Common Canine Ailments in Popular Dog Breeds

From minor inconveniences to major problems, here are some of the most common ailments found in today’s popular breeds.

While there are general rules that should be followed by all dog owners when it comes to canine health concerns, some issues are breed-specific and extra care should be taken when it comes to preventing, recognizing, and treating them.

German Shepherd

Like many large breeds, German Shepherds have an increased risk of hip dysplasia—a serious condition where the hip’s joint doesn’t fit together properly, resulting in a myriad of issues including arthritis and significant pain. This is a genetic condition found mainly in purebred breeds. To prevent hip dysplasia, it is best to maintain a proper weight since added pounds will add extra stress to already weakened joints. Moderate exercise in the form of running and swimming is a great option but avoid high impact activities like jumping for frisbees or balls.

Siberian Husky

Not only are Siberian Huskies strikingly beautiful, they make wonderful companions who quickly become attached members of the family. Huskys are known for being predisposed to autoimmune disorders which often affect their skin and eyes. Cataracts are a common concern, as are a variety of dermatological conditions which may leave them with sores or cause hair loss in concentrated areas.


With the length of their bodies taken into consideration, it’s unsurprising that one of the common ailments associated with this breed is back problems. With Dachshunds, it is incredibly important to keep a careful eye out for potential spinal injuries and take preventative measures to keep them safe. Ensuring that your dog maintains a healthy weight is critical as excess pounds can put a strain on their back. It’s also a good idea to limit stairs and jumping on and off of furniture which may also pose a risk. Be aware of any changes in your Dachshund which may be indicative of a spinal injury and consult your veterinarian if you suspect anything may be wrong.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are typically considered the ideal family dog. Calm, patient, and incredibly loving, they’re a joy to have around and tend to bring a lot of happiness to those they live with. Unfortunately, with the good comes some bad and in this case, that’s skin allergies. Goldens have a tendency towards dermatological problems, often as a result of a reaction to a food or environmental trigger. The problems often present with the dog licking itself excessively which creates hot spots that ultimately require medical treatment. It’s a good idea to take note if you observe your Golden paying special attention to certain spots and to frequently check him for signs of irritation. Allergies can sometimes be remedied with something simple like switching foods but check with your vet before making any diagnoses.


Sweet faces and adorable grunts make Pugs fan favorites. Unfortunately, that same little face that melts hearts comes with a heightened risk of several medical conditions. Pugs often experience eye issues including entropion, which is when the dog’s eyelids go inward and rub the surface of the eye. Left untreated, entropion can cause blindness and requires surgical intervention to fix. Other issues include everted laryngeal saccules (an airway obstruction) as well as an elongated soft palate.

Great Dane

If you’ve ever had a Great Dane lean on you, you know why they’re so popular. There’s something about these gentle giants that makes them irresistible, even if they do take up the whole couch. That being said, one major setback to the Dane experience is their increased likelihood of experiencing bloat and torsion, also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GVD). In a 1998 study done at Purdue University, Great Danes were shown to be highly susceptible to this dangerous problem which involves the dog’s stomach filling with air or fluid and subsequently twisting, setting off a life-threatening sequence of events that can result in stomach rupture, cardiac arrest, and death. It is important for Dane owners to familiarize themselves with the symptoms of bloat and to consult their vet immediately if they suspect that their dog is in trouble.

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Meet the Author: Kate Walker

Kate is a writer and a lifelong lover of dogs. She regularly volunteers with rescue organizations and counts her years spent working alongside a therapy dog as a personal highlight. She's the proud parent of a beautiful Golden Retriever (and a tiny human, too) and is happiest when spending time with her pack.

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