Common health issues
- Pannus or chronic superficial keratitis is a progressive eye disease thought to be caused by an inappropriate immune response. It commonly affects both eyes. Medical treatment can often be successful in controlling it but the condition is life-long.
- Perianal fistula, or anal furunculosis, is a chronic, ulcerative inflammatory disease of the tissues around the anus, most often seen in German Shepherds. The exact cause of the disease is still undetermined, but the broad tail base and low tail carriage common to the breed are thought to be responsible for an increased incidence of infection in the area. Unfortunately, no specific medical or surgical treatment has been found to be consistently effective and many different therapies are often attempted to control the problem. Possible treatments and/or surgeries: $500 to $10,000+
- Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.
- GDV (or bloat) describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
- EPI is an inherited disease almost exclusive to German Shepherds. It is caused by insufficient production of digestive proteins by the pancreas. This condition may develop at any age (though usually shows up in dogs younger than four years). Signs may include chronic diarrhea with weight loss despite an excessive appetite. Diagnostics and lifelong treatment: $3,000+