For many unknown reasons, every dog, cat, or animal has some sort of health issues. However, many of the larger dogs such as St. Bernard, English Mastiff or the Irish wolfhound are more prone to having health problems over the smaller breeds of dogs.
St. Bernard Health Issues
Many times when people go to get a St. Bernard, the health aspect is one thing that is rarely mentioned. In fact, many people don’t want to even mention the possible health issues of the dogs, only because 1) the dog may not have health issues, and 2) it may prevent anyone from buying the St. Bernard.
Whether a person is buying the St. Bernard or they are rescuing it, they should still know what the possible health problems are or could possibly be. Unfortunately, the St. Bernard is prone to have some health issues.
One problem that many St. Bernard dogs has or may get is an autoimmune disease; which may cause large amounts of mortality and debilitating disease in dogs. Within the autoimmune disease, there are three diseases that should be watched for. Those are canine diabetes, immune-mediated thyroiditis and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.
Canine diabetes is when a dog has a deficiency of hormone insulin or insensitivity to it. Diabetes in an animal is not life threatening, however, untreated it can be. When a dog has canine diabetes, they are given a shot of insulin that is a hormone.
When a dog has an immune-mediated thyroiditis it is when the cells in the dogs body starts to attack the cells of the thyroid. In most cases, the dog is given a daily dose of thyroxin; which will make the levels of thyroxin go back to normal.
Lastly, when a dog has hemolytic anemia it is when the immune system destroys red blood cells prematurely, faster than the rate at which new ones can be produced. In most cases when a St. Bernard has hemolytic anemia, provided they don’t die (it is a very life threatening diseases), they are given corticosteroids or other types of medication and in worse cases they are given blood transfusions.
When it comes to hemolytic anemia, there really isn’t anything anyone can do to prevent their St. Bernard or any other dog from getting it! A rather common disease, it is unknown if hemolytic anemia is inheritated or not. One thing for sure, is that it is more common in the female than the male; and is more so in certain breeds.
St. Bernard Pets
When choosing a St. Bernard, you should choose it because you have fallen in love with it, not because of what might or might not happen! In fact, the St. Bernards, despite their health history, are wonderful family pets!