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Learn about Saint Bernard diseases



Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the St. Bernard is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.

  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain and lameness.

  • Elbow dysplasia is the abnormal development of certain parts of the elbow joint during the growing phase.

  • Ruptured cranial cruciate ligament is a problem that results from tearing of the cruciate ligament in the knee, causing lameness that may be severe .

  • Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that typically arises in the bones of the limbs, or the appendicular skeleton.

  • Lateral patellar luxation is a disorder affecting the kneecap.

  • Congenital deafness present at birth.

  • Hot spots are areas of itchy moist skin irritation.

  • Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that develops between the ages of 2 and 5 years.

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.

  • Pyoderma refers to deep skin infections.

  • Cutaneous asthenia - is an inherited disorder of the collagen synthesis the skin resulting in fragility and hyperextensibility of the skin.

  • Lymphosarcoma (lymphoma) is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system.

  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.

  • Ectropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes eversion of the eyelid margin. It most commonly affects the lower central eyelid.

  • Cherry eye is a prolapse of the third eyelid. Though not a serious injury and does not cause blindness, the prolapse can be irritating to the surface of the eye and cause persistent tearing or eye pain.

  • Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to loose transparency and can result in blindness.

  • Vaginal hyperplasia an exaggerated response of the vaginal tissue to estrogen during certain phases of the heat cycle. The vaginal tissue becomes swollen and may protrude through the vulva.

    Life Span

    The life expectancy of the St. Bernard is approximately 8 to 10 years.


    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.









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