Joint problems aren’t strictly reserved for one dog breed. Many breeds are prone to joint problems.
In fact, almost every dog will experience some joint-related disturbance during his lifetime, especially in his senior years.
However, due to the dog’s genetic predisposition and the dog’s build, some breeds are more likely to develop joint issues compared to other breeds.
Here are seven dog breeds that are at a higher risk of developing joint problems.
German Shepherds are amazing dogs, but sadly, they are prone to a wide range of health-related issues.
Some of the most common health issues in this breed include joint problems and arthritis.
On top of that this popular breed is known to develop hip dysplasia.
This is why it’s important to double think when about bets dog breed for you when getting a dog – dogs that are prone to health issues will demand more of your time and energy down the road.
Plus, dogs with health issues will always cost you more – you will have to provide frequent veterinarian checkups, supplementary, and overall better nutrition and everything health-related.
Knowing about the breed’s ups and down will help you deal with the breed’s health conditions better – you will be more prepared and better-organized and ready to deal with any health-related problem along the way.
Labrador Retrievers are great dogs. Not only that they are great with children and amazing swimmers, but they are also one of the most popular dogs in the States for years.
People just love their nature, and these dogs are more than ready to return for that love and admiration. However, there are certain things that you should know when it comes to owning this breed.
As a dog owner, you are directly responsible for the dog’s weight, and since Labrador Retrievers are prone to gaining extra weight, make sure that you truly understand how much your dog should eat and how often.
They are prone to obesity, and extra weight is something that you don’t want to expose your dog to.
Obesity can often lead to joint issues as well as elbow and hip dysplasia. Make sure that your Lab stays on a proper diet and stays on recommended weight level.
Within the canine world, Great Dane is known as a gentle giant. This is a large, but very sensitive breed, commonly associated with joint problems.
Great Danes are large dogs who grow fast – this is the main reason why this breed can develop hip or elbow dysplasia and even arthritis.
One of the most commonly seen health issues in Great Danes is bloat, a life-threatening condition in dogs.
This is why it’s important to mind Great Dane’s nutrition, feeding style, and that you provide a proper feeding bowl – a tall one that will enable slow feeding.
If you are a Great Danes owner already, or you are thinking about getting one, learn how to recognize the signs of bloat and what to do.
Old English Sheep Dogs
Old English Sheep Dog is like an ultimate fluffy breed when it comes to the canine world. This breed has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
In this period, they may experience major and bigger health conditions like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), deafness, or even major health issues like canine hip dysplasia (CHD).
They are prone to developing genetic diseases like arthritis and hip dysplasia, and you should be well aware of it.
Keep your eye on anything unusual – like difficulties getting up or walking.
Old English Sheep Dog is also known as the Bobtail, and they were developed in England in the early 19th century.
Mastiff can develop certain health problems over time. Overall, this is a healthy breed, that needs to be kept lean, so make sure that you provide high-quality food and enable a proper feeding schedule.
Obesity in pets is on the rise, so make sure that your Mastiff isn’t part of this statistic.
Extra weight can put a lot of stress on Mastiff’s joints – due to their large size, Mastiffs often suffer from joint issues. Both, arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia are common among this breed.
Since large dog breeds tend to have more severe health issues during their lives you should know that the most common cause of death in Mastiffs is osteosarcoma (bone cancer).
There are no certain ways to safely prevent this disease, which is why early detection and proper treatment can prolong your dog’s life.
Dachshunds are small size dogs, who are known for their long bodies that are set low to the ground.
Little is known, but this tiny breed can easily develop many back problems.
This is, even more, the case if they become overweight.
If you are a Dachshund owner already, or you are thinking about getting one, do your best to avoid excess back or neck strain to minimize the risk of any spinal injuries.
This breed is also prone to heart problems, seizures, and even cancer.
Still, with proper nutrition, exercise plan, healthy surroundings, and regular veterinarian check-ups, Dachshunds live long and usually die of old age.
Rottweilers are generally healthy dogs, although they tend to live between 8 to 10 years.
Just like any other breed, they will thrive in great conditions, with much love, and great food. However, just like all breeds, they tend to be prone to certain health conditions.
Rotties may have certain conditions, but not every Rottweiler may be affected by them, or at least not in the same manner.
Still, they can develop heart problems, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, eyelid deformities, and other vision and eye problems.
If you deal with responsible breeders, these issues should be avoided.
Rottweilers, just like Labs and German Shepherds, are predisposed to elbow and hip dysplasia as well as arthritis.
They are also predisposed to osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD), which is a “malformation in the joint cartilage.” OCD can be prevented by providing proper nutrition.
Newfoundland is another large dog breed that is prone to joint problems.
They tend to live between 8 to 10 years, and during their lifetime you can expect to witness some serious health conditions in this breed, such as canine hip dysplasia (CHD), epilepsy, and elbow dysplasia.
In some Newfoundland, minor issues, such as von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD), cataracts, and Osteochondrosis Dissecans can be seen.
This large breed is also susceptible to viral and bacterial infections that can lead to parvo, rabies, and distemper – luckily, these conditions are easily prevented through vaccination, so make sure that you stay on top of the vaccination schedule.
Tips for Protecting Your Dog’s Hips
Certain conditions in dogs you cannot fully prevent, but you can take certain steps to promote joint health in dogs.
Here is what you can do to support your dog’s joint health:
- Keep the optimal weight. Avoid extra pounds by providing proper nutrition, regular meals, and specially designed treats for dogs. Keeping your dog lean and well-muscled is the best thing you can do to protect your dog’s hips. Make sure that he gets plenty of exercise and maintains a healthy weight by feeding him a balanced diet.
- Try incorporating hip supplements. Supplements can be a great addition to a dog’s diet when you want to boost a dog’s overall health. If you are not sure which one to use, talk to your veterinarian for the best recommendation. Bear in mind that when hip damage starts it can be slowed, but not reversed. Certain hip supplements, such as fish oil, can reduce inflammation and slow hp damage, and significantly reduce pain.
- Consider physical therapy for your dog. Physical therapy for dogs is more available for dogs. There are many seminars educating dog owners on how to provide the best massage possible and maintain dog activity and comfort. Physical therapy comes in many forms, but each one has the same goal – to help your dog be as mobile as possible and comfortable his whole life.
- Learn everything you can about pain management. Pain management is an important step in keeping your dog in pain comfortable. It’s important to understand that pain management isn’t a treatment, so combine your veterinarian recommendations with daily things that you will have to take to make your dog live more comfortably. Hip damage tends to gets worse over time, which is why your dog may require higher doses of prescribed medicine or even additional types of medications.
- Always ask if surgery is an option. In some rare, and most severe cases, surgery is the only option to minimize or completely remove the pain. Some dogs can benefit tremendously from surgery. As expected, this is something that should be discussed with your veterinarian.
The Bottom Line
If your dog is already suffering from joint problems, such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, make sure that you do your best to provide proper care.
Talk with your veterinarian on how to provide the best care possible, and what are treatment options. Help your dog to stay active as much as possible.
If needed, provide a pet stroller – this could make the daily walk easier and more enjoyable.
Bear in mind that some joint issues are genetic, while any breed can be susceptible to developing the joint disease.
This is why veterinarian check-ups are so important and why you should alwasy carefully monitor your dog and search for any sign of any health issue.