Common Health Issues in Rottweilers

Sweet and gentle Rottweilers are a working dog breed that has a life span of 8 to 10 years. Adult Rottweilers grow to the height of 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 75 to 110 pounds or more. Like every dog breed Rottweilers are prone to a variety of health issues that every dog owner should know about. Learning more about the common health issues will help dog owners be prepared ahead of time for any medical emergency.

·        Progressive Retinal Atropy – This condition is also referred to as PRA by veterinarians. It is a group of eye diseases that negatively affect the retinal cells in both eyes. This first sign of this condition is night blindness. The disease can either have a rapid or slow progression. Rottweilers that are affected by PRA will usually experience it within the ages of two to five years. While there is no cure or treatment at this time for PRA, Rottweilers have the ability to use their other senses to continue living happy lives.

·        Cataracts Rottweilers can suffer from juvenile cataracts and become affected younger than six years old. They are also predisposed to developing cataracts as adults. Surgery is often a recommendation by veterinarians to solve the condition.

·        Von Willebrand’s Disease –This disease is inherited from the parents and ancestors of the dog. It is a common bleeding disorder that is caused by a plasma protein deficiency known as the von Willebrand factor. Bleeding may appear in stool and urine as well as under the skin and in the nose. Most cases of VWD are mild and lessen over time.

·        Aortic Stenosis Rottweilers can suffer from severe to moderate forms of this congenital heart disease. It is caused by the narrowing of the aorta. The narrowing is due to tissue similar to scaring under the aortic valve ultimately causing difficulty for the heart to pump blood forward to the body.

·        Panosteitis –This condition commonly affects Rottweilers puppies between the ages of 5 and 12 months. It usually occurs in rapid growing puppies that are large. Symptoms include lameness in the legs that can shift from side to side. Luckily this disease is usually out grown as the dog grows and becomes about 20 months old.

·        Hip Dysplasia –This disease is genetic and can range from mild to severe in Rottweilers. Hip Dysplasia is characterized by abnormal hip joint development. Symptoms include favoring one leg, limping and whimpering due to discomfort.

·        Elbow Dysplasia –This condition is due to malformation of the elbow joints that causes the cartilage and bone to become damaged over time. Rottweilers are predisposed to Elbow Dysplasia. Symptoms include lameness of the front limbs that can begin as early as four months of age.

Although Rottweilers are predisposed to a variety of health ailments it shouldn’t deter dog owners from welcoming one into their home. Not all Rottweilers will suffer from health conditions, but if they do, dog owners will want to feel confident that they will easily be able to pay vet and medical bills during diagnosis and treatment. Potential dog owners of Rottweilers should be prepared for any health ailment to arise and to be treated immediately.

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