20 Most Common Health Issues in Senior German Shepherds

Updated: Aug 17


Get a German Shepherd, they said. It will be fun, they said. Sure. Until he gets older and can't get up from a lying position properly. Or his owner suddenly notices a big hard lump on his shoulder that he could swear wasn't there the day before and then finds out his German Shepherd has Osteosarcoma. Or the poor old dog develops a weird thick, brown substance in his eyes that literally seems to be impeding his ability to see. Does any of that sound familiar to you? If not, and you own a German Shepherd, you should be aware that they risk developing health issues as they age. Heck, health issues and lack of funds to care for them is the number 2 reason for surrendering to Woody's Place Senior German Shepherd Sanctuary. So why is there the potential for older German Shepherds to develop so many health issues? Well, for starters, you may or may not know this, but because of inbreeding early on in the history of the German Shepherd dog, some congenital defects that took place then still persist in the breed even today. A prime example of this would be Hip Dysplasia. Other causes range from the sheer size of the German Shepherd dog and wear and tear on the body to a lifetime of being fed nothing but a commercial dog food diet that is laden with unhealthy byproducts, preservatives, and food coloring, which are most likely nutritionally defiant. And then there's the whole issue in regard to over-vaccinating our dogs and the host of problems that can come with that which range from autoimmune diseases to cancer. And last but certainly not least, our dog's lives h