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Dog Breeds & Their Common Medical Issues

Our dogs are our best friends. Whether you picked them out from a breeder or adopted from a shelter, your dogs are the most perfect creatures to walk into your heart. They are always with you when you want to go on long walks at the beach and cuddle up by the fireplace. Unfortunately, certain dog breeds can be susceptible to some common medical issues.

Prevention and early diagnosis are key, so it’s important to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for signs of these medical issues that are common to your dog’s specific breed.


Basset Hound

Floppy ears, say no more. Basset hounds are an adorable breed, with their endearing features. These dogs can get away with anything just by looking into your eyes.
Unfortunately, a lot of basset hounds suffer from intervertebral disc disease. This condition, which is a disease of the spine, can be painful if left untreated since it makes movement difficult.

Some warning signs to watch out for are the inability or unwillingness to jump, tense muscles or muscle spasms in the back or neck, loss of bladder control, anxious behavior, reduced appetite, and pain or weakness in rear legs.



Due to their long bodies and short legs, dachshunds are especially susceptible to back and spine problems.

Similar to basset hounds, dachshunds are also commonly diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease, a condition that involves herniated discs in the lower back. Some signs that your dachshund might have intervertebral disc disease are limping, reluctance to play, or signs of pain when getting pat or scratches.

Other medical issues to watch out for are obesity, hip dysplasia, eye issues such as cataracts, dry eye, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.



These tiny pups, made famous by the Taco Bell commercials, are often at risk for developing tracheal collapse. This is a common cause of airway obstruction, resulting in an unusual ‘honking’ cough. Other symptoms include an intolerance for exercise, heavy breathing, and blue gums. Tracheal collapse is common in small, toy-breed dogs, and it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible by visiting your veterinarian.


Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is one of the most popular breeds in America. These little divas have such big personalities in such tiny bodies!

It’s not uncommon for a Yorkie to suffer from digestive issues, so owners should keep an eye on their diets. It’s also possible for Yorkies, along with other toy breeds like the Chihuahua, to suffer from tracheal collapse. The main warning sign to watch out for is a bad cough.

Lastly, Yorkies can also suffer from a hereditary defect called Portosystemic Shunt. This condition can decrease liver function, and result in behavioural and neurological problems. Normally, blood in the body is cleaned by the liver. But for a dog with PSS, the portal vein bypasses the liver, and toxins from the intestines are not removed from the blood.
This condition can be corrected with surgery. Some signs to watch out for are: vomiting, confusion, and seizures.  



Another popular dog breed with adorably floppy ears. Beagles are an American favorite, portrayed by cartoon characters like Snoopy, Odie, and Mr. Peabody.
Although epilepsy is possible in any dog breed, it seems to be more common in beagles. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures, and dogs with this disorder will usually have their first seizure between 6 months and 3 years old.

Seizures in your dog will look like a twitch or uncontrollable shaking that can last for several seconds to a few minutes.


Cocker Spaniel

Known for their floppy ears and long tresses, Cocker Spaniels are a beautiful companion for any dog lover. For owners of Cocker Spaniels, it’s important to brush their coat and bathe them frequently to keep their long hair in good condition.

Unfortunately, Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to eye disorders, heart and liver disease, and epilepsy. Eye issues may include cherry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts. Their long floppy ears can also be at risk for ear infections and possibly deafness.


Bulldogs/Pug/Boston Terrier

One of the main things that these dogs have in common is that they have incredibly cute noses. The problem with short-nosed dog breeds is that they have a combination of small nostrils, an elongated soft palate, and a narrow trachea. This can result in breathing problems and snoring.

Dogs that have short noses and flat faces are known as brachycephalic. They are susceptible to developing symptoms like an elongated soft palate, which means that the tissue between the mouth and nose covers the throat more than it should.


When it comes to your dogs health, it is important to consult with a veterinarian whenever your furry friend starts showing unusual signs and symptoms.

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