Newfoundlands, also known as “Newfies,” are gentle giants loved for their calm demeanor and protective nature. However, like all dog breeds, they are susceptible to certain health issues. Understanding these conditions is essential to ensuring a long, healthy life for your Newfoundland. Here are five of the most common health issues in Newfoundlands.
A common condition in large breeds, hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint doesn’t form correctly. This can cause discomfort, limping, difficulty getting up or running, or even arthritis as the dog ages. Obesity can exacerbate the issue, so it’s crucial to maintain your Newfie’s weight and provide regular, low-impact exercise like swimming.
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)
SAS is one of the most common heart diseases seen in Newfoundlands. This congenital condition involves a narrow connection between the left ventricle and the aorta, increasing the heart’s workload. Symptoms may not be noticeable in mild cases. However, in severe cases, you might observe fatigue, difficulty breathing, or fainting. Regular veterinary cardiac screenings are essential, as early detection can improve prognosis.
Newfoundlands are predisposed to Cystinuria, a condition causing the formation of cystine stones in the kidneys, bladder, or ureter. Symptoms include frequent urination, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, or urinary incontinence. If your Newfie seems to be in pain or strains while urinating, seek veterinary help immediately. This condition can be managed through dietary changes and medication.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)
Also known as bloat or stomach twisting, GDV is an emergency condition seen in large, deep-chested breeds like Newfoundlands. The stomach fills with gas and may twist, preventing the gas from escaping and cutting off blood flow. Symptoms include a bloated abdomen, restlessness, drooling, and attempts to vomit without producing anything. GDV is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Hypothyroidism, under activity of the thyroid gland, is common in Newfoundlands. It can lead to various symptoms, including weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, and skin problems. Your vet can diagnose hypothyroidism through blood tests, and it can be easily managed with daily medication.
In conclusion, while Newfoundlands are susceptible to specific health conditions, knowing the signs can help ensure early detection and treatment. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, adequate exercise, and a healthy weight are key factors in your Newfoundland’s overall health. Remember, your Newfoundland relies on you to understand when something is wrong. By recognizing these common health issues, you can ensure a happy and healthy life for your gentle giant.