Your Big Dog May Be More Likely to Develop These Health Problems

great dane

Your Big Dog May Be More Likely to Develop These Health Problems

Are you familiar with the health conditions common in big dogs? Your large breed dog may be at increased risk of developing one or more of these conditions.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia occur due to malformations in the hip or elbow joints. As a result, the bones don't move smoothly in the joints and, instead, grind or rub together painfully. The condition may eventually cause arthritis, joint degeneration and inflammation, lameness, and difficulty climbing stairs or jumping. Dysplasia is often inherited and can cause symptoms early in your pet's life. Hip dysplasia is common in German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes, St. Bernards, and other large dogs, while elbow dysplasia is often seen in Golden and Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers.

Maintaining a healthy weight is particularly important for dogs who have hip dysplasia. Even a few extra pounds can increase pressure on the joints and worsen your pet's symptoms. Although pain medications and joint supplements might improve your pet's comfort, surgery may be needed in some cases. Surgical procedures are used to reposition or deepen joint sockets in young dogs with hip dysplasia, while total hip replacement surgery is the best option for older dogs. Dogs that have elbow dysplasia may also benefit from surgery.

Bloat

Bloat, or gastric torsion, happens when your dog's stomach stretches, then twists or rotates. The life-threatening condition can prevent blood from reaching the stomach or other parts of the body and may cause tears in the walls of the stomach. If your dog doesn't receive immediate veterinary treatment, he or she may die.

Big dogs may be more likely to develop bloat if they eat too quickly and swallow air as they eat. The swallowed air can build up in the stomach, causing it to dilate. Bloat symptoms include swollen stomach, drooling, anxiety, pacing, inability to vomit, shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat. Your pet's veterinarian can decrease pressure in the stomach by inserting a tube into the stomach or puncturing it with a needle if the tube won't fit due to twisting. Surgery will restore the normal position of the stomach if it has twisted.

Heart Problems

Dilated cardiomyopathy affects a variety of large dog breeds, including Great Danes, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands, Afghan Hounds, and Doberman Pinschers. The condition makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently and increases the size of the organ. Symptoms of dilated cardiomyopathy include coughing, rapid breathing, weakness, fatigue and fainting. Although there is no way to improve the condition of the heart, medications may help control irregular rhythms and delay the progression of the disease or the development of congestive heart failure.

Large dogs may also be more likely to develop aortic stenosis, a condition that restricts blood flow to the heart due to a narrowing along the aorta. If your dog's condition is mild, there may be no obvious signs. In fact, the condition may only be discovered if your pet's veterinarian hears a heart murmur during an exam. Dogs that are more severely affected may have trouble breathing, breathe rapidly or faint. Heart medications can be helpful for some dogs. In severe cases, cardiac catheterization may be recommended to widen narrowed areas.

Eyelid Conditions

Entropion and ectropion can affect the eyelids of big dogs, causing pain and irritation. Entropion occurs when the eyelids roll inward, while ectropion causes the lids to roll outward. Eyedrops and ointments that protect the sensitive tissues of the corneas and the lining of the eyes can be helpful if your pet has a mild form of either condition. Surgery may be recommended for severe cases.

Regular veterinary care helps you safeguard your big dog's health. If you're concerned about a health issue, or it's time for your furry friend's checkup, give us a call to schedule an appointment.

Sources:

PetMD: 10 Most Common Issues for Giant Dogs

https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/breeds/10-most-common-health-issues-giant-dogs

American Kennel Club: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/common-conditions/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs/

American College of Veterinary Surgeons: Canine Elbow Dysplasia

https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/canine-elbow-dysplasia

Welcome to Animal World Vet ​Clinic

For more information or to request an appointment or call us at 509-765-8125 to take advantage of this exclusive offer.

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Tuesday:

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Thursday:

8:00 AM

5:00 PM

Friday:

8:00 AM

3:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Our older male cat, and my pal, Fu stopped eating and was clearly losing weight. An examination by Dr. Tanya indicated that there was some sort of solid in his stomach. It turned out he had a growth in his intestine that was mostly blocking the flow of nutrients. Tanya's surgery was risky but she removed the part with the growth and put him on a special diet. He's back to his normal weight and attitude and cuddled up next to me on my recliner as I type this. Five stars plus. -Craig Jungers :)"
    Moses Lake, WA

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • What to Do If Your Pet is Stung

    Don't get us wrong, we love the bees! But we don't love when our pets get stung. Follow our tips to treat and prevent bee stings on your furry best friend. ...

    Read More
  • Tips for Traveling With Your Pet

    Do you dread hitting the road with your pet? These tips may make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable for you both. ...

    Read More
  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More
  • Managing Pet Allergies in Kids

    Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes. The Problem About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic ...

    Read More
  • Euthanasia: Saying Goodbye

    It's not easy to say goodbye to cherished pets, even those that have lived long, happy lives. Although you may hate the thought of life without your pet, euthanasia can be the kindest decision you can make when your friend is suffering. Making the Decision If your pet has been seriously injured in a ...

    Read More
  • Is a Wet Nose a Sign of a Healthy Pet?

    Have you ever heard that a wet nose is a sign that your pet is healthy? Although that's often the case, it's not always true. A moist nose can benefit your pet in several ways, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee good health. How Does a Wet Nose Help My Pet? Have you ever been woken at 5 a.m. by a cold, ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles