If you're thinking about welcoming a German spitz into your household, it's a smart idea to soak up as much knowledge as possible about the ebullient and animated breed. The German spitz is a jovial pooch that, while generally robust, does indeed have several typical health problems.
German Spitz Longevity and Exercise
Dogs of the German spitz breed, for the most part, tend to be healthy. They also tend to have longevity on their side, according to the German Spitz Club of Great Britain. With proper diet, care and attention from their owners, these bright dogs often live to be anywhere from 10 to 15 years in age. Regular exercise is vital for these dogs, although their physical activity needs are comparatively minimal. They usually do well with daily walks.
As far as medical issues go, these spirited pooches sometimes have eye issues, including persistent pupillary membranes, multifocal retinal dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. If you acquire a German spitz and ever notice any hints of eye irregularities, whether loss of eyesight, widening of the pupils or anything else, it's crucial to seek immediate veterinary attention regarding the matter.
Patellar luxation, in which the kneecap isn't situated in its proper position, also occasionally appears in dogs of this breed. This orthopedic disorder is seen frequently in the canine world, not only in the German spitz breed, but also in Pomeranians, Boston terriers and Chihuahuas. If a dog has patellar luxation, he'll display issues with straightening his limbs, which in turn results in problems walking normally. Many dogs with luxating patellas also hobble conspicuously.
Another health ailment that these dogs sometimes experience is idiopathic epilepsy, with abrupt seizures occurring. When epilepsy is idiopathic, its specific causes are uncertain. If a German spitz, or any other dog, suffers idiopathic epilepsy and the condition remains ignored, it frequently leads to worsening of the seizures, with the seizures typically becoming more intense and occurring more often.
Other Common Medical Problems
Other medical problems that are common for the German spitz breed include autoimmune disorders and joint issues, according to Margaret H. Bonham, author of the book "Northern Breeds." If you ever notice any symptoms that indicate possible autoimmune or joint issues in your pet, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Regardless of whether your German spitz exhibits signs of health issues, it's essential to take him to the veterinarian for checkups on a regular basis. Adult canines should go to the vet a minimum of once yearly. Owners of middle-aged and elderly pets should aim to take them to the vet two times a year.
- Northern Breeds; Margaret H. Bonham
- German Spitz Club of Great Britain: Health Concerns
- German Spitz Breeders & Owners Club: Is the German Spitz the Right Breed for Me?
- The Complete Burke's Backyard; Don Burke
- Oh My Dog; Beth Ostrosky Stern and Kristina Grish
- PetMD: Seizures (Epileptic) in Dogs
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Wellness Examination in Dogs
- The Dog -- Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health; Linda P. Case