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Breed & Health Resources

Common Health Problems for 6 Popular Dog Breeds

By Heather Burdo

Who doesn’t love a purebred dog? Unfortunately, there are some health problems associated with many common purebred dog breeds. It’s important to be aware of their health issues so you know what to look for in your new furry pal. Each breed comes with their potential problems.

Beagle Health Problems


Beagles are healthy dogs overall. However, there are some common health issues that are highly common such as glaucoma, hypothyroidism, cherry eye, central progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, ear infections, skin tumors, allergies, joint diseases, heart disease, and intervertebral disk disease.

English Bulldog

Although English Bulldogs are gorgeous pups, they come with quite an array of health issues. Cherry eye, which is a disorder of the third eyelid known as the nictitating membrane, is common in these dogs. Cherry eye is usually seen in dogs under two years of age and it’s important to get treatment before it turns into keratoconjunctivitis or other complications. Contact your veterinarian at the first sign of your dog having cherry eye. A few signs are a red bulging tissue inside the inner corner of the eye, swelling around the eyes, squinting, and pawing at eyes. Bulldogs are also known to have elbow and hip dysplasia, which are malformations of the elbow and hip joints. These conditions can cause a dog difficulty climbing stairs, jumping, or running, and may lead to decreased activity and difficulty rising. Additionally, English Bulldogs usually have an intolerance to heat because of their shorter airways. Indoor dogs shouldn’t be left outside for an extended period, as it can lead to breathing issues. While these dogs can’t handle extreme exercise, short daily walks are great.

German Shepherd Health Problems

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are historically known as our protectors and soldiers. It’s easy for most people to recognize this breed. Just like many other breeds, they come with their own list of health issues. Megaesophagus, which means large esophagus, is a condition where the esophagus becomes limp and can no longer pass food to be digested. Dogs with this condition, often the runt of the litter, usually have regurgitation and vomiting when they are introduced to a solid diet. This health issue stems from a German Shepherd having chromosome 12. Hip dysplasia is also common in this breed. Additionally, degenerative myelopathy is a neurologic disease that affects German Shepherds, usually when they become middle-to-older aged.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are a wonderful family dog, but they also come with several health issues that you should know about. Cancer runs rampant in this breed. Skin issues are also a common nuisance, including cysts, growths, tumors, chronic allergies causing itchy skin, ear infections, and seborrhea. Muscular and skeletal conditions are others that this breed can experience, such as hip dysplasia and ligament tears.

Labrador Retriever Health Problems

Labrador Retriever

While it’s true that any dog can become obese, Labrador Retrievers are more prone to packing on the excess pounds. Just like humans, obesity goes hand-in-hand with health issues. If you plan on owning a Lab, be ready to dedicate time for vigorous daily exercise. When a Lab is continuously hungry, it’s better to give them green beans, raw carrots, or even apples for a snack. However, every dog is different, and it may be ideal to ask your veterinarian for special dietary advice.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are prone to autoimmune disorders, usually affecting the skin. These disorders often cause hair loss and sores, generally on the face. However, there is a specific immune condition, Pemphigus foliaceus, that affects this breed impacting the eyes and skin, leading to potential cataracts and glaucoma. Treatment for these autoimmune disorders include corticosteroids which inhibit the immune system.

Embrace Pet Insurance does not have exclusions when it comes to your pet’s breed, including congenital and chronic conditions.

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