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Rottweiler Health Issues – Common Health Problems In Rottweilers

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Do you know what you can expect from your Rottweiler health-wise? Read on and discover the most common health issues in this breed.

Dogs get sick. You may be the best dog owner in the world and you may still end up having a Rottweiler with some sort of health issue.

This is common to all dogs and not even the most experienced dog owners cannot avoid it.

You may deal with the best dog breeders in the States or globally, provide the best nutrition, manage to establish enough exercise and outdoor time, and your Rottweiler could still end up with some medical problems.

Simply said, all dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just like humans can.

Dogs are individual beings, and as such, they all have the potential to develop certain conditions that may appear later on in life.

This is why it’s important to work only with responsible dog breeders who will show you medical documentation on puppies, inform you if there are any health concerns, and overall will be honest about the dog’s current health condition.

A responsible breeder will always be open and honest about the dog’s health and tell you if there are any concerns that you can expect in your puppy health-wise.

What can you expect from you Rottweiler in terms of health problems?

How Healthy Are Rottweilers?

Rottweilers are generally considered to be healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health conditions.

Being prone to certain conditions doesn’t mean that your Rottweiler will actually experience them, or that he will experience them at some intense level.

In fact, most Rottweilers won’t experience these conditions at all, but it cannot hurt to be knowledgeable about them and to be prepared just in case.

As mentioned earlier, if you manage to find a good breeder you will have the right input on the dog’s overall health and you will know if there are any concerns to treat from day one.

Here is what you can expect to see in Rotties health-wise.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that is linked with joint health.

In fact, this condition is a heritable condition when the thigh bone doesn’t fit as it should into the hip joint.

Hip dysplasia leads to strong pain and lameness on one or even both rear legs.

The good side of this condition is that it can be noticed early on.

Dogs are pretty simple beings – as they get old, they develop certain age-related conditions.

Arthritis is common in dogs as they age. This is one of the most common conditions in dogs of any size, breed, and age.

Dogs who have hip dysplasia shouldn’t be bred.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition and can be affected by environmental factors, such as strong and rapid growth or any other factors.

A high-calorie diet and injuries can lead to hip dysplasia. This is why you should never force your dog to perform any kind of tricks that could harm his hips.

This is extremely important when it comes to puppies because their muscles are slow to develop and it’s something to think about.

Puppy-proof your home, and place obstacles, such as gates next to the stairs to prevent any accidents.

Elbow Dyplasia

Elbow dysplasia is another condition that is linked with joints. Just like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a hereditary condition.

In fact, this condition is a malformation of the elbow joint.

To determine just how serious elbow dysplasia is to veterinarian will expose your dog to X-rays.

This is why having a good veterinarian is a must.

Thanks to regular check-ups you can learn about certain conditions in your dog and react on time.


When it comes to health of large breeds, bloat is open of the most threatening conditions in dogs.

Since it’s common for large size dogs such as Rottweilers and Great Danes, it is always helpful to do your research on this condition before your large puppy arrives.

Learn why choosing the right dog bowl is so important and why a fair time between exercise and meal should be based on your veterinarian’s advice.

Deep-chested dogs, like Rotties, are more prone to this condition than other large breeds.

Know how much you should feed your dog and why it’s helpful to feed your Rottie more than once a day – why splitting the meal into two portions is important.

Talk to your veterinarian about why drinking large volumes of water after eating is dangerous and how you should react if you notice something unusual in your dog’s behavior.

It’s common for bloat to occur when the stomach is filled with gas or air, which then twists, which is known as torsion.

When this happens, the dog isn’t capable to belch to vomiting. In practice, this means that the normal return of blood to the heart isn’t possible.

Another thing that happens when this occurs is a drop in blood pressure. When blood pressure goes down, a dog falls into shock.

This is the crucial moment because if a dog doesn’t get the necessary medical attention he will die.

In most cases, death is the result of this moment, and this is why this condition is considered to be life-threatening.

Some of the signs that your dog is experiencing bloat are:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Restlessnes
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weakness
  • Fast heart rate

If you notice any of the listed symptoms, make sure that you contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Panosteitis (Pano)

Panosteitis is a specific condition that is also known as the ‘growing pains.’

This condition commonly happens in puppies at a very young age. In fact, it occurs in puppies when they’re around four months of age.

The primary symptom of this condition is lameness. Luckily, in most cases, all that puppies need to manage this condition is to rest well.

However, if your puppy gets a sufficient amount of rest, but he still limps, you should take him to the vet.


This condition is common for large dog breeds. In fact, if you are a proud owner of a giant breed you can be sure that your dog is at high risk of getting osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma is aggressive bone cancer. The very first sign of osteosarcoma is lameness.

However, the only way to know if your large dog suffers from osteosarcoma is to take him to the vet for check-ups, and an X-ray must be performed.

If your Rottie is diagnosed with osteosarcoma you should know that this condition will be treated aggressively.

In most cases, it will include amputation of the limb and chemotherapy.

With the right treatments and detected on time, dogs can live nine months to two years or more.

The bright side, in that case, is that dogs do manage to live fine with three legs.

In fact, they adapt well to life on three legs and usually, they won’t suffer going through chemotherapy as humans do.

They do not experience human-like side effects such as nausea, nor do they have to go through hair loss.


Hypothyroidism is s a specific condition caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone and can create specific signs that include:

  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • Mental dullness
  • Lack of energy
  • Fur fall out

The biggest issue here is that these symptoms are too common and can easily be linked with other conditions in dogs.

However, one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism that isn’t seen too often is infertility.

Also, if your dog’s skin becomes too tough and dark, and starts to fall out, it may be an indicator that your dog suffers from hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism can be managed through a thyroid replacement pill that must be given on a daily level.

Once hypothyroidism is diagnosed, the dog will be on special medication and therapy for the rest of his life.


Allergies are a common occurrence in dogs. If you ever had a dog with allergies, you know just how tormenting allergies in dogs might be.

So, no matter how small or big a dog might be, or how old they are, they all can suffer from some allergies.

Allergies may appear for many reasons, even foods.

Did you know that some dogs may be allergic to gluten? If you are serious about keeping your Rottie healthy and fit for his entire life, make sure that you focus on his nutrition first.

Proper nutrition, the right amount of food, and the best dog food for Rottweilers is what will keep your Rottie looking fit and feeling amazing.

To enable the best care provide great nutrition, regular outdoor time, and effective exercise time and you will have a large dog who is healthy and ready to play even during his senior years.

When it comes to allergies in Rottweilers you should know that they may appear due to many factors, including:

  • Foods
  • Flea powders
  • Dog shampoo

These are just some of many causes, although they may vary from dog to dog.

Allergies in Rotties are commonly treated by identifying and then removing the cause of the allergy.

A special group of allergies are caused by airborne allergens, such as:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mildew

Medication and therapy for inhalant allergies will always depend on the severity of the allergy.

Rotties may also often experience ear infections. In fact, ear infections are common side effects of inhalant allergies.

Learn how to clean a dog’s ears and when you should do it. Your veterinarian can show you how to do so safely and fast.

Eye Issues

Next to regular gums check, you should invest a few minutes on a weekly level to check your dog’s eyes.

Eye issues are common in Rotties, including cataracts and even progressive retinal atrophy.

Progressive retinal atrophy is inherited and it’s only fair to talk with your breeder about what eye disorders are present in their lines.

An honest breeder will tell you the truth and present you with medical documentation of their claims. An honest breeder will also inform you about the puppy’s overall health, to make sure that you know why a Rottweiler puppy costs so much.

Sub-Aortic Stenosis

Sub-aortic stenosis is a genetic deformity where the stenosis is narrowed underneath the aortic valve.

When this occurs it means that blood flow doesn’t flow, there is a blockage. This condition is usually detected as a heart murmur and it can vary from mild to moderate or severe.

In some cases, not so rare, it can cause death.

This is a genetic condition, so regular check-ups and a responsible breeder should help you determine if your Rottie suffers from this condition or not.

If you are rescuing a Rottweiler (which is a very humane thing to do) make sure that your veterinarian checks Rottie’s heart.

X-rays can also show signs, including fluid accumulation in the lung tissue, which usually occurs when Rottie is in a severe phase.

Other Health Issues Common to Rottweilers

As a general rule, Rottweilers are most likely to be affected by hip dysplasia.

Since this condition is very painful, in most cases it will demand hip replacement surgery.

This isn’t a cheap procedure, nor it’s a fast one, so make sure that you have extra money on the side just in case.

Another option to think about is to have pet insurance.

This is something that can serve you tremendously in the long run.

As mentioned earlier, regular eyes check should be an everyday thing and a part of preventive veterinarian check-ups.

In fact, since this breed is so prone to eye issues, a yearly check-up by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist is in order.

Certain conditions may appear in Rottweilers that are not easy to screen, such as:

  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • High risk of cancer

Once you bring your Rottweiler home you’re directly responsible for one of the most common health issues in dogs – obesity.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and that is something that you don’t want your Rottie to be part of.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s diet, weight, and overall health, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

The Bottom Line

Getting a dog is such a serious commitment.

Dog ownership goes beyond just providing regular love, kisses, and walks. It’s a lot about planning, financial investment, regular veterinarian check-ups, and much more.

If you want to keep your Rottweiler healthy and fit, you will have to deal with his nutrition.

Dogs, just like humans, thrive on proper nutrition and movement. Make sure that you provide the proper food for your Rottie, if possible – provide the very best of it for maximum output.