The Three Most Common Dog Health Problems by Breed

The three most popular American Kennel Club dog breeds have inherent dog health problems. Learn more about three health issues that each of the most popular breeds face.

1. Common Dog Health Problems Affecting Labrador Retrievers

Noted for their gentle demeanor and ease of training, Labrador Retrievers are the most popular family pet. They do face common dog heath problems, however, and owners should be aware of the signs.

Labs are prone to developing eye problems. Cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy often occur in this larger breed dog. Before choosing a puppy, ask the breeder if their dogs have been examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Hip and elbow dysplasia is common in larger dogs. With this condition, joint cartilage separates from the bone or the bones meeting at a joint fail to merge properly causing pain and lameness. Surgery is required to repair bone or cartilage.

Labs are also prone to exercised-induced collapse. During periods of strenuous exercise the lab becomes disoriented and unsteady on his feet. Some dogs will still continue to play, so it's important for the pet owner to immediately stop all activity and massage the dog's muscles to prevent any stiffness in the muscles.

2. Health Issues Facing Yorkshire Terriers

One of the leading problems with Yorkshire Terriers is their tendency to develop early onset tooth decay. Make sure your Yorkie receives dental care from a very young age or you'll end up with a Yorkie missing teeth. Some pet owners catch it too late and end up with a toothless pet.

Yorkshire Terriers have very small bones. Another common issue involves luxating patella. Ridges in the femur bone fail to develop causing the kneecap to slip out of place. If your dog stops using a leg, that's the key sign of luxating patella. Ask the breeder if their dogs have been screened for this common genetic problem. If it does occur, surgery will secure the kneecap into proper position.

Yorkshire terriers have a higher incidence of Intestinal Lymphangiectasia. This condition occurs when proteins escape through the linings of the intestines (Enteropathy) or the kidneys (Nephropathy). Intestinal Lymphangiectasia usually occurs after the age of five. Abdominal swelling, diarrhea and abdominal swelling are key symptoms.

3. Dog Health Problems German Shepherd Owners Need to Know

The deep-chested form leads to one of the most common dog health problems facing German Shepherds. Gastric torsion occurs when a dog's stomach swells and twists cutting off blood supply to the stomach. Because German Shepherds have deep chests, there is room for the stomach to move around following a meal, especially one that is wolfed down. Urgent veterinary care will save your pet's life.

Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease involving the spinal cord. It occurs in older German Shepherds and causes paralysis in the hind legs causing the dog to drag its back legs. There is no cure. You can watch for signs of the disease by checking your Shepherd's rear nails checking to see if one side wears more quickly than the other.

Finally, German Shepherds are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Their large size and years of over -breeding make this bone and joint ailment incredibly common in this breed.