doberman health

What You Need to Know About the Doberman Breed’s Health History

One of the most serious breed-related health problems in the Doberman breed is cardiomyopathy, which causes an enlarged heart. Dobermans suffer from cardiomyopathy more than any other dog breed. The diseased heart muscles become enlarged and weak, making it harder and harder for the heart to pump blood. Eventually affected dogs die from heart failure. Early signs of the disease might include depression, coughing, exercise intolerance, weakness, respiratory distress, decreased appetite and even fainting. However, many dogs with this condition are asymptomatic. To help catch this condition early, you should have your dog examined every year. No dog with cardiomyopathy should ever be bred, however, a puppy of two parents without the disease can still develop it.

Cervical vertebral instability (CVI), commonly known as Wobbler’s disease, is another breed-related condition affecting the Doberman breed. In this condition, the vertebrae in the neck are malformed. This puts pressure on the spinal cord, which leads to weakness in the hindquarters and a wobbly gait. In dogs that are not severely affected, symptoms can be managed to a certain extent, and some dogs may experience some relief from surgery. Sometimes complete paralysis results.

Top Conditions and Diseases for Dobermans

Here’s what you need to know about Doberman health. In general, the Doberman is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

Choosing a Doberman Puppy

To increase the chances that you will be getting a healthy puppy, choose a reputable breeder. Start your search for a good breeder at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America website. Locate a breeder who has agreed to abide by its Code of Ethics. Get your puppy from a breeder who has DPCA Working Aptitude certification for his parents.

Careful breeders screen their dogs for genetic diseases and breed only the best specimens. Still, there are no guarantees that the puppy will not develop one of these conditions despite good breeding practices.

You may also want to consider getting an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group since many Doberman health defects can hide until maturity.

Take your puppy or adult Doberman to the veterinarian soon after you adopt. Your vet will be able to spot signs of potential problems and to help you set up a regimen to help avoid many health risks.

To learn more about the Doberman pinscher breed go to Everything Your Family Needs to Know About the Doberman Breed.