Common Health Problems For Popular Dog Breeds (part 1)

Our favorite furry friends share many of the health concerns that we as humans experience, often resulting from poor diet, lack of proper exercises, or general aging. But there are certain ailments that are more acute in canines. We’ll cover common health problems in the most popular dog breeds, as recognized by the AKC.

This week it is the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, and Beagle.

The Labrador Retriever is considered a generally healthy dog. They are a large breed with male adults ranging from 64–79 lbs and females from 55–71 lbs. Though energetic and athletic, they do have a high risk for becoming obese especially later in life (average lifespan is upwards of 12 years) with overfeeding and/or not enough exercise. Labs are also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems, and hereditary myopathy.

The German Shepherd is a large-breed working dog with an average lifespan of 9-13 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to various genetic conditions resulting from inbreeding that occurred during the breed’s development. Once such ailment is degenerative myelopathy, a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord causing weakness and loss of coordination in the limbs. They are also susceptible to Von Willebrand disease, an inherited condition which results from a deficiency of Von Willebrand factor (vWF) and causes excessive bleeding and trouble with blood clotting. This condition can also lead to frequent nosebleeds in many cases. Another common health problem for German Shepherds is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which is an inability to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas.

The Golden Retriever lives on average 11 to 12 years. Cancer is the leading cause of death among Golden Retrievers with the most common types being hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumors and osteosarcoma. Hip dysplasia affects more than 30% of Golden Retrievers and eye problems are also common. Other common ailments include hip dysplasia, heart disease, and osteochondritis.

The Bulldog is a medium-sized breed known for its stocky build. They have a comparatively shorter lifespan of between 8-10 years. Bulldogs end to suffer from breathing problems, which is common to flat-faced breeds with narrow upper airways. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is related to the shape of the breed’s face and breathing problems are exacerbated in hot weather and after exercise.

Bulldogs are also prone to ‘cherry eye,’ a disorder of the third eyelid membrane. Though cats can also suffer from it, it is most common in dogs under the age of two years old. And due in part because of their excessive folds of skin, Bulldogs also experience skin infections, like eczema, seborrhoea, acne.

The Beagle is a medium-sized breed with a longer lifespan of 12-15 years. Because of their floppy ears, they do commonly suffer from ear infections, due to excess moisture and bacteria. A major problem for Beagles is Epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes seizures and it generally manifests in dogs between the time thay are six months to three years old. Though not curable, the condition is often managed with anti-seizure medications. Other common problems for the breed include hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), ear infections, diabetes, as well as obesity. Eye problems see in other breeds are also common with beagles. They can include cherry eye, corneal dystrophy and glaucoma.

Common Health Problems for Popular Dog Breeds - Part 1


Next time, we will cover more popular breeds on our list including Terriers, Poodles, Boxers, and Rottweilers.

For further reading, check out:


Hip Replacement Surgery For One Lucky Dog
Common Health Problems For Popular Dog Breeds (part 2)