Julie Martinez Mittelwest Complaints Received -The Most Common Health Problems in German Shepherds

We often get complaints from customers on the health of the dogs that we breed.  I must inform a potential buyer, that each breed comes with some definite health risks, and genetics and inter-breeding play a role in it.  We do our best to breed only the healthiest dogs, but unfortunately that is not always possible and health concerns will show up.

mittelwestJulie Martinez Mittelwest examines orthopedic illnesses at first.  This breed, German Shepherds quite often are prone to suffering from high rates of hip and elbow dysplasia.  As evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation of America of over 86000 x-rays for German Shepherds about nineteen percent are dysplastic.  That is not a good percentage.  And if you really evaluate the situation, it would become clear that the true situation is even worse, as most of the bad X-rays were not sent for examination and evaluation.  When it comes to elbow dysplasia, the situation is equally as bad; when evaluating 23000 X-rays, about twenty percent were dysplastic (this comes out as 8th worst out of all the breeds) and if you account for true numbers, it is even higher.

Another very common orthopedic health problem for this breed is panosteitis.  You can also encounter osteochondritis and cruciate ligament rupture quite often in German Shepherds.  Furthermore, if you look at medical reports, you will also notice Wobbler’s syndrome, hypertrophic osteodystrophy.

Julie Martinez Mittelwest Complaints that customers quite often also report a problem with dogs’ skin.  This is another area that is breed related and cannot be isolated through breeding alone.  It is quite rampant for this breed and particularly allergies, which cause itchy skin in dogs, pyoderma (which is folliculitis and furunculosis).  Also you can add seborrhea, lick granuloma, demodectic mange and sometimes calcinosis.  Autoimmune maladies and diseases – this is where a canine’s defective immune system turns on its own body and attacks it, are also very frequent in this breed.  Skin is repeatedly is a target of the defective immune system and as a result you see such diseases as sebaceous adenitis, lupus, perianal fistula, nail bed disease, vitiligo and some others.


In other instances, an attack from defective immune system can result in problems for other organs and you will see such diseases as degenerative spinal melopathy, megaesophagus, and myasthenia gravis.


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