Poll Results for "Is Your GSD Healthy?"
Here are the results of my informal and quite unscientific poll asking members if their GSDs were healthy. I was curious if others had GSDs with as many genetic health issues as my dog has.
Per the responses, I left out conditions that I felt were typical of what one might expect when sharing lives with dogs, such as arthritis and conditions that develop as a dog ages, such as hearing loss, eyesight diminishing. I also left out conditions that only occur once in a while like ear infections or hot spots that can be managed and healed. I feel this is typical of any dog, not something that is typical of GSDs only.
I was concerned mainly with the overall health and quality of life of the dogs over a lifetime, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many people have dogs that have overall good health and who have lived at least 10 healthy years. Several lived long past 10. Of course, there were others whose dogs had a number of the genetic ailments that seem to plague GSDs, but they certainly didn’t dominate.
Here are the ailments and the total numbers. Total dogs in survey: 47 (I only included dogs that were specifically named and their conditions specified. However, about 25 more dogs were mentioned as healthy because one member has had about 30 GSDs and only 5 had health issues.)
Food Allergies: 10
Inhalant or Environmental Allergies: 7
Degenerative Myelopathy: 4
Gut Sensitivity: 4
Hip Dysplasia: 4
Weak rear/back legs: 3
Heart Problems: 1
Anal gland problems: 2
Demodex mites: 2
Acid reflux: 1
And drum roll…..Overall Healthy: 30
You might wonder about this number, 30, but many members said that the allergies could be managed by eliminating offending foods or by using eye drops, for example, and other than allergies, their dogs were healthy. Also, the HD and the weak rear often didn’t interfere with the dogs’ quality of life for several dogs, so I also considered them healthy overall.
I want to thank everyone for helping me out: Mineareworkingline, Astrovan2487, Sabismom, Kyleigh, Wick, Wyoung2153, Cheyanna, Gatordog, McWeagle, Elisabeth 00117, Rangers mom, Carriesue, Kahrg4, Ksotto333, Onyx’girl, LoveEcho, WateryTart, Gsdar, Dogma13, Llombardo, Stonevintage, Heidigsd.
You gave such good, thorough details that the results were simple to compile. It was sad to read some and believe me, I understand! And it was encouraging to read about the healthy others because it means that my shepherd is not typical of the breed.
So thanks again, everyone, many thanks - This little survey has opened my eyes!