GSDs, like many dogs, encounter a number of health issues. We are listing some here for your information. This information is not intended to take the place of regular check-ups with your veterinarian nor should it be used to diagnose your dog.
There is a yahoo group for those with DM that’s very helpful. They’ve been around since 2003 and have a lot of resources and experience.
They’ve listed the following websites where medical and additional information can be found:
German Shepherd Dogs can suffer from stress
Strongheart, the “wonder dog”, was a German Shepherd whose story was published in 1926. Like his predecessor, Rin Tin Tin, he was a movie star in the 1920s and ’30s. In their films, these brave dogs caught clever criminals, delivered messages across war-ravaged battlefields, and fought wild animals without faltering. Nothing stressed them. These dogs did not tremble in animal shelters, nor whimper and pace when introduced into unfamiliar homes. They did not run and hide when thunderstorms rolled over the rooftops, or fire crackers popped like artillery on the Fourth of July. They were known as “police dogs” and their offspring populated books and TV programs for many years. Thus, it is not surprising that many people formed the impression that German Shepherds do not suffer from stress.
Recognizing stress in a dog is not difficult, for the symptoms are remarkably similar to those in humans: whining, hiding, drooling, lip licking, dilated pupils, repetitive behaviors, lack of bowel or bladder control, and aggression, such as biting or growling. Understanding the causes is also not difficult: traumas through accident or mistreatment, physical restraint, confinement, improper diet, change of routine, noise, rough handling, unwanted interactions, such as with aggressive people or other dogs, and separation, to name the most obvious. Boredom is also a stressor, often overlooked because it is so common.
What to do with a stressed dog is the challenge. There are dogs pre-disposed to anxiety because of genetics, dogs who have been traumatized over time, and dogs distressed by a specific situation that, once relieved, quickly regain their equanimity, such as Schatzi. In most cases, time and love can work wonders. With storm phobia or separation anxiety, medication may prove helpful, but, overall, kindness and patience are the preferred medicines.
The recommendations for stress reduction are (surprise!) beneficial for every dog. Be the leader of the pack, even if it’s a pack of two. Set boundaries. Socialize your dog to new experiences, take long walks together, play ball, provide a variety of toys to engage the dog’s attention, and take dog obedience classes. These activities will promote confidence in your dog so that one day your anxious dog may feel like Strongheart, ready for whatever lies ahead.
Flea and Tick Information
Lyme Disease This is very common in New England. Dogs get Lyme disease from a tick that passes bacteria into the animal’s bloodstream when it bites. The tick must remain attached to the animal’s skin for at least one day before the bacteria can be transmitted.
Dogs and Ticks Thousands of dogs contract Lyme disease, canine Ehrlichiosis, canine Anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever every year, and despite simple testing, prevention and treatment options, many dog owners never realize their pets are suffering from these debilitating diseases.
Map of Lyme Disease This interactive map shows Lyme and Heartworm throughout the US. Take a look at how MA stacks up to the rest of the country when it comes to Lyme!
Babesiosis We learned about a relatively “new” (for up here) tick disease that you all should learn the signs for: it’s called Babeosis, or infection from the Babesia canis tick. The dog we found this in was lethargic, wouldn’t eat much, and had a bad fever.