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Leonberger: Typical diseases of the big dog


The Leonberger is a beautiful, large breed of dog with a gentle temper. Unfortunately, like other large breeds, his life expectancy is not very high - he lives on average seven years. Illnesses that occur frequently with Leonbergers can even shorten life. Large dogs like the Leonberger are susceptible to certain diseases - Shutterstock / Jagodka

It is therefore important that you only buy a Leonberger from reputable dog breeders. In this way, many inheritable diseases can be avoided. Proper nutrition in puppy age and loving, responsible rearing can also prevent later health problems.

Diseases of the bones and joints

Large dog breeds often have a pre-stress for bone and joint problems. For example, hip dysplasia (HD) is widespread, which is partly inherited, but partly can also be caused by poor nutrition during the growth phase. Leonbergers who are diagnosed with hip dysplasia are not admitted to breeding to rule out the genetic factor for this disease. In addition, the puppies must not grow too quickly, so they must not be fed too nutritiously and abundantly. Otherwise the risk of later diseases of the joints increases, which includes not only hip dysplasia but also elbow dysplasia (ED).

In addition, bone inflammation is often observed in young, large dog breeds. This so-called panosteitis causes pain and difficulty walking in your dog. Although the cause is unknown, the veterinarian can relieve the symptoms with anti-inflammatory drugs. Fortunately, after a few weeks or at the latest after a few months, the inflammation will heal itself and your Leonberger will be fine. Unfortunately, this does not apply to bone cancer, for which Leonberger can also be susceptible. It is usually discovered late because the animals try to hide their pain until the cancer has spread. If the cancer, which is also called osteosarcoma, is diagnosed early, the affected limbs may be amputated in good time. Then your dog can lead a happy, healthy life with support and regular aftercare.

Leonberger: What you have to pay attention to when purchasing

The Leonberger was created by crossing a Newfoundland dog and a Saint Bernard dog ...

Other diseases with the Leonberger

Leonberger and other large dog breeds are also often predisposed to heart failure, especially dilated cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle becomes ill, so that the blood is no longer pumped properly through the heart chambers. Affected Leonberger should not exercise too hard physically. The disease is not curable, but heart medication from the veterinarian can slow the course and improve the quality of life.

It is also possible that Leonberger will inherit the neurological disease of polyneuropathy (LPN). Breathing problems, difficulty walking and exhaustion may result. Despite its size, you should not feed Leonberger too large portions. He also needs rest and relaxation after eating. Otherwise there may be a stomach rotation - an absolute emergency!