German shepherds health concerns are numerous and can include anal fistula, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease or goat, just to name a few.
But there is nothing more threatening than degenerative myelopthy to this beautiful and magnificent breed of dogs. Can vitamins and minerals help with this condition?
There is no known cure for degenerative myelopthy.
However, there have been some recent breaks in discovery that this condition can now be tested for and discovered before you purchase the pet.
At best, this topic is extremely controversial.
However, there is a lot of evidence and speculation that this condition is caused by deficiencies of nutrients or vitamins, or it may be related to multiple sclerosis in humans.
But no one has yet to find the answer, or a cure.
This dog is one of the strongest and most athletic of all of the dog breeds.
They thrive on any type of challenge, is extremely versatile when properly trained, and can literally do almost anything for its owner.
German Shepherds Health Concerns
They are simply put, magnificent creatures that can be the most loyal friend and companion that you will ever have, including most of your human friends.
However, in fully grasping German shepherds health concerns, everything will start with the breeding of the dog.
You need to thoroughly check out the breeder, and in turn, if it is the right breeder, they will thoroughly check out you, as they sincerely care about this magnificent breed and proper raising of them.
Experienced and professional breeders will be fully prepared and more than capable of answering all of your questions about German shepherds health concerns.
They again will be truly interested in the buyer and will ask specific questions such as why you want a German shepherd, how will you train them, are you willing to spay or neuter them unless you intend to show them, just to name a few.
On the other hand, in dealing with German shepherds health concerns, they should be prepared to offer reference,
They should also give detailed caring and training guidance, but most importantly, provide you with a written contract and a health guarantee and ample time to review the guarantee.
German shepherds health concerns may start with ‘anal fistulas” which can best be described as a formation of an abnormal channel between the anal canal and the skin that surrounds the anus.
There most likely will be a continual discharge of a watery like puss that irritates the dog’s skin and results in itching, a lot of discomfort and pain, and is most likely caused by abscesses.
It is most common in German shepherds and Irish setters, and there are numerous herbs and medications that can help this condition.
The next German shepherds health issue may be pancreatic inefficiency and digesting of foods, a condition that most shepherds inherit.
This condition can best be described as a decrease or an absence of the enzyme that helps the digestive process and is also referred to as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
Most cases are mild and can be treated with digestive aids, but the severest of cases cannot.
Basically what is happening is that your friend is not absorbing the proteins, starches, and fats found in its food through the intestinal wall.
Therefore, most of the food stays in the gastrointestinal tract and is than passed out in the feces as undigested.
This is especially dangerous to your shepherd, as a dog left untreated may eventually starve to death, even though it is constantly eating.
Inflammation of the pancreas is the major cause, and by far and away the most affected of all the dog breeds is the German shepherd.
The signs to watch for with this German shepherd’s health condition will be very obvious and fit into a distinct pattern.
They may start very gradually or come very rapidly, but your dog will show a rapid weight loss and the hair coat will become very terse or quite shabby to the point of being ugly.
This is brought on by strong bouts of diarrhea where the stools are light yellow or clay colored, and you may see undigested fat in the stool.
It may than turn to unnatural eating habits, with your dog eating plants, dirt, or even its own feces. Your pet will act like he is starving to death, because it essentially is.
There is treatment for this German shepherds health issue which is good news. The bad news is that is very expensive and will be a lifelong venture.
It will involve replacing your pet’s pancreatic enzymes with enzymes from other sources, and only a very good veterinarian can properly treat this condition.
Once treated, the costs may range from sixty to one hundred dollars a month for the medications.
Degenerative myelopthy, however, is the largest concern for German shepherd owners. So large a concern, that some people will not consider this magnificent creature because of this disease.
Degenerative myelopthy refers to a spinal cord disorder that result in a widespread loss of myelin and axon. Myelin is an eclectically insulating dialectic material that forms a layer known as the myelin sheath.
Usually, myelin only surrounds the axon of a neuron, and it is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system.
In layman terms, this condition causes nerve damage in your German shepherd, and usually attacks the dog about the average age of 8.
It affects the upper motor neurons to the rear limbs, which basically cripples them, to put it mildly.
There is no known cure for this condition.
However, there is growing speculation that it is related to deficiencies of nutrients and vitamins, and in combination with the possible digestive problems, it may be possibly a loss of nutrients causing this condition.
Corticosteroids and other like immune suppressants have shown to have no long term effect.
However, there is mounting evidence that since certain vitamin supplements do indeed help in the treatment, they may also be of preventive help with this German shepherd’s health issue.
The B-complex of vitamins are water soluble, excess is eliminated through the urine, and help with neural regeneration, and is something every German shepherd should be supplemented with from early age.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and reduces fat oxidation and increases the production of HDL cholesterol. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory nutrient and should be recommended to all
German shepherds based on these facts. There may also be correlation between the fat oxidation and the digestive issues that shepherds face.
Vitamin C works in conjunction with Vitamin E in the regenerate process. Excess is excreted through the kidney.
Dogs, unlike humans, do produce Vitamin C in their body, but under stress may need additional supplements.
A very good veterinarian can give the recommended dosage.
Finally you will need to supplement your German shepherd with Selenium, as it has antioxidant properties similar to Vitamin E.
Although Vitamin E can replace the need for Selenium in your shepherd’s body, Selenium can not replace Vitamin E.
However, it does help Vitamin E to be much more effective, exactly what your shepherd needs.
Selenium, unlike the water soluble vitamins can be toxic, so never give your pet more than 200 mg, and only 100 mg in small dogs.
We are what we eat and what we are supplemented with, and your German shepherd is no different.
This majestic breed of dog has a very high probability of contracting this horrible disease, so anything you as an owner can do from the early stages with building up their system can only increase the odds in their favor.
Something all shepherd owners should consider given the facts.