which dog breed you own, being aware of the common health ailments helps you take the necessary precaution, and when any symptom occurs, you can consult a vet without wasting time. In addition, if you are concerned about training your dog, you may consider using shock collars for dogs, which can be an effective tool when used responsibly and under professional guidance. Besides, along with a regular vet visit, you can adopt pet insurance plans to ensure that you can offer all the necessary care to your canine companion when needed. Further, the environment is significant to the breeds’ health; you can hover over this resource and get some summer pet safety tips to offer the best care for your furry friend.

Disclaimer: The content on the site is for educational purposes only, and it does not provide medical advice. The shared information must not be treated as a substitute for or alternative for medical practitioner advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Regarding any concerns about your pet’s health, seeking veterinary guidance is of utmost necessity. Each pet has specific health, fitness & nutrition needs. Do not disregard, avoid or delay pet health-related advice from veterinarians based on reading the information provided on this site.



Alex Schechter

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