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Health and Research

(This page is under construction)

The purpose of this page is to provide German Shepherd owners with an understanding of health issues that may affect the breed.  As in all dogs and humans there are health issues that may arise during the lifetime of your German Shepherd some are acquired others are genetic in nature.

As the National Breed Club for the German Shepherd dog in Canada, the GSDCC Inc. is dedicated to Identifying and understanding health issues, Educating breeders and owners, and promoting pertinent health testing in order to continue to breed for a healthy German Shepherd in the future.

The articles and informative links provided by here are for educational purposes only.  They are in no way to be used as a substitute or in lieu of proper Veterinary care for your dog.  If your dog is exhibiting abnormal behavior or illness please contact your veterinarian for the best course of treatment for your German Shepherd

Current Research

UC Davis study on Late Spay Neuter

AAHA vaccination guidelines

(More information is coming!)

Top 10 Genetic Disorders of German Shepherd Dogs


EPI and PAA (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatic acinar Atrophy)
DM (degenerative myelopathy)
Elbow Dysplasia (including UAP, OCD, FCP)
Hip Dysplasia
RCND (renal cystadenocarcinoma and nodular dermatofibrosis)
Cardiac (Aortic stenosis, Valve dysplasia,Cardiac PDA patent ductus arteriosis)
Immunoglobulin (Iga) deficiency (implicated in conditions such as SIBO, IBD, Pannus, annal furniculosis, otitis externa, and various skin conditions)
Pannus
Megaesophagus (vascular ring anomaly)
GDV (gastric dilation volvulus)
Perianal Fistula
Disorders not necessarily inherited but for which the GSD is predisposed
Panosteitis
Spondylitis
Haemangiosarcoma

For more information on these conditions please visit the University of PEI CIDD Database 

Additional references below:

Wahl J.M., S.M., Clark L.A., Tsai K.L., Murphy K.E. 2008. A Review of Hereditary Diseases of the German Shepherd Dog. Journal of Veterinary Behaviour V3, 255-265.
Dodds W.J. 2011. Guide to Congenital and Heritable Disorders in Dogs. Published byThe Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association May 2011.

CHIC, Canine Health Information Center.

Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) Breed Statistics 

The following provides a summary of statistical data for the German Shepherd Dog from the OFA disease databases for Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Cardiac disease and Thyroid disease.  For More information on breed diseases and testing please follow the links on the left of this page.

OFA Hip Dysplasia statistics from 1974 thru 2017

OFA Elbow Dysplasia statistics from 1974 thru 2017

OFA Cardiac statistics from 1974 thru 2017

OFA Thyroid statistics from 1974 thru 2017

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