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Bernese Mountain Dog: Health and Diseases


The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very popular breed with its gentle, good-natured nature. Unfortunately, its size means that it often has health problems and its life expectancy is low compared to other dogs. Diseases affecting the joints are particularly troublesome for the Bernese. Unfortunately the Bernese Mountain Dog is quite susceptible to various diseases - Shutterstock / Lebedeva Olga

The following tips will help you take better care of the health of your Bernese Mountain Dog and prevent preventable diseases. It is important that you only buy your Bernese Mountain Dog from a reputable, responsible breeder. He takes care to avoid hereditary diseases that are typical of this breed, if possible. In addition, the puppies grow up lovingly and appropriately with good breeders, so that the risk of later behavioral problems is very low.

Bernese Mountain Dog: health and life expectancy of animals

The average life expectancy for the Bernese Mountain Dog is only six to eight years. However, they can contribute to his health, so that his life is as long and beautiful as possible. For example, avoid being overweight by feeding your Bernese appropriately and keeping him physically busy according to his options. High quality food generally has a major impact on the lifespan and quality of dogs (and other living things). In order for your four-legged friend to keep his happiness, he also needs mental activity.

If your Bernese Mountain Dog is getting older, regular check-ups at the veterinarian are advisable. In this way, any chronic diseases can be identified early and treated better. If you have the impression that your dog is behaving differently than usual, appears weaker or seems to be in pain, do not hesitate to go to the vet with him. The same applies to acute health problems: the sooner they are discovered, the greater the chances of a cure.

HD, ED and Co .: joint diseases in the Bernese Mountain Dog

Like most large dog breeds, Bernese mountain dogs are also prone to hip dysplasia (HD) and elbow dysplasia (ED). Dysplasias are malformations of the skeleton, in which the thigh bones are insufficiently located in the socket and cannot find adequate support there. Hip dysplasia refers to the hind legs, elbow dysplasia to the front legs. In addition to a genetic predisposition, possible causes include rapid growth, incorrect strain in the first months of life and food that is high in calories. Obesity can make these diseases worse.

The Bernese Mountain Dog can also suffer from a skeletal development disorder called osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD). This is an inherited disorder in which the cartilage tissue of young dogs does not ossify properly.

Bernese Mountain Dog: The Big One from Switzerland

Renal insufficiency in Bernese mountain dogs

Many dogs suffer from renal insufficiency in old age, but the Bernese Mountain Dog appears to be susceptible to developing it at a younger age. Pay attention to symptoms such as bad breath, loss of appetite, increased thirst and fatigue. Inflammation in the mouth, increased urge to urinate and vomiting can also indicate kidney failure. If you are suspected, you should see a veterinarian as soon as possible so that the course of the disease is delayed and the quality of life of your four-legged friend can be improved.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Prone to Cancer?

Sadly, the Bernese Mountain Dog is quite susceptible to cancer and tumors. Especially the cancer form "malignant histiocytosis" can often be observed in this breed of dog. It can affect the skin and become noticeable through knots under the skin, hair loss and plaque formation. But there is also a generalized form that affects the whole body, especially the liver, lungs and lymph nodes. Affected dogs lose weight, look weak, lose their appetite and have breathing problems.