The Newfoundland dog has a gentle nature and impressive strength. Their webbed paws and remarkable lung capacity enable them to swim for long distances with little effort. They are also generally healthy, but if you want to learn more about possible health problems with this breed, keep reading as we list several issues that you will want to look out for to help keep your pet healthy.
The 10 Newfoundland Dog Health Conditions
1. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that causes the hip to form incorrectly, which causes it to wear down quickly. It can lead to pain, swelling, arthritis, and lameness. Treatment usually involves weight management, medication, and surgery.
2. Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia is similar to hip dysplasia, but it results from the elbow joint not forming correctly. It will cause many of the same problems, including pain, swelling, and difficulty getting up from a resting position. Medication, weight management, and surgery can help slow the progression of the disease.
3. Cardiac Disease
Congestive heart failure is a term that means the heart can’t pump enough blood for various reasons. It can progress slowly, so paying attention to any signs and seeking veterinary help is important. Treatment usually includes weight management, medication, and in some cases, surgery.
Cystinuria is a genetic disorder that affects the kidneys and leads to the formation of cystine bladder stones. It can cause urinary tract issues and blockages. Dogs with cystinuria may require a special diet and medications to manage the condition.
5. Ear Infections
Dogs are more prone to ear infections than humans because of the shape of their ear canals, and the floppy ears of Newfoundlands can hold in dirt and moisture, which creates a good environment for bacteria to grow. Regularly checking and cleaning their ears with a pet-safe ear cleaner can help reduce the risk of infection. If a problem occurs, your vet will likely prescribe medication.
Bloat is a condition in which air in the stomach causes it to expand and press on other organs, cutting off circulation. It’s more common in large breeds and requires immediate veterinary attention, as it can be life threatening.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes recurrent seizures. The cause is unknown but many suspect a genetic connection. Seizures can vary in appearance but usually include stiffening the neck and legs, stumbling and falling over, and drooling uncontrollably. They typically last 30–90 seconds, and your pet may seem confused or disoriented afterward.
8. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that causes progressive vision loss, ultimately resulting in blindness. It causes the cells in the cones and rods responsible for collecting light to disintegrate. Unfortunately, there is no cure, and the dog usually loses vision in 1–2 years.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer especially prevalent in large dogs like Newfoundlands, and they will usually develop tumors on their legs. Small dogs can get them on their spine, pelvis, skull, and ribs. It is aggressive and frequently already spreading when diagnosed. Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, and medication.
10. Bladder Stones
Bladder stones are rock-like formations that appear in the bladder. The stones can block the flow of urine and are painful. If not relieved, the bladder can rupture and is a potentially life-threatening emergency, so schedule an appointment with the vet immediately.
Tips for Keeping Your Newfoundland Healthy
While most Newfoundland dogs are healthy and live 8–10 years on average, they might live longer with proper care and a bit of luck. Hip and elbow dysplasia are the most common health conditions that this breed can have, as these large dogs love to run around and play. Ear infections are also common, as their floppy ears can hold in moisture, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. While the other issues are potential problems, they are much less common. Talk to your vet whenever you’re concerned with your Newfoundland’s health, and get their advice on preventive care.
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