Some dog breeds can be a little tougher to keep healthy than others. Due to selective breeding practices, certain breeds have genetically inherited health issues. It’s impossible to predict completely, but owning a particular breed could mean a lot more visits to the veterinarian. Does that mean you should avoid them entirely? Not at all. But you do want to be prepared for that extra care with a good pet insurance plan.
Here’s a look at the top 10 dog breeds from 2014 according to the American Kennel Club and the health risks associated with each.
Hip Dysplasia in Rottweiler's and Other Large Breeds
Rottweilers are medium to large in size, loyal and eager to please. They bond closely with their owner and family, but can be suspicious of strangers.
Like many larger breeds, Rottweilers are susceptible to hip dysplasia as they age. Hip replacement surgery is not uncommon for this condition. Eye issues and heart problems are also common issues with Rottweilers.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in French Bulldogs
If you like a big personality in a small package, the French Bulldog could be your next best friend. These little guys are playful, but don’t need an abundance of exercise.
With their small, flat faces Frenchies are prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome. That’s the fancy way to say they can have trouble breathing due to obstructed airways. Spinal problems as well as reproductive, eye and intestinal issues are also relatively common within the breed.
Boxer's Prone to Aortic/subaortic Stenosis
With their pronounce chest, the Boxer may remind you of that puffed out guy at the gym. A great family dog, they bond well with children and aren’t afraid to have a mind of their own. The kids will love when the breed lets its inner clown come out.
Boxers can have various heart issues including aortic/subaortic stenosis as well as cardiomyopathy. Certain nerve disorders, as well as a susceptibility to bloat, are also strong in the breed history.
Poodles, Addison’s and Cushing's
Poodles are renowned for their elegant appearance, but there are brains behind that beauty as well. Active, intelligent and proud, poodles have been a favorite breed as far back as the 15th and 16th centuries. Poodles also come with a fairly long list of hereditary issues.
Addison’s disease and Cushing’s syndrome are diseases that occur when the adrenal glands produce too little or too much cortisol. Hyperthyroidism and various eye issues are also relatively common.
Hypoglycemic Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkies are small but don’t tell them that. They are confident and absolutely bubbling over with personality and intelligence. The breed is generally considered to be a healthy one, but certain issues do pop up.
Hypoglycemia can usually be treated with dietary restrictions. Legg-Perthes disease, a hip issue, may require surgery. Kneecap dislocation, collapsed trachea and retinal dysplasia are also listed at yorkieinfocenter.com as potential health problems.
Beagle's With Glaucoma and Other Eye Problems
If you like a low-stress, happy-go-lucky companion, a beagle may be your perfect fit. These medium sized dogs love to run and are sociable with humans as well as other dogs. Maybe beagles are so happy because they tend to be a very healthy breed. But, like all dogs, a few issues do show up in the family line.
Eye problems like glaucoma and Cherry eye are somewhat common. Ear infections can also be another problem. More seriously, canine epilepsy is possible in beagles as well.
Cardiovascular Disease Common in Bulldogs
With their wrinkly faces and dour expressions, bulldogs have endeared themselves to millions. These calm, dignified dogs have a long history with humans. Bulldogs do come with a lengthy list of potential health issues.
Cardiac and respiratory disease, hip dysplasia and cherry eye are common concerns. The loose skin on their faces that makes them so adorable requires daily cleansing to avoid infections. Bulldogs are also very susceptible to problems from overheating.
Golden Retrievers and Orthopedic Conditions
The quintessential family dog, Goldies are smart, playful and have a great temperament for kids. Bred to be hunting dogs, they come with plenty of energy and need a lot of exercise. Goldens suffer from high rates of hip and elbow dysplasia as well as other orthopedic conditions. Skin diseases, though mostly minor, may also need attention.
Unfortunately, cancer is a big issue within the breed. Some studies have estimated that up to 60 percent of all Golden Retrievers will die of some form of cancer.
Canine Cancers Common in German Shepherds
Remember Rin Tin Tin? That German Shepherd captured the hearts of America, and in 2014, the breed came in 2nd in the AKC’s list of most popular dog breeds. Friendly and loyal, German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs, police dogs and family pets.
Unfortunately, the breed is also the poster puppy for hemangiosarcoma and various other cancers, as well as hip and elbow dysplasia. Skin, autoimmune disease and digestive issues are also common ailments for German Shepherds. They’ll be exceptionally loyal, but they’ll need the same in return.
Kneecap Dislocation in Labrador Retrievers
Everybody’s favorite hunting dog tops the list of the most popular dog breeds. These friendly and high-spirited dogs are very active and highly trainable. As a general rule, Labs are quite healthy dogs.
The most common health issues are orthopedic in nature with hip dysplasia and kneecap dislocation topping the list. Eye disease and canine epilepsy are less common issues that affect the breed. Built for action, Labs need plenty of exercise to keep them strong and healthy.
When choosing a dog to welcome into your home it’s important to do your research on the different breeds. Finding the right personality and energy level to fit your lifestyle is a crucial step. When it comes to health, some breeds may be healthier than others as a rule, but as an owner, you have a responsibility to keep your dog healthy and happy. Pet insurance can help you do that while keeping expensive veterinary bills in check. The perfect fit of dog, owner and veterinarian can lead to many happy years.