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The Most Common Health Problems To Watch For In These 8 Popular Dog Breeds

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Known as one of the most beloved creatures on earth, dogs have truly become man's best friend.

While there might be several facts we don't know about our furry friends, we should all be aware of the health problems certain breeds are predisposed to.

A canine's DNA affects them the same way our genes impact us, so here are eight of the most popular dog breeds and the aliments they're most likely to be subjected to.

1. Dalmatian

As depicted in the Disney classic, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, these sweet creatures are known for their kind and gentle nature.

But, while they might seem like the perfect pet, potential Dalmatian owners should be aware these dogs often come with the hereditary defect of deafness. While this ailment doesn't come into effect until a few weeks after their birth, these smart pups can learn American Sign Language to communicate with their owners.

While Dalmatians are also prone to kidney or bladder stones through a condition called urolithiasis, a healthy diet could prevent this.

2. Dachshund

Otherwise known as weiner dogs, Dachshunds are energetic canines that are the most faithful companions to the ones they love.

"With bold and lively personalities, and weighing in at around 20 pounds, some might say they suffer from a Napoleonic complex!" Dr. Pete Lands, the director of emergency and critical care at Saint Francis Veterinary Center, said.

Sadly, since these animals have long bodies held up by awfully tiny legs, they often develop disc herniations.

While this could cause significant damage to their legs, a good surgeon is capable of removing the disc that's affecting the specific nerve.  

"Even the best surgeons can't repair every injury, but new techniques are being developed to remove a portion of each disc, which can prevent disc herniation in dachshunds," he explained

3.Golden Retriever

These gorgeous dogs are often said to be the best family member to add to your expanding brood.

Unfortunately, these canine companions are prone to suffer from type 1 diabetes. Like humans, most Golden Retrievers with this condition must have daily insulin injections.

Luckily, this is a manageable condition, which can be detected through blood tests during the early stages of your pooch's life.

4. Chihuahua

Since these yappy pups are known for their lively personality, many owners don't know they're prone to several health problems.

For starters, there's a high chance Chihuahuas could suffer from a condition called patellar luxation, which means their kneecaps aren't connected to their thighbones, and can eventually lead to arthritis.

This ailment could either be a hereditary condition, or the consequence of too much physical activity, such as frequent jumping.

They're also are more likely to have dental problems, due to having such a tiny jaws, which can lead to overcrowding in their mouth.

The pooches are also prone to seizures and cardiac and eye disease.

5. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are loyal and intelligent companions that are frequently trained as sniffer dogs for grievous items such as bombs or contraband.

However, since these canines are overbred, serious health conditions may appear later in their lives. They can suffer from hereditary hip dysplasia, which means their hip socket doesn't entirely cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone. This could eventually lead to these dogs developing arthritis or a limp.

German Shepherds can also be susceptible to degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disorder that causes damage to the spinal cord. Sadly, this is an untreatable disease which will result in paralysis.  

6. Pug

Even though pugs can live a long and healthy life, it's crucial to remember what health ailments this breed is prone to.  

Their flat face can lead to breathing problems, which can cause snoring problems, especially in hot or humid weather.  

They also gain weight faster than any other pooches, and should be walked at least once a day to avoid being overweight.

On a more serious note, pugs can suffer from encephalitis, which is a brain infection that is exclusive to this dog breed and has a 1.2% fatality rate.

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Made famous by King Charles II of England, due to these affectionate pooches' genetic makeup, they are prone to some serious health conditions, including heart disease.

"While they are crowd pleasers, these adorable dogs are predisposed to a multitude of serious medical conditions, including heart disease. A genetic mutation in Cavaliers can lead to mitral valve heart disease and heart failure at a young age," Lands explained.

"If there is suspicion of heart disease, following up with a veterinary cardiologist to perform an echocardiogram is a must," he added.

They can also have eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and suffer from epilepsy, and liver disease. Their owners must make sure they clean out a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's ear on a regular basis to avoid any potential ear infections.

8. Yorkshire Terrier

Primarily known for their long, silky coats and temperamental attitude, Yorkshire Terriers are the third most popular dog breed in the US.

However, these canines are predisposed to having digestive problems due to their tiny frame - so their owners should diligently watch what they eat.

They are more likely to have a tracheal collapse and a portosystemic shunt (PSS), which can decrease their liver function and bring in toxins to their bloodstream. Unfortunately, this can cause a Yorkie to suffer behavioral and neurological problems.

Symptoms for PSS include having poor appetite, the loss of coordination, vomiting, and seizures. At worst this condition can cause this dog breed to go into a coma or even lead to death.

These pooches can also have eye problems, distichiasis (ingrown eyelashes), retinal dysplasia, and cataracts. If they don't receive proper treatment, these diseases can lead to blindness.

Want to learn more about your favorite dog breeds? Take a look at these lighthearted reads:

[H/T: Bustle, Health Line, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest]

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Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com