The Great Dane is a large, strong, and intelligent dog. They are known to be one of the most popular breeds in the world due to their size and regal temperament. The breed has been around since ancient times and they have been used for hunting purposes as well as companionship. However, there are some Great Dane health issues that need to be taken care of.
The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 8-to-10 years, with some living only 6 or 7 years. In this article, we will discuss some of the common health issues that Great Danes may experience and how to effectively treat them.
7 Common Great Dane Health Issues
The most common health issues of a Great Dane include:
1. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia can be found in all breeds of dogs but it is most commonly seen in large-breed dogs such as Great Danes. It is a condition where the hip joint is not properly formed. It can happen in any breed of dog, but it usually occurs in large and giant breeds. Hip dysplasia can cause pain and arthritis which may lead to poor mobility and difficulty with walking, running, jumping, or playing.
In order to prevent this disease from happening, you should check your dog’s hips regularly for signs of discomfort or pain during walks or playtime. You should also keep your pet fit by exercising them regularly on a leash and making sure they stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia is a type of joint disease that affects the elbow joints. It is a hereditary condition that mostly affects Great Danes. They also have a high percentage of weight-bearing joints in their body which puts them at an increased risk for developing elbow dysplasia due to their large heads and large eyes.
There are two types of elbow dysplasia: primary and secondary. Primary elbow dysplasia is caused by a single gene mutation, while secondary elbow dysplasia occurs when there are multiple genetic mutations.
Elbow Dysplasia can be diagnosed through x-rays, blood tests, and physical examinations. Treatment for elbow dysplasia includes joint injections, pain management drugs, weight loss programs, surgery to remove the affected joints or to repair them with prosthetic devices.
3. Cardiomyopathy (a heart condition)
Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart and its ability to pump blood. It can be inherited or it can develop as a result of stress or other factors. Cardiomyopathy in Great Danes has been on the rise for a few years now. There are many possible causes, including genetics, diet, obesity, and environmental factors like heat and humidity.
Cardiomyopathy affects the heart muscle and causes the ventricles to become dilated, which causes shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, and heart failure. It is often fatal for your Great Dane but can be treated with medications that slow down the progression of the disease.
4. Epilepsy (seizures)
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain of Great Danes and causes seizures.
In the past, epileptic dogs were euthanized because of their severe seizures, but now there are various treatment options for them. These include anti-epileptic drugs, surgery, and dietary modifications. Many veterinarians have started to use the ketogenic diet as an alternative treatment to help epileptic dogs with their seizures.
5. Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems are often caused by genetic conditions, but they can also be caused by environmental factors such as diet and climate changes. A Great Dane with a thyroid problem will usually have a bloated stomach and a distended abdomen. They will also be very lethargic and may have trouble breathing or swallowing. It is important that you know how to identify the symptoms of this condition and what to do if your dog has it.
Thyroid problems can be treated with medication and diet changes. If you suspect your dog has thyroid problems, contact your local veterinarian immediately.
Bloat is a condition that makes the abdomen of a dog very large and distended. It can be seen in some breeds of dogs but is most common in giant breeds. Bloat can be caused by several factors but mostly by eating too much food, drinking too much water, and not exercising enough. Great Danes are among the most affected breeds because they have a deep chest and their stomachs are close to their backbone, which makes them prone to bloat.
This condition can lead to death if it isn’t treated in time. In order to prevent this from happening, vets recommend that owners feed their dogs’ small meals throughout the day rather than one large meal. This will help avoid bloat and other related health conditions.
There are several treatment options for bloat in Great Danes. Some of these include surgery, diet changes, and medications.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that affects the bones and causes them to become brittle and break easily. It is a malignant tumor that originates in the cells of the bone. The condition can be found anywhere in the body but most commonly occurs in bones like those found in the skull, spine, or pelvis. In recent years, the incidence of osteosarcoma in Great Danes has increased dramatically.
Symptoms of Osteosarcoma in Great Danes include:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Bone pain and lameness
- Excessive thirst
- Swelling of the legs
There are also other symptoms that may be caused by cancer such as a cough, dyspnea, or fever.
The treatment of Osteosarcoma includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted drug therapy. However, there are still some challenges to be faced as osteosarcoma is a tough disease to fight against.
Health issues in Great Danes can include cancer, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy. Some of these dogs are also prone to bloat, an emergency condition where the stomach fills up with gas-producing food in response to eating too quickly or too much. Make sure you take your dog to the vet for regular health screenings. Early diagnosis and prevention are better than late diagnosis and treatment.
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