Recognizing Pedigree Health Problems


As our regular readers know, both Irie and Tiki are mixed breed dogs. They are mixes of mixes, each with over four breeds in their makeup. (Tiki is Doberman, Poodle, Shetland sheepdog, and Bulldog…and more breeds to faint to be identified in a DNA test! Irie is Coonhound, Lab, and German Shorthaired Pointer.)

Besides curiosity about their breeds, one reason we were interested in getting both dogs DNA tested is because purebred dogs have their own health concerns, risks that pet parents should be aware of and keep an eye out for along with their veterinarian.

Is your dog at risk of any pedigree health problems? If so, Pet Insurance by PDSA may be a good investment. The rates for different breeds may vary, depending on the insurance company. (Both Irie and Tiki are insured as mixed breed dogs; the insurance policies don’t specify the breed makeup of mixed breed pups.)

Here’s a look at some of the health issues that are more common in particular dog breeds. Remember: just because a health problem is more common for your dog’s breed, that doesn’t mean he or she will get this disease or condition. You and your veterinarian just need to keep an eye out and follow up on any concerns.63325155.thb

  • Boxer: cancer, heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy), Brachycephalic airway syndrome
  • English Bulldog: Brachycephalic airway syndrome, Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Lip fold dermatitis, birthing difficulties
  • English Bull Terrier: Atopic dermatitis (atopy), Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
  • Cocker Spaniel: Otitis externa chronic ear inflammation, Glaucoma
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), Heart valve disease, Syringomyelia
  • Dachshund: Intervertebral disc disease
  • Doberman Pinscher: Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease), Wobbler syndrome
  • Dalmatian: Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease), Congenital deafness, Bladder stones, Atopic dermatitis (atopy)
  • German Shepherd Dog: Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease), Cancer, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), Pyoderma
  • Golden Retriever: Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder, Atopic dermatitis (atopy)
  • Great Dane: Elbow dysplasia, Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease), Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder, Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), Wobbler syndrome, Osteosarcoma
  • Labrador retriever: Hip dysplasia, Atopic dermatitis (atopy), Elbow dysplasia, Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder
  • Newfoundland: Dilated cardiomyopathy, Elbow dysplasia, Hip dysplasia, Osteosarcoma
  • Pekingese: Brachycephalic airway syndrome, Corneal ulcers, Intervertebral disc disease
  • Rottweiler: Elbow dysplasia, Hip dysplasia, Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) of the shoulder, Cancer
  • Shar Pei: Entropion (ingrowing eyelashes), Chronic skin infections, Elbow dysplasia, Hip dysplasia, Atopic dermatitis (atopy)
  • St Bernard: Dilated cardiomyopathy, Elbow dysplasia, Hip dysplasia, Osteosarcoma
  • West Highland White Terrier: Atopic dermatitis (atopy), Seborrhea, Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
  • Yorkshire Terrier: Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), Tracheal collapse

Is your dog’s breed at risk for any health conditions? If so, talk with your veterinarian about how you can keep your dog healthy and how to best keep an eye out for potential problems in the future.


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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.