Typical health problems of some breeds

Some pedigree dogs may have health problems that are typical for that breed. Responsible breeders will test their dogs and avoid using dogs with pronounced problems or known health problems.

Brachycephalic dogs are dogs with flatter faces such as French Bulldogs or Pugs, they may have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes causing breathing difficulty which can mean that they can’t be exercised very much or that they will need surgery later on in life to open the nostrils or windpipes. These surgeries can be very costly so be prepared for this possibility. These dogs tend to have bulging eyes as well which can cause pain and injury.

Very large breeds of dogs may suffer with joint problems leading to a lot of pain and they may have heart problems later on in life. Dogs with wrinkly skin such as Shar Pei’s are prone to having skin problems and eyelid problems. Dogs with long backs can have back problems and if they have short legs too, they might struggle to move around properly. Dogs with screw tails can be in pain with back deformities and dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear infections. Some common inherited diseases are cancer, diabetes, heart disease, eye problems, skin issues, hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

It sounds a bit worrying that most breeds are prone to some health issues but responsible breeders will choose healthier dogs to breed from and will be working towards eliminating any health issues and improving welfare. For individual breed information on health issues, see: http://cidd.discoveryspace.ca/breeds/overview.html

Ask your breeder what tests they have carried out on the parents to avoid inherited ailments.

To try and avoid purchasing a puppy with health issues, don’t buy a puppy that has been inbred as this can further cause heath issues so check with your breeder that the puppy wasn’t from mated family members.