Unique Medical Problems with Different Dog Breeds

Many different dog breeds have health problems unique to their species. Pet owners desiring a specific breed should be aware of the potential issues their pet may develop.

Canines Most Susceptible to Diabetes

Canine diabetes affects different dog breeds. Many dogs develop diabetes in their latter stages of life, usually after the age of seven, especially if they are overweight.

However, there are specific breeds of dogs with a higher prevalence for developing diabetes. They include:

  • Beagles
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Chow Chows
  • Dachshunds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labradors
  • Malamutes
  • Miniature Pinschers
  • Miniature Schnauzers
  • Poodles
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks
  • Samoyeds
  • Sheepdogs
  • Springer Spaniels
  • West Highland Terriers

Unspayed females also have a higher risk of developing diabetes. For this reason, making sure your dog is spayed may help prevent diabetes from occurring.

Different Dog Breeds Affected by Canine Bloat

Canine bloat, also called Canine Gastric Dilation-Torsion Complex, occurs when a dog's stomach twists after eating a meal. Deep chested breeds frequently develop this dangerous ailment, especially dogs who eat one or two large meals per day.

Different dog breeds affected by canine bloat include:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Akita
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bloodhound
  • Boxer
  • Doberman
  • Great Dane
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Irish Setter
  • Labrador
  • Newfoundland
  • Poodle
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Weimaraner

If you own one of these dogs, it's important to feed smaller meals several times throughout the day. Keep the dog from activity for an hour or two following a meal.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint functions incorrectly, usually because the ball and socket no longer fit properly together and ligaments and muscles wear out. Many large breeds develop hip dysplasia, such as:

  • German Shepherds
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Great Danes
  • Labradors
  • Rottweilers
  • Saint Bernards

While hip dysplasia is less common in small breeds, smaller dogs with long bodies and short legs have been known to develop hip and spine problems. They include: Basset Hounds and Dachshunds.

When purchasing these breeds, ask the breeder if the mother and father have been checked for hip problems.

Pregnancy Risk in Small Breeds

Small breed dogs often require a Cesarian section to deliver their puppies. If you plan to breed your small breed dog, it's common for the dog to struggle to give birth naturally because of the small pelvis.

Many of these dogs require the more expensive Cesarian section, so be sure to keep this in mind when you decide to breed your female miniature or toy breed.

Sensitivity to Anesthetics

Some dogs have a hard time handling anesthetics. This makes any surgical procedure, including spays, neuters and teeth cleanings difficult.

Sighthounds and toy breeds are among those who require special monitoring while under an anesthetic because their blood pressure drops too quickly or their heart function becomes impaired. Breeds of great concern for this problem include:

  • Belgian Shepherds
  • Border Collies
  • Greyhounds
  • Pomeranians
  • Poodles
  • Pugs
  • Whippets

Susceptibility to Gingivitis and Oral Health Problems

Different dog breeds can all develop dental issues, especially when routine teeth cleaning schedules are ignored. Genetically, some breeds have a higher risk of developing Gingivitis. These breeds include:

  • Bichons
  • Boston Terriers
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs
  • Japanese Chins
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Mastiffs
  • Pekingese
  • Pugs
  • Rottweilers
  • Saint Bernards
  • Shih Tzus
  • Shar-Peis
  • Springer Spaniels

Make sure you have your dog's teeth checked by a professional regularly. Also brush your dog's teeth daily at home and offer bones and dental chews often.