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Health and Research
(This page is under construction)

This page gives GSD breeders and owners an introduction to health issues that may affect the breed.  As in all forms of life, health issues can arise during the lifetime of your GSD; while some health issues are acquired,  others are genetic.


As the National Breed Club for the GSD in Canada, the GSDCC Inc. is dedicated to identifying and understanding health issues; educating breeders and owners; and promoting pertinent health testing, so we can all pursue a healthy GSD in the future for the betterment of the breed.

The articles and informative links are for educational purposes only. 

They are in no way a substitute for diagnosis an proper Veterinary care for your dog. 

If your dog is exhibiting abnormal behavior or illness, contact a Veterinarian.

Top 10 Genetic Disorders in 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)
Megaesophagus (vascular ring anomaly)
GDV (gastric dilation volvulus)
Perianal Fistula

Disorders not necessarily inherited but for which the GSD is predisposed

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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