Health comparison - GSD Vs Doberman - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 08:50 AM
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Sorry, my comment may have seemed angry. In truth, my heart is way too close to this topic to keep a level head So, here we go! (Nothing against you . )
A dog who was in a great deal of pain would potentially attack anyone near. We are all pretty familiar with this
A dog in the middle of a seizure, or just coming out of one could be aggressive. I cannot fathom how confusing and painful a seizure is, but I can imagine it is a great deal of suffering. If a person did not know what signs to look for, they would think the animal is showing aggression/defence with no reason, and thus PTS. If you show up to a vet and say 'This dog is aggressive, I would like to PTS' and the dog is a doberman, GSD, or any of the working breeds would the vet second guess? My thought is no. My thought is many poor dogs are either misunderstood(they are not labs, and should not be treated like one) and due to negative stereotyping owners themselves are scared of their own dogs. There is a man here in ontario who competes schutzhund. He is scared of his dog. He'd never admit it, but you can see it, how he looks at the dog. How he interacts. Now let's say the dog attacked him. The man would say 'he's a beast!' And PTS, not thinking the dog was in pain, or having a seizure. How many cases can this be true for?

This has gone way off topic and I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't make much sense...where's my morning coffee? Haha

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Scruffy the woofing terror

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 08:57 AM
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That rumor has been around a long time and any vet I've ever spoke to has shot it down. However, dobe's do have health issues such as CM and they do have temperament issues due to bad breeding. There are many more knowledgeable people on the forum I posted above that should be able to fully answer the OP's question.

btw...ShenzisMom...You would probably like that forum as well.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:11 AM
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I had a dobie who died suddenly at just 7, despite recent blood work suggesting she was in perfect health. My research and talking with vets and dobie breed people led me to discover that there is a "sudden death" gene that started appearing in American-bred dobies in the 80s. It isn't well known, but if you talk to dobie-breed people, they'll know about it. It has to do with their hearts. It affects very high numbers of them, it is almost never diagnosed, and the first "symptom" is a fatal heart attack.

That heartbreak is what made me switch back to the GSDs I'd grown up with. Boy, writing this, I still miss that dog...and she died in 2002!
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:23 AM
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Might be this? cardiomyopathy from: doberman

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:44 AM
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It probably is CM. This is a huge deal in the doberman world. But I also think it may have a genetic component so research your breeders carefully.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 09:47 AM
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Dobes are notorious for dropping over dead with no warning.....there is a lady who had European dobes, titled them....had really bad luck - bad hips in the first, the 2nd and 3rd died of cardic myeopathy...the male she had just gotten a Sch2 on I think....

As far as rage syndrome - yep - I know a woman who had and showed Dobes very successfully who had 2 who were euthanized due to rage.....she said it was the scariest thing that had ever happened to her when her AKC Ch. male went into a "zone" and came after her...yes, most common in Springer Spaniels (documented first by Dr. Peter Jeczyk, VMD, PhD, PhD at Penn Vet - who I knew well when I was there) BUT it has shown up in other breeds as well.

Dobes are MUCH higher risk than GSDs IMO


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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 01:51 PM
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The dogs I wrote about were in good homes, the owners tried to handle the situation, there was no seizures involved. The same story..they would be petting the dog and everything was fine, then within a split second the dog would go for their face, a couple of them got bit good. All of them stayed with their dogs until the end and cried their hearts out. We did have one come in that was being abused, you could see the bruises...he was a wonderful dog. We begged the vet not to put him to sleep, but she wouldn't listen, I held him while he died and I quit shortly after that..I will never forget that dog

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 02:13 PM
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There are few breeds with more genetic health issues than the GSD, but in my experience the Doberman is one of those few. I've known very, very few Dobes who didn't have one sort of health issue or another so I certainly wouldn't look to them on the premise of that breed as a whole being more healthy than GSDs. Temperament wise, they are also *very* different than GSDs so certainly making sure whatever breed you choose is a good match for you in personality is highly important.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 02:45 PM
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There are a couple of things to consider...first, it sounds like your pup was an anomaly and his horribly tragic death was due to a mix of bad breeding/genes and an incompetent veterinarian. The chances of it happening again, if you find a different breeder and a different vet, and other environmental factors have been ruled out, is slim. That's not to say that another GSD won't have health problems later on, but that's the case with just about every breed. It's a gamble no matter what you do. I had a dobie live to be 18.5 years old There are a lot of people with healthy, old dobies, a lot of people with dobies who drop dead....a lot of people with healthy, old GSD's and GSD's who die early as well. Don't obsess over "I've heard X number of anecdotes about unhealthy dobies vs X number of anecdotes about unhealthy GSD's".

Second goes back to the breeder. I will be the first to admit I have NO idea what the dog culture is like in India. Are there a lot of people into dog sport who breed reputably? Are dogs imported frequently? Or are the majority of the breeders back-yard types? It can be all well and good to say what we have heard/experienced about various breed health issues here, but it could also be an entirely different gene pool elsewhere in the world (I know I'm not saying that right... I hope it sort of makes sense) if there are a lot of poorly bred dogs being bred with poorly bred dogs.

Do research on health issues absolutely, but also do research on temperaments, availability of quality dogs where you live, etc. I've owned and loved both breeds, but they're different in a lot of ways.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 02:54 PM
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Sorry to hear about your GSD passing! I admit I'm not overly knowledgeable on Dobermans but from what I've seen they have roughly an equal amount of health problems as German Shepherds do.

Doberman Problems:
Hip Dysplasia
Von Willebrand's Disease
Wobblers Syndrome
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Copper Toxicosis
Dialated Cardiomyopathy
Color Dilution Alopecia
Dobermans are also prone to albinism.

^ The last two come down to the color of the dog, if you have no plans to breed than you simply don't pick an albino dog and you don't have to worry about that. If you happen to pick a blue or fawn then go for lines that aren't prone to problems or simply don't pick those colors.

German Shepherd problems:
Hip Dysplasia
Elbow Dysplasia
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Von Willebrand's Disease
Degenerative Myelopathy
German Shepherds are also prone to some heart problems
Perianal fistulas

I'm sure I could list more for both breeds but I guess it's more to give an idea. I didn't find anything about Dobermans being prone to pano which German Shepherds are but I find it surprising that it's NOT an issue in Dobies since they're a large breed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong?

That said, you're going to be hard pressed to find a common breed that is generally considered "healthy" without a huge list of problems to follow. None of these problems listed for either breed is a "will happen", it's a "could happen" which is the difference for me. I know my dogs won't live forever and I know there will be health problems that pop up no matter how small or how large. I can only prepare myself mentally and financially to take on the burden if it comes up. Some diseases the choice would have to be euthanasia, others could be bandaged up. Pick the breed that will overall best suit your family, know the signs of their health problems, pray for the best and love your dog no matter what time you've got left. The good news is that you can find a good breeder in either breed who takes steps to help prevent as many problems as possible. This will greatly help reduce the risk of certain issues though things like cancer we never know when something like that will strike regardless of species, age, size, ect. We do however know enough about limited vaccinations, alternatives to certain drugs, better diet, antioxidant supplements, ect to help do our best to hopefully help prevent it.
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