Joint Issues in German Shepherds

Joint issues in German shepherds (GS) are common, especially as the GS ages. The breed is predisposed to joint issues as a result of its conformation and the way it moves.

By understanding the different types of joint issues, their causes, and how they are diagnosed, you can take steps to help prevent them or slow their progression. In this blog, we will discuss different joint issues in German shepherds.

Why Does German shepherd suffer from Joint Issues?

German shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds, but that doesn’t mean that they’re immune from the problems that plague many dogs today. One such problem that German shepherds can suffer from is joint pain and arthritis because the reason behind it is too much inbreeding.

Some of the most popular dog breeds have had a negative effect on dogs in general. The German shepherd is one such breed because so many families are looking to use this species as their household pet. Dog owners will often choose to buy German Shepherds’ puppies from reputable breeders because they look exactly like the dog that they fell in love with, but with this familiarity comes an unfortunate downside.

Common Joint Problem InGerman Shepherd

German shepherds often suffer from a variety of health issues but the three most common joint issues are:

Hip/Elbow dysplasia

The hip and elbow joints are both a cause for concern for Shepherds. Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint fails to develop properly and causes deterioration of cartilage. It can lead to pain, lameness, degeneration of the hip joint, and even arthritis. Elbow dysplasia is similar but develops in the elbow joint instead; it too can cause lameness, arthritis, and discomfort.

There are just a few things dog owners can do to help their German Shepherds cope with the excruciating pain of Hip/Elbow dysplasia. Always provide your pups with a good diet and diet that help reduce inflammation.

Degenerative Myopathy

German shepherd also suffers from another bone-related issue that is degenerative myopathy. This problem will result in weakness of muscle and unsteady gait appearing as the main symptom. You can’t do much about this problem but a good diet and regular exercise can be the remedy to this issue. Degenerative myopathies have a worse effect on the life quality of your pet.


A sudden lameness or change in gait is the first sign of this problem. Diagnosis can sometimes be difficult but is often made in multiple ways including x-ray and motion tests. A cheap way to diagnose this disease faster is by viewing the dog’s reaction to being pinched in the area close to where they feel the pain which will reveal tenderness under the affected area.

The most prominent area where this disease will affect is the humerus, radius, ulna, tibia, and femur of the hind leg. This problem is not much severe and most pups will recover without any extensive medication.


It’s important to understand the different kinds of joint issues in German Shepherds and what could be causing them. We hope that this blog will help you learn more about this issue and help you and your dog live a long and healthy life together.

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