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Dog Breed-Specific Health Conditions That You Should Be Aware Of

Great Dane looking at a French Bulldog puppy in front of a white background
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Owning a purebred dog has its perks. With a purebred dog comes gorgeous photo moments, breeding opportunities, and unique characteristics.

Unfortunately, owning a purebred dog comes with a few cons as well. Specific dog breeds are more prone to obtain certain health conditions. It is important that you are aware of the common health risks that go along with owning specific dog breeds.

When owners are clued up about the different health risks that their purebred is prone to obtain, it will be easier to spot symptoms and take necessary measures to prevent these illnesses from worsening.

Great Dane looking at a French Bulldog puppy in front of a white background

Here is a list of dog-breed specific health conditions that you should be aware of before obtaining a purebred.

Golden Retrievers

Purebred Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and caring natures. They are an excellent breed to serve as a service dog and they can be trained to do many different tricks.

The Golden Retriever is prone to lymphoma, a variety of cancers and spleen tumors. These health conditions can be treated with chemotherapy. Tumors of the spleen can be removed through surgery when spotted in time. When the tumor isn’t treated it can grow in size and eventually burst causing internal bleeding.


Dalmations are prone to obtain bladder stones, it’s a disease that has been carried on through their genes. Bladder stones are painful to pass through the urethra while urinating. The stones can cause severe problems when they get stuck in the urethra tube. Stones can be surgically removed.

Owners are advised to feed their purebred Dalmations special dog food recommended by a veterinarian. Keeping purebred Dalmations on a special diet will prevent bladder stones from forming.


Every Labrador owner will know that they are extremely active and playful. A common health risk that this breed face is an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear.

The tear can only be surgically repaired and when untreated it can cause extreme pain and limping. While Labradors are in recovery they can partake in dog hydrotherapy to help speed up the recovery process.

Cute Labrador dog sitting isolated on white


Dachshund’s cute body structures will make anyone fall in love with them. Carrying around a long body on four short legs put them at a predisposition for a health risk of slipped discs. Statistically, Dachshunds are ten times more prone to slipped discs than other purebred canines.

In acute cases, the slipped discs can cause paralysis. Owners can take their Dachshunds for MRI scans to identify a slipped disc. Dachshunds need surgery after a slipped disc and regular physical therapy.


Together with other flat-faced purebreds like Pugs, Shih Tzu, and Boxers, Bulldogs are prone to Brachiocephalic syndrome.
Brachiocephalic syndrome refers to a medical condition that affects short-nosed dogs. They have difficulty breathing due to their narrow nasal passages.

If you are a Bulldog owner you will be aware that they make snorting noises when they breathe. When you notice that your dog is breathing heavier than normal it could be that they have
Brachiocephalic syndrome which can cause respiratory distress. Consult your veterinary immediately.

Cocker Spaniel

The most distinctive feature of a Cocker Spaniel is their flappy and furry ears. It’s also their ears’ shape that causes them to be more prone to ear infections than other dog breeds. Some Cocker Spaniels can deal with continuous ear infections throughout their life.

Ear infections can cause tremendous pain in the ear canal. Owners can consider an ear canal excision to treat swollen, puss-filled and aching ear canals. Rather than going for surgery take precaution by taking your Cocker Spaniel for regular groomer visits.

portrait of cute Chow Chow dog with tongue sticking out isolated on white background

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are prone to tracheal collapse. It’s a medical health risk where the dog’s trachea (windpipe) collapses causing suffocation.
Before a Yorkies trachea collapses, they will display signs of difficulty breathing and coughing.

When owners notice these symptoms in their dog’s behavior they should take them to the vet immediately. Treatment may involve using a stent or open surgery.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is definitely one of the world’s most favorite purebreds. They are very active guard dogs and are used by police departments as a duty dog.

Because of their active nature, German Shepherds are prone to hip deformation called hereditary hip dysplasia. The medical condition can be easily treated through surgery and post-surgery physical therapy.


Chihuahuas are the perfect lap dog as they are very small and lightweight. Chihuahuas lifespan can reach 15 years. Even though they can live a long life they are prone to arthritis that can affect their movement.

Chihuahuas are also prone to eye diseases.

Dogs isolated on white


Along with Brachiocephalic syndrome, boxers are prone to other health conditions that are a result of their genetics. Because Boxers are barrel-chested they are easily receptacle to bloat, scientifically known as GDV (Gastric Dilation Volvulus).

The condition causes the canine’s stomach to twist and this creates excess air in the abdominal region. This may lead to low blood pressure and shock.

Giving your Boxer daily smaller meals and encouraging them to drink water directly after a meal can prevent the condition from occurring.  

Doberman Pincher

The Von Willebrand disease is a genetic medical condition that causes blood clotting in the veins. A Doberman Pincher is prone to this genetic bleeding disorder.

The canine won’t show any symptoms of having the condition until they bleed. Owners can get a buccal mucosal screening test done to find out whether they have the condition. Special medication can be taken to avoid blood clots from forming.

If you are considering getting a purebred canine, or if you already have one. It’s vital that you are aware of the health problems that are passed through their DNA.

Taking precaution and going on regular vet visits will keep your purebred in tip-top shape for a long and happy life.

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