Common Health Issues for Popular Dog Breeds

Seventy-four // Shutterstock

Common Health Issues for Popular Dog Breeds

If you’re asked to name a few loyal friends, chances are your dog’s name will be a priority. They are the friends who wait patiently by the door when you come home, showing every ounce of gratitude for a full dinner bowl. Their loyalty and camaraderie have earned them a place of “family” to many pet owners.

It can be difficult for pet owners to watch their dog in pain and feel helpless to do anything. To avoid this feeling, it’s important to watch for red flags that indicate a trip to the vet or additional care is needed to keep your dog happy and healthy.

The purpose of this article is to identify common symptoms and illnesses that could turn your happy, tail-wagging dog into an apathetic couch potato. Having the right information can help identify symptoms and put you on the right track to seek needed care for your dog early on. For example, noticing droopy ears can tell you that your dog is not only tired, but may also have ear infections.

ManyPets has analyzed common health issues among the American Kennel Club’s most popular dog breeds for 2021. Some of these issues range from seemingly minor issues like coughing to more serious issues like degenerative myelopathy, which is a spinal cord disease. There are general symptoms of these conditions common to most breeds, although some breeds have unique symptoms beyond this list. Take a look at some common health issues that could affect your four-legged family members.

SasaStock // Shutterstock

Hip dysplasia

A little lesson in anatomy is needed to understand hip dysplasia. The hip is a ball and socket joint and as dogs grow they naturally grow at the same rate. For dogs with hip dysplasia, there is an irregularity in the growth rate, which leads to poor ball and socket fit.

If your furry friend begins to show a decrease in activity and range of motion; loss of thigh muscle; pain, lameness or stiffness; difficulty or reluctance to get up, jump or climb stairs; and hind limb lameness – or there is a visible increase in shoulder muscle as they compensate for the hind limb – the culprit could be hip dysplasia.

All dog breeds can develop hip dysplasia, but it is commonly found in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Beagles, Rottweilers, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Welsh Corgis. of Pembroke.

Mary Swift // Shutterstock

Eye conditions

Have you noticed your dog squinting or crying more than usual? It could be a symptom of eye infection. Its causes include viruses like canine flu, bacteria, fungi, irritants, parasites, and eye damage. These are causes of common eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, uveitis, inflammation of the cornea, and complications of the eyelids and lacrimal glands.

Some symptoms that show a dog may have an eye infection are: squinting, pawing the eyes, swelling, cloudiness, redness, loss of vision, or excessive tearing/drainage. Eye conditions can affect any dog ​​at different stages of their life. But breeds like Labrador Retrievers, French Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Beagles, Rottweilers, German Shorthaired Pointers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are more likely to develop eye conditions.

Olena Brodetska // Shutterstock

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia, like hip dysplasia, is a joint condition caused by the abnormal growth of the front legs. This condition causes dogs to limp somewhat, favoring one or both of its forelimbs. The signs of elbow dysplasia are often intermittent and not very visible, which makes its diagnosis difficult.

To anticipate it, screening is often essential for early diagnosis. Some signs to look out for are stiff elbow joints, clicking sounds when the elbow joints move, and irregular rotation of the joint. Elbow dysplasia is especially common in medium to large dogs and breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, German Shorthaired Pointers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

EvaHeaven2018 // Shutterstock

heart disease

The heart is a vital organ that needs no introduction. In dogs, mitral valve disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle) and arrhythmias are common diseases that affect the heart. Certain breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shorthaired Pointers and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are more susceptible to these diseases.

However, regardless of breed, if a dog exhibits symptoms such as coughing, fainting, shortness of breath, lack of energy, heart murmur, weight loss, and abdominal swelling, it may be a heart problem. But don’t panic, dog owners can effectively manage many types of heart disease with medication, regular monitoring, and lifestyle changes.

Natalia Fedosova // Shutterstock

Ear disorders

Cleaning dogs’ ears is part of their regular care. However, due to environmental and hereditary factors, a dog can get an ear infection here or there. These factors include allergies, earwax buildup in the ear, and autoimmune disorders. Excessive cleaning can also cause irritation and infection.

When dogs scratch or shake their heads intensely, it is often a sign that the dog needs an ear cleaning. Odor, redness or swelling in the ear and dark discharge are signs of ear infections. Low-eared breeds like golden retrievers, beagles, and dachshunds are susceptible to ear infections. But other breeds like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi can also develop ear infections.

otsphoto // Shutterstock

Spinal conditions

Conditions that affect the spinal cord can be a concern for pet owners. These can affect the dog’s vital functions of bodily movement, sensation, urination and defecation. Some common symptoms of spinal cord diseases in dogs are pain, lameness, loss of balance or coordination, and gait changes. Partial or total paralysis and urinary or fecal incontinence are also symptoms of spinal cord diseases.

Breeds like German Shepherds, Dachshunds, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a higher risk of being affected by spinal conditions. Common examples of these conditions are back pain, degenerative myelopathy, syringomyelia and hydromyelia (in which excess fluid builds up in the spine), and benign or malignant tumor growth.

the story of all dogs // Shutterstock

Respiratory conditions

Dogs can experience a range of respiratory problems and respiratory illnesses, so it’s important for dog owners to know the symptoms. Some common respiratory conditions that affect dogs include pneumonia, kennel cough, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and rhinitis.

Depending on the condition, the symptoms are different; however, there are general symptoms that dog owners should watch out for. These symptoms include coughing, lack of appetite, wheezing, retching after coughing, nasal congestion, reduced exercise tolerance, difficulty breathing, and fainting. Any dog ​​can contract a respiratory illness from exploring the world with their nose, but French Bulldogs and American Bulldogs are more susceptible to these conditions.

DreamBig // Shutterstock

Skin diseases

Dry, itchy, or flaking skin is just as uncomfortable for dogs as it is for humans. Often, dry skin is an indication of an underlying problem. These problems can range from minor allergies to serious conditions like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. Some symptoms associated with dry skin are dandruff, peeling, pimples, inflammation, odor, crusting, increased oiliness, itching, hair loss, and peeling. Some dogs show only one of these signs, while others show several.

These conditions are common in French Bulldogs and can be avoided by taking preventative measures that ensure your pet’s skin remains healthy. It’s a good idea to use a humidifier, apply dog-approved moisturizers, and make sure your dog has a skin-healthy diet.

topdigipro // Shutterstock

Joint inflammation

Joint inflammation are two words that owners of large breed dogs dread to hear. Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that results in joint inflammation caused by wear and tear of the cartilage. Osteoarthritis can be difficult to detect in its early stages. Still, some symptoms can be warning signs of osteoarthritis, including reluctance to run or play, weight gain, stiffness, lameness, and lethargy. Irritability, behavioral changes, and reduced muscle mass around the limbs and spine are also symptoms.

Osteoarthritis is common in poodles and dogs with other risk factors. Regular checkups are essential to catch signs of osteoarthritis before the problem gets worse.

Maria Sbytova // Shutterstock


Epilepsy is a seizure disorder caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can also be triggered by brain trauma, cancer, kidney and liver disease, low or high blood sugar, electrolyte abnormalities, severe anemia, and exposure to toxins. In some cases, seizures are easy to spot, such as when a dog falls to the ground and visibly convulses. In other cases, it may be localized, such as unusual barking or facial tremors.

However, regardless of the type of seizure, dogs generally recover quickly. Some symptoms that indicate seizures are foaming at the mouth, drooling, jerking, shaking or twitching, fainting, and collapsing. Epilepsy is common in Beagles, but other breeds can also suffer from this seizure disorder.

This story originally appeared on ManyPets
and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

Comments are closed.