Canine Illnesses Larger Dogs Are More Susceptible To

Some canine illnesses affect larger dogs more readily than they do small breeds. Here are some diseases to look out for in your large breed dog.

Addison's Disease

Addison's Disease is a hormonal deficiency caused by malfunction of the adrenal gland. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness and lameness

Addison's Disease can be caused by hereditary defects. It is chronic but manageable with medication.

Bloat or Gastric Torsion

Gastric Torsion is very common in large breed dogs, and can be deadly. GDV occurs when the stomach rotates, cutting off blood supply to vital organs. Warning signs include abdominal swelling and pain, rapid breathing and excessive salivation. If your dog shows signs of bloat, he'll need emergency surgery to save his life.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic deformity of the hip socket that affects large breed dogs. While not deadly, hip dysplasia can cause severe pain and eventually cripple your dog without treatment.


Hypothryroidism occurs when your dog's thryoid gland no longer functions properly. Signs include:

  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Lethargy

Hypothyroidism is easily managed with medication.