German Shepherds Are Prone to Cancer: Tips to Prevent It

German Shepherds Are Prone to Cancer

Our beloved pets are not above medical problems. Like humans, they may have allergies and may acquire diseases or illnesses such as cancer. Certain pets are prone to cancer, especially in dogs. German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) are a well-known and favorite breed that are excellent guard and family dogs and are great with both children and adults. However, German Shepherds are prone to cancer and rank high on the disease scale. There are some things you can do and watch, though, to help protect your Shepherd and assist them to live a long and happy life. 

German Shepherds are prone to cancer and rank high on the disease scale but there are things you can do to help protect your dog.

Types of Canine Cancer

 Several types of cancers are common with German Shepherd Dogs. They are: 

  • Tumors in the abdominal area – common yet difficult to detect
  • Neck or head cancers – prevalent in many breeds and immediate treatment is usually needed
  • Lymphoma – enlarged lymph nodes on the dog
  • Skin tumors – should be tested and treated by your veterinarian if you feel or see one
  • Testicular or Ovarian cancer – can occur largely in dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered

Signs of Cancer in Your Dog

Often, your dog will show signs of feeling ill. Knowing your dog’s habits and behaviors can help you detect symptoms. There are unusual signs to watch for that could potentially lead to an early cancer diagnosis, such as:

  • Trouble eating, drinking or swallowing. It could also include lack of appetite and disinterest in food.
  • Not wanting to run, play, or exercise; extreme lethargy and no stamina
  • Abrupt weight loss
  • Sores that appear that don’t seem to heal, or swelling or abnormal growths that have appeared
  • Labored breathing and problems voiding or urinating.

Preventative Methods

Cancer can be detected in the early stages to offer your pet a better chance of recovery. Detecting cancer early offers your dog the best chance at survival and seems to be the most preventative course of action. There are many ways to see if your German Shepherd has, or could potentially have cancer. Annual blood tests and x-rays are a good idea; or if there is a greater chance of disease, get biopsies be done as well. These procedures added to your annual vet visit may be an efficient and preventative form of cancer treatment.

It is also significant to note that testicular and ovarian cancers can be avoided if your German Shepherd is neutered or spayed, preferably while they are still young.

Cancer Treatments

A cancer diagnosis does not mean a death sentence.  Modern medicine, including veterinary medicine, has vastly improved, and efficient treatment methods exist. Each dog is different and is affected by cancer differently as well. Tailored treatment and customised plans can be created to suit your German Shepherd and its treatment needs.  Treatment can include radiation, chemotherapy, hyperthermia, cryosurgery, immune-therapy, surgery, or a combination of these methods.

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Holistic methods can be used as well with natural remedies that help your dog in a well-rounded experience.  Holistic methods combine physical and emotional assistance during treatment to help your pet’s physical healing while also keeping them happy.  You can communicate to your vet to see what is best for your GSD.

Beloved German Shepherd Dogs 

German Shepherds are amazing family pets.  They can endure the hugs of children and greet their adult owners with wagging tails every day.  Although German Shepherds are prone to cancer, their chances of survival have increased over the years, particularly if caught early.  The best method of prevention is consistent, quality care and vet visits.  Monitoring for cancer is effective and can allow the disease to be detected early and quickly. It will allow for treatment to be administered and can help fight and get rid of the disease.


Why German Shepherds Are Prone to Cancer and How You Can Prevent It

Sarah Jones writes for the Crazy Pet Guy.Guest Writer Bio: Sarah Jones writes for the Crazy Pet Guy. In this space, she shares information on how to get to know your pets better in order to help them live a happy, healthy life.

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9 thoughts on “German Shepherds Are Prone to Cancer: Tips to Prevent It”

  1. i had to put my 7 year old beloved german shepard down six months ago because of cancer of the urinary tract after i spent 8,ooo dollars trying to save hi i had to let hi go ,they done two biopsies both positive and told me that the cancer spread quickly ,. a very sad day for our family , all i have now are his ashes my research tells me that my next dog wont be eating dog food from china im heartbroken ,. vince danagher

  2. hello ,I have lost my German Shepard of 7 years today and his name was Baron lost him to cancer it hurts like hell because they are good with family very loyal and protect your family and very smart high energy dogs and they love to go on walks and places with you am hurting right now very much but I pray for him and one day see him on the other side of heaven yes if your looking for a all around dog that your family will love get you a German Shepard Thanks to all

  3. I just lost my dog Skye Hope. She just celebrated her 1 year birthday and she began showing signs of being sick. She was taken in for surgery after they found a large mass by ultrasound. When the surgeon got in there she was septic and I couldnt save her. I had to put her down. I couldnt believe this was happening to me again how could I be losing a dog again I just put my rottie to sleep not even a year ago because she had lymphoma stage 5B by the time we found it. I was devastated. I was just beating my head trying to figure out what this could be so I took her to Purdue University for a necropsy. Early findings are stating she might also have passed because the mass was lymphoma. Still waiting on the final answer but I just cant understand why this is happening to me.

  4. We lost our sweet Sadie Lady two months ago on her 9th birthday. She was diagnosed with a mass on her spleen that had ruptured and was bleeding into her abdomen. I read all warning signs and she had none … she played ball and was active until the day before she died. She ate and did all the things she had always done. It was a shock and we are definitely not over it. We are looking to get a GSD pup and I am scouring the internet for preventive measures and diet to ensure … or at least do the best we can … to give this baby the best shot possible.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about Sadie Lady. It’s so tough to see them go. I lost my Star a couple years ago at the age of 14 and I still think of her and miss her so very often. There’s something so special about a German Shepherd Dog, isn’t there? I would love to get another one too, but don’t know if I will. All the best in your search for a GSD puppy and wishing you and her many, many years together. Peace

  5. German Shepherds were so over bred for so long with no regard their health, that they are prone to so many ailments. They are also prone to allergies, hip dysplasia, and degenerative diseases.

    Baymax has allergies to chicken and grains, and we’ve been advised to avoid all poultry just to be safe. I worry about what diseases he could develop as he gets older 🙁

    • Hi, Mila. I’m so happy to see you here. I hope Baymax will live a long and healthy life with you. He’s such a beautiful dog. My Star lasted 14 years, but not without a great amount of hardship towards the end. All the best, Mia.

      • Oh yes! I check in at least once a week to check out new stuff! I love animals, and I learn so much here! I’m especially drawn to the dog articles (^_^)

        14 years is great! I hope Baymax makes it that long. I lost my Black Lab, Moxie, at 12 and 1/2, and even 5 years later it still feels like too soon. The worst thing about dogs is that they don’t live as long as we do 🙁


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