the most serious canine diseases and the dog breeds they effect most petrage
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The Most Serious Canine Diseases and the Dog Breeds they Effect Most

Unfortunately dogs, like humans, suffer from a variety of ailments. Some are familiar to us, while others are limited to the canine world. Certain dog breeds seem predisposed to certain canine diseases. For example, big chested dogs, such as Boxers, Great Danes and Dobermans are predisposed to a condition called “bloat” or gastric dilation volvolvus in which the stomach flips and stops blood flow to the heart, often resulting in death. As a precaution, these dog breeds should not be allowed to run or jump after eating.

We have listed the most serious canine diseases and the dog breeds they effect mostly. This data was gathered from various sources as reported by veterinarians in the treatment of such conditions.

Cancer-All Types

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs. Approximately 1 in 3 domestic dogs will develop cancer, which is the same incidence of cancer among men. (Pang, Lisa Y.; Argyle, David J. (2016). “Veterinary oncology: Biology, big data and precision medicine”. The Veterinary Journal. 213: 38–45.)

These are 10 of the dog breeds that have shown a relatively high cancer rate:

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog – almost half of this dog breed will die of cancer
  2. Boxer – highest rate of mast cell tumors of any breed of dog
  3. Cocker Spaniels – the most common cause of death in this breed
  4. Doberman Pinschers -mammary cancer has been found to be a leading cause of death in female Dobermans
  5. German Shepherd – prone to hemangiosarcoma
  6. Giant Schnauzer – show high rate of melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma
  7. Golden Retriever – suffer from both lymphosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma
  8. Great Dane – cancer is the leading cause of death for this big breed
  9. Rottweiler – Osteosarcoma is most common type in this breed
  10. Standard Poodle – estimated 40% of all Standard Poodles will die from cancer



Older, overweight dogs are most likely to get diabetes but certain breeds can develop the juvenile condition. These are the breeds that are most often impacted by diabetes but any dog breed can develop this malady.

  1. Miniature Schnauzers
  2. Australian Terriers
  3. Standard Schnauzers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Poodles
  6. Keeshonds
  7. Samoyeds


von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) – Blood Diseases

Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder of both humans and dogs. This condition prevents the blood from clotting and sealing wounds. This canine disease is found to a large extent in Doberman Pinschers – but can effect the following breeds:

  1. Doberman Pinscher
  2. Shetland Sheepdog
  3. Miniature Schnauzer
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Rottweiler
  6. German Shepherd
  7. Standard Poodle
  8. German Shorthaired Pointer



Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in dogs and effects almost 25% of domestic breeds. Rheumatoid Arthritis is less prevalent and occurs mostly in small breeds.Two nutritional supplements commonly used to help dogs with OA are Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate.The dog breeds listed here are the most commonly reported with symptoms of arthritis:

  1. German Shepherds
  2. Golden Retrievers
  3. Labrador Retrievers
  4. Dachshunds
  5. Newfoundland
  6. St. Bernard
  7. Rottweilers
  8. Mastiffs
  9. Great Danes
  10. Old English Sheep Dogs



Heart Disease

Heart disease in dogs occurs at almost the same levels as in humans.Unlike a poor diet and smoking, most canine heart problems are caused by a valvular disease.Unfortunately, heart disease in dogs is not preventable-except for heartworms. These are the breeds that have shown the highest levels of this condition:

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Rottweiler
  4. Labrador Retriever
  5. Doberman Pincher
  6. Irish Wolfhound
  7. Pomeranian
  8. Collie
  9. Bulldog
  10. Boxer


Intervertebral Disc Disease – Spinal Problems

This spinal condition occurs when the disc that sits between two vertebrae to cushion or absorb movement in the spine deteriorates and presses on the spinal cord. This can cause severe nerve pain and paralysis. Because of their anatomical construction the following breeds are most predisposed:

  1. Dachshunds
  2. Bulldogs
  3. French Bulldogs
  4. Corgis
  5. Pugs
  6. Basset Hounds
  7. Pekingese
  8. Shih Tzus
  9. Beagles
  10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels


Glaucoma-Cataracts & Other Eye Problems

The most common diseases in the canine eye are dry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma. Certain flat-faced breeds such as pugs can develop problems in their corneas.

  1. English Springer Spaniel
  2. Siberian Huskies
  3. Poodles
  4. Collie breeds
  5. Boston Terriers
  6. Great Danes
  7. German Shepherds


Skin Infections/Diseases

Skin conditions are some of the most common in dogs. Atopic Dermatitis is a chronic, hereditary condition that can cause severe itching and irritation. There are other autoimmune skin diseases that can cause painful blisters and crusty scabs.

  1. Spaniels
  2. Standard Poodles
  3. Chinese Shar-Peis
  4. American Bulldogs
  5. Doberman Pinschers
  6. English Bulldogs
  7. Labrador Retrievers
  8. Pit Bull Terriers



Epilepsy occurs in approximately 5 percent of the domestic dog population but can be much higher in certain dog breeds:

  1. Beagle
  2. Keeshond
  3. Belgian Tervuren
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Labrador Retriever
  6. Vizsla
  7. Shetland Sheepdog


As you can see, there are a wide range of canine diseases and ailments that effect our furry friends. Some are exclusive to dogs and others we have been kind enough to share with them! Through advances in veterinary medicine and the care and watchfulness of dog owners, many of these conditions are treatable and dogs can still live a long bark-filled life.

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