Common health problems

26 Jan

There are a huge variety of different health problems your dog could face during its lifetime, but some breeds are more predisposed to facing particular problems than others. Certain breeds of dog are more predisposed to certain health conditions than others. As a result of their breeding, humans have developed certain breeds to have certain traits, and unfortunately, this often means that they also face a number of potential health problems as a result.

Of course, there are far too many problems for me to name them all, so at the bottom of the page I will provide a few links for you to follow if you want to find out more, or find out which health issues your dog might face.

Firstly, the reason I decided this might make a good topic to post about, was because I had a panicked text from my friend last night after our favourite Shih Tzu Solomon, appeared to have something wrong with his eye. It’s ok though, he seems fine now!

Eye problems:


Look cute, don’t they with their flat, squished up faces and big friendly looking eyes. Well, thanks to that breeding, it is these typed of dogs that tend to be a little more likely to suffer from eye problems.

Proptosis: This is when the eyeball is displaced, and the eyelids become trapped behind. As soon as you notice signs of this you need to take your dog to the vet as it doesn’t take long for blood supply to stop and treatment needs to be fast. Dogs that have flat faces and big bulging eyes such as pugs, shih tzus and Pekingese are much more likely to face this problem than dogs with long snouts.

Infection: With those big eyes, it becomes a little more likely that these dogs will suffer from an eye infection during this life. The sypmtoms include swelling, redness, more discharge and light sensitivity. To treat your dog, take it to the vet where it is likely to be given drops. Of course, any dog can suffer from an infection, so don’t just think it’s the little ones with big eyes.

Cherry eye: This is when the third eye lid, prolapses. Yes, dogs have three eyelids. Here you will notice a red lump in the corner of your dog’s eyes. In this case, it isn’t necessarily the cute’sy dogs that show this problem more frequently, but breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Shar Peis, Bulldogs, and Beagles. For treatment, you would need to take your dog to a vet.



Ear problems:

There are a number of potential ear problems your dog could suffer from, the most common being infection. If your dog has long and floppy ears, the warm and moist air that becomes trapped under them can serve as an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Some dog breeds, such as the popular Cocker spaniel, have very narrow ear canals and are therefore prone to inner ear infections. It is important that no matter what breed you have, that you regularly clean their ears and check for any debris that needs to be moved, something that is even more important in the spring when there are lots of seeds that can become lodged in the ear canal.

Breathing problems:

The most common breathing problems occur in dogs that suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. These are dogs with flat faces and short noses. Basically, because of the shape of their face, they find it more difficult to take in the oxygen they need, and breathing can become difficult, sometimes this includes having a narrow windpipe. The most common breeds to face this problem include: pug, bulldog, boxer, chihuahua, and shih tzu.


Skin problems:

It is important to keep a close eye on the skin condition of your dog as it can be affected by a number of different things including allergic reactions, fleas and other parasites, changes in hormones and even due to a change in diet.

Some dogs with very wrinkly skin such as the Shar Pei and the Bulldog will need special attention paid to the skin, particularly the folds on their faces. These become hot and damp and are the perfect breeding places for bacteria so you need to give them a regular clean.


Heart problems:

Chronic Valvular Disease: is when dogs face degenerative alterations to the heart valves. These changes reduce the functioning of the valves and as such can result in a lower cardiac output. These are most common in small and toy breeds of dogs, including: particularly Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Miniature and Toy Poodles, Chihuahuas, Lhasa Apsos, Yorkshire Terriers, Schnauzers, and Cocker Spaniels.


Dilated cardiomyopathy: is a disease which results in enlarged heart chambers and thinned walks of the ventricles. When the heart muscles become weakened, the heart could fail. This tends to be seen in larger breeds such as Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherd Dogs, Great Danes, Old English Sheepdogs, St. Bernards, and Schnauzers.

Bone problems:

Hip dysplasia: is the abnormal formation of the hip socket which causes rear limb lameness. This is seen in a wide variety of breeds and doesn’t appear to have too much of an obvious trend. However, some of the breeds I most commonly think of has being likely to suffer from it include larger breeds such as German Shepherds and Labradors.


Arthritis: This is a degenerative condition which affects the joints. Just like in humans, it makes the dog feel stiff, achy and effects their movement. Like with hip dysplasia, the breeds that it is most likely to effect is difficult to say, however it is something more commonly seen in older dogs.

*These pictures are not my own*


One Response to “Common health problems”

  1. Jonnie Aguirre January 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    i’ve heard this before but i’ts interesting nonetheless.

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