Common German Shepherd Health Issues: What You Need to Know

German Shepherds are generally very active, happy and healthy dogs. Just like any animal, they can experience health issues from time to time, especially with age. At Ulvilden German Shepherds, we are dedicated to providing new dog owners with all the information necessary to ensure that their dogs have the healthiest and happiest experience possible. Here is some more information about health issues that can plague German Shepherds and what you can do to help.

Perianal Fistula

This is a disease that is characterized by draining openings on the skin around the anus, commonly seen in German Shepherds. This condition can make it difficult for your dog to defecate properly and cause cause irritation. Many treatment options are available for this condition—sometimes a simple dietary change is enough to counter this uncomfortable disease. If you notice that your dog is having trouble going number two, bring them to a vet as soon as possible for a professional diagnosis and treatment options.


Megaesophagus is a condition that affects your German Shepherd’s throat. Megaesophagus is characterized by a limp esophagus, one that is unable to normally pass food down to the stomach to be digested. Megaesophagus is a congenital problem in German Shepherds so signs tend to show early, such as regurgitation when being weened to a solid diet. Management of this condition is an ongoing process and may involve a number of solutions including elevated feeding or a liquid diet.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a common condition among dogs, German Shepherds included. Hip dysplasia occurs when there is a misalignment between the ball and socket of the hip joint that can cause pain and discomfort and lead to osteoarthritis. Although hip dysplasia is genetic in origin, improved breeding practices have significantly reduced the prevalence of the chronic condition in German Shepherds.

Health issues can affect even the most well maintained dogs, so it’s important to understand all the risks associated with German Shepherds before adoption. To learn more about how to help keep your German Shepherd as healthy and happy as possible, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.