The Doberman Pinscher (DP) is an intelligent, alert, and loyal dog commanding a level of respect matched by few other breeds. DP’s are predisposed to many diseases though, so careful observation of your pets daily routine is important. Any significant change in this routine is cause for an examination. Our web site in the Diseases Section has detailed information on many of the diseases they are prone to.
DP’s are prone to several heart diseases. The common ones are atrial septal defect and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is serious and prevalent, and should be checked for as your DP ages. Any symptom of lethargy, coughing, poor appetite, or exercise intolerance could be a sign of a heart problem and should be investigated. Our Heart Disease page has details.
Several skin diseases have been reported in Dobies. They are susceptible to bacterial and fungal skin infections, inhalant and food allergies, along with several diseases in which the immune system behaves inappropriately. Symptoms include lots of itching, hair loss, and smelly skin, in addition to chronic ear problems. These can be chronic in nature so early diagnosis and treatment is imperative.
Hormone problems also occur that cause internal disease. The primary one is low thyroid, called hypothyroidism. Symptoms can include weight gain, lethargy, and skin conditions.
They are prone to a large number of cancers that can be of the skin, lymph nodes, reproductive organs or internal organs. Cancer in DP’s can cause many different symptoms, so diligence in checking for any problems in home and prompt examination is imperative
Problems with the red blood cells are not uncommon. This can cause anemia and bleeding disorders (the most common one is called Von WIllebrand’s). Watch for lethargy, easy bruising, limping, or blood in urine or stool. Perform a weekly exam of your DP’s mucus membranes (gums) to make sure they are pink. Our Learning Center located on the Home Page shows you how to do an in-home exam to check for this.
Bloating, known as gastric dilatation-volvulus is a problem to be on the alert for at all times. Your dog might be lethargic, have stringy mucous from its mouth, or quite distended. If you see these symptoms consider this an emergency and get immediate care. We can potentially prevent this when we spay a female by tacking down part of the stomach.
Eye problems can occur at many different ages. Some involve the eyelids while others involve the internal structures of the eye. In some cases symptoms are apparent, while others need a thorough ophthalmic exam.
A kidney problem can occur starting as early as one year of age. Pets with this problem might be drinking and urinating more than usual. Early care is important due to the chronic nature of this disease.