What is the leading cause of death in German Shepherds?

  • Date: April 25, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the United States. While they are known for their intelligence and loyalty, they are also prone to a variety of health issues. One of the most common yet often overlooked leading cause of death in German Shepherds is cancer. Unfortunately, the prevalence of cancer in German Shepherds is higher than in other breeds of dogs. In this article, we will explore the leading causes of death in German Shepherds and how you can help protect your beloved pet from this deadly disease.

Overview of German Shepherds

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and willingness to work, making them one of the most popular breeds of dog. They are also incredibly adaptable, able to live in a variety of conditions, and are one of the most popular breeds for service and assistance work. However, all breeds of dog come with their own set of health concerns, and German Shepherds are no exception.

Common Diseases in German Shepherds

German Shepherds are prone to a variety of diseases, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common joint diseases in larger breeds of dogs, and can cause pain and stiffness in the affected joint. Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive spinal cord disease that results in paralysis and loss of muscle control.

Other diseases that are seen in German Shepherds include osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), gastric dilation-volvulus (bloat), and lymphoma. OCD is an inflammatory joint disease that can lead to lameness or paralysis. Bloat is a potentially fatal condition in which the stomach becomes distended with gas and can twist, cutting off the blood supply to the stomach and causing shock. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that can affect any part of the body.

Leading Cause of Death in German Shepherds

The leading cause of death in German Shepherds is cancer. Cancer is the most common cause of death in dogs, and German Shepherds are particularly prone to some types of cancer, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and hemangiosarcoma.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is responsible for the production of white blood cells. Lymphoma is often seen in German Shepherds and can be fatal if left untreated.

Mast cell tumors are tumors of the skin, and can be found on any part of the body. These tumors can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes and internal organs.

Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the blood vessels, most commonly found in the spleen, heart, and liver. It is a particularly aggressive form of cancer and can be fatal if left untreated.

Preventing Cancer in German Shepherds

The best way to prevent cancer in German Shepherds is to ensure that they receive regular veterinary checkups. German Shepherds should be taken to the veterinarian at least once per year for a physical exam, and more frequently if they are exhibiting any signs of illness or injury.

In addition to regular veterinary checkups, German Shepherds should be kept up to date on their vaccinations and deworming. Vaccinations help protect the dog against certain types of cancer, while deworming helps keep the dog’s immune system functioning properly.

It is also important to feed German Shepherds a balanced and nutritious diet, as poor nutrition can make them more susceptible to disease. Exercise is also important for maintaining a healthy weight and keeping the dog’s muscles and joints strong.

Finally, it is important to spay or neuter German Shepherds to reduce their risk of certain types of cancer. Neutering male dogs can reduce the risk of testicular cancer, while spaying female dogs can reduce the risk of mammary cancer.

## Common Myths About German Shepherd Death
1. German Shepherds are prone to cancer and this is the leading cause of death – FALSE. While cancer is a common health issue for German Shepherds, the leading cause of death for this breed is actually hip dysplasia.

2. German Shepherds can’t live a long life – FALSE. With proper care and nutrition, German Shepherds can live up to 12-14 years.

3. German Shepherds are an unhealthy breed – FALSE. While they are prone to certain health issues, these can usually be prevented or managed with proper care and nutrition.

4. German Shepherds are aggressive and dangerous – FALSE. German Shepherds are intelligent and loyal dogs that can make great family pets when trained and socialized properly. They are not inherently aggressive or dangerous.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the leading cause of death in German Shepherds?

Answer: The leading cause of death in German Shepherds is cancer. Other leading causes of death include heart disease, kidney disease, and joint problems.

What can I do to help prevent health problems in my German Shepherd?

Answer: To help prevent health problems in your German Shepherd, you should make sure they get plenty of exercise, provide them with healthy food and treats, schedule regular vet checkups, and keep up with their vaccinations. Additionally, you should pay attention to any signs of ill health and get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect something is wrong.

Conclusion

German Shepherds are a popular and intelligent breed known for their loyalty and work ethic. However, they are prone to a variety of diseases, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy. Cancer is the leading cause of death in German Shepherds, so regular veterinary checkups, vaccinations, deworming, a balanced diet, and spaying/neutering are all important to help prevent disease.

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