Rottweilers are thought to be aggressive dog breeds. On the contrary to this common notion, Rottweiler temperament is actually very calm and exhibits a loving side. These dogs are naturally funny and very courageous. When one trains the dog to kill, a Rottweiler cannot help but act aggressive. These dogs prove to be good family dogs and even prove to be great companions for older children. They have the ability to change their temperament according to the situation they are in. This means that if the dog feels someone or something is threatening or intimidating, he will give a tough fight to protect and save his family. These active and playful dogs are known for their intelligence as well as fearless courage. But, before you bring one home, it is important that you learn about Rottweiler health problems. This will help you stay prepared for any possible health issues that may plague your pet.
Common Rottweiler Health Issues
In the following paragraphs, we shall learn about some common health issues plaguing the Rottweiler dog breed. However, this does not mean that all dogs are affected by these Rottweiler health concerns. It just indicates that this breed is predisposed to these problems. Your dog may or may not develop either of these conditions. Let's have a look at these problems that will prepare you to take better Rottweiler health care.
Bone and Joint Diseases
Rottweiler dogs are prone to many bone and joint disorders that affect their ability to move. One of the common genetic diseases of the bone is hip dysplasia. This disease causes abnormal hip joint development and causes the dog to limp. A dog can suffer from mild to severe form of the disease. Next, comes elbow dysplasia that is a part of many congenital elbow diseases in dogs. In this condition, the elbow joint is malformed and cartilage is damaged. Thus, it leads to front limb lameness. This condition may affect the dog as early as 4 months of age. Rottweiler puppies may also suffer from 'Wandering Lameness' or panosteitis. This condition occurs when the dog is about 5 to 12 months of age. The disease is characterized by pain and lameness that may shift from one limb to the other. Fortunately, in many cases, the disease is found to be self-limiting by the time the dog is 20 months old.
Heart and Circulatory Problems
One of the major Rottweiler health concerns is aortic stenosis. This is a congenital heart disease that causes the narrowing of the aorta. This makes it very difficult for the heart to pump blood into the body. This causes inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain. Thus, the dog will seem out of breath after a little bit of exercise and may even faint. If left untreated, it will lead to death. Another common inherited Rottweiler health issue is von Willebrand's disease. It leads to bleeding in the dog due to deficiency of plasma protein called von Willebrand factor. This leads to prolonged nosebleed, blood in urine, stools and even presence of bleeding under the skin.
Endocrine System Problems
A Rottweiler may suffer from Addison's disease, which is a common but serious endocrine system disorder. In this condition, the dog suffers from deficiency of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. This hormonal deficiency leads to many functional problems. The initial symptoms of this disorder include vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite. In severe conditions, it may lead to heart arrhythmias and electrolyte imbalance, leading to death.
Rottweiler dogs tend to inherit a few eye problems like cataracts. This condition is usually treated by surgery and if left untreated, it may lead to blindness. Another eye problem seen in Rottweiler dogs is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). In this condition, there is gradual deterioration of the retina. This leads to night blindness and with time, the dog is not able to see during day time as well.
Rottweilers are prone to developing cancers such as cancer of the bone (osteosarcoma). If the dog tends to suffer from bone fractures without any apparent reason, it may indicate cancer. Another cancer that affects Rottweilers is lymphosarcoma. The lymphatic system is affected by this type of cancer. This condition causes the dog to lose his appetite, lose excessive weight and suffer from vomiting and diarrhea. It is very important to make an early diagnosis of cancer, in order to improve the health and control the spread of cancer.
These were a few of the common Rottweiler health problems that may have to be addressed by the pet owner. Rottweilers are healthy dogs, but may fall prey to illnesses. It is important that one takes good Rottweiler care and feeds him good, nutritious food. Make the dog exercise regularly to keep him healthy, active and balance his temperament. Regular check ups with the veterinarian will keep Rottweiler health issues at bay.