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Common Health Problems In Large Breed Dogs

Do you have a large dog? If you do, then you’re probably concerned about common health problems in large breed dogs.

You want to keep all of the members of your family healthy and that extends to your canine family members as well. So what should you be watching out for? 

You should also check out common dog behavior problems.

Common Health Problems In Large Breed Dogs

Hip Dysplasia

One of the most common health problems in large breed dogs, hip dysplasia causes a dog to have a loose hip joint.

What this means is that the hip joint doesn’t connect the way that it should and it can cause pain and degeneration over time.

In general, a dog that grows too quickly or gains too much weight too quickly could be at high risk, but some dogs are more predisposed because of genetics as well.

Medications, changes in weight, and physical therapy can help immensely, making it easier for the joints and helping your dog feel better.

Elbow Dysplasia

Where hip dysplasia tends to get a lot of attention, elbow dysplasia tends to be pretty well skimmed over.

Most don’t even know what it is. In fact, however, it’s very similar to the hip variety.

With this condition there elbow joint is badly formed and this can cause additional wear and tear.

Not only that, but it can lead to inflammation and even arthritis.

Once again, genetics and rapid growth play a very big part in whether or not a dog will develop elbow dysplasia.

As with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia can be treated with medication, changes in weight, and physical therapy. 

Wobbler Syndrome

This is one that you might not have heard of before, but it’s something to pay attention to and to be wary of.

This is because it’s actually a disease that affects the way that vertebrae in the neck and spinal cord line up.

When they don’t line up properly it can actually result in neck pain or in spinal cord compression.

Either of these can be extremely serious, however, there is medication that can help and also surgery.

This means making sure that you talk with a vet immediately about potential problems. 

Cherry Eye

This eye condition means that your dog might have a large pink mass coming out of the eyelid.

This condition can actually be extremely serious and should be treated immediately. If it’s not treated it can cause damage and impairment to the eye and to vision.

The condition will generally occur when they are a puppy and may have something to do with genetics, though the complete cause isn’t actually known.

It’s important to talk with a vet if you think your dog might have this condition so you can get them the treatment they need, which includes medication or surgery. 


Just like in humans, arthritis can occur in just about any joint and can result in anything from stiffness and limping to pain (of different intensities), and difficulty moving.

It happens when dogs start to get older or when they grow too much, too quickly.

This can be because of weight or overall size. Luckily, arthritis can be treated, though not cured.

By treating the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis your dog will be able to regain most of their movement. 


When the thyroid gland produces too little T4 and T3 hormone it can cause your dog to be excessively tired and dull.

They may have excessive weight gain or scaling, recurring skin infections, and even hair loss.

Fortunately, this can be treated with medication and dietary therapy in many instances, helping your dog to regain much of their health and energy. 


This condition affects the eyelids of your dog. In fact, the eyelids show as inverted, which can cause problems for your furry family members.

In general, the entropion does not hurt the dog, it is the problems associated with it, such as the potential for eyelashes scratching the eye.

If this happens it can lead to perforation or corneal ulceration.

The only method of treatment for this is through surgery, which allows for the eyelids to be inverted in the proper orientation. 


On the other side of things is ectropion, which is where the eyelids roll in the opposite direction.

As a result, the inner lids are exposed and this means that the tissue on the inside of the lids is exposed.

As a result, your dog could experience excessive tearing as well as inflammation of the eye.

This condition can be genetic and can only be treated through the process of surgery. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

This one is extremely serious because it’s related to the heart.

What happens is that the heart weakens and, as a result, does not pump blood the way that it should.

Because of this, your dog may become weak or have difficulty exercising.

They may also have difficulty with breathing or coughing or even with excessive fluid in the abdomen.

Medications are required in order to treat this condition and will be required for the rest of their lives. 


When we think of bloating we generally think of a temporary condition. We think of it as something uncomfortable but not serious.

Unfortunately, in dogs, this is not the case. Bloat refers to a serious condition where the stomach actually dilates and then twists.

This means that the gas build-up becomes even more dangerous, where they can’t expel it in a burp or even through vomiting.

When left as for too long, the bloat can result in cutting off the blood supply, resulting in shock or even death if not treated very quickly through surgery.

Wrap Up

When it comes down to it there are some very serious health conditions that you should be watching out for when it comes to your dog.

There are also some less serious conditions that you’ll still want to be aware of.

So, when it comes to keeping your dog safe, make sure you’re prepared for any of the common health problems in large breed dogs.


I started this site because I am a dog lover. Most of my social feeds are full of dogs and I am always learning more about them. I also have a lifetime of experience with dogs packed with tactics, tips, and funny stories that I want to share with the world!

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