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Quick Health Check of Your German Shepherd

By D. Caroline Coile

Part of German Shepherds For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To ensure a lifetime of good health for your German Shepherd, spend a few minutes checking for these signs of a potentially dangerous health situation. If you see any of these signs on your German Shepherd, a trip to the veterinarian is in order:

  • General: Lameness, lack of coordination, asymmetry of muscles, weight change, bloated abdomen, swelling, coughing, gagging, lethargy, increased aggression, appetite, or water consumption

  • Mouth: Red, bleeding, swollen, or discolored gums; loose or dirty teeth; sores of the tongue or gums; bad breath

  • Eyes: Squinting, discharge, cloudiness, discolored whites, unequal or unresponsive pupils

  • Ears: Bad odor, redness, debris, crusted tips, head shaking or tilting, ear scratching

  • Nose: Thick or colored discharge, crusted top

  • Feet: Abrasions, split nails, swollen or misaligned toes

  • Anal region: Redness, swelling, discharge, tracts; also scooting or licking of the area, black or bloody stool

  • Genitals: Mammary or testicular changes, discharge from penis or vulva, changes in urine or urination

  • Skin: Parasites, hair loss, crusts, red spots, lumps, sores