A Saint Bernard dog is a delight to have. It is one of the best breeds of dogs in the world. It is large, playful and sociable. The Saint Bernard is very quiet indoors and values his own space and privacy. Since this dog is a large one, there is a need to take him to regular walks for his exercise. This allows him to stretch out and play around. The Saint Bernard loves playing in snow and pulling sleds and cars, which is a lot of fun.
The Saint Bernard is a healthy breed but it has its own health issues as well. Some of the health conditions start out when the dogs are still puppies while some develop illnesses when the dogs get older.
Here are some of the health problems of a Saint Bernard dog: 1. Patellar Luxation This health condition is mostly present among Saint Bernard puppies. It is characterized by limping, the hind leg help up and the back leg cannot be straightened. This condition is caused by the misalignment of tendons and weak ligaments. Patellar Luxation is very common among puppies since they are still developing strength in their legs.
2. Hip Dysplasia This health condition usually starts when the dogs are still young puppies. It is characterized by hind end limping and a lame back leg. The femur fits poorly on the pelvic socket and the improper rotation can cause great pain. This can give your Saint Bernard difficulty in walking. Puppies have hip dysplasia if you notice that they are hopping like rabbits or hesitate to go up and down the stairs.
3.Gastric Torsion This condition is called Twisted Stomach or Dog Bloat. The symptoms of this health condition among Saint Bernard dogs are excessive drooling, weakness, nervousness, bulging stomach, vomiting attempts, agitation, gagging, heavy breathing and retching. The condition can cause total collapse of the dog. This is most common among large dogs like the Saint Bernard.
4. Elbow Dysplasia Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition can be present among Saint Bernard puppies. The elbow joints (front legs) become lame when the puppies reach 1 year old. There has been no cure to this condition but veterinarians have some ideas on how to manage the symptoms.
First, you can put the puppies on a diet to keep his weight normal. Second, you can use anti-inflammatory medicine on the puppies so the elbow joints do not swell. Lastly, you can try looking into stem-cell injections to help regenerate the bone cartilage.
5.Osteosarcoma Osteosarcoma is leg bone cancer which is common among large breed dogs like the Saint Bernard. The disease develops as the dog gets older. The dog will be under excruciating pain because the disease is destroying the bones inside and out. The dog will be unable to walk for about 3 months because of the tumor. There are no cures for cancer and the only way to relieve your dog from this condition is to mutilate the affected leg.
When buying Saint Bernard puppies or breeding them on your own, always seek the help of a veterinarian to check if the Saint Bernard puppies are in good condition. This will help you prevent further health problems in the future.