Rottweilers are one of the ten most popular dog breeds as per the American Kennel Club. Despite their reputation as temperamental dogs, Rottweilers are very loyal and family-friendly dogs. They belong to a long lineage of working dogs that are very protective of their family. Rottweilers are mild-tempered and calm if they get trained well, and although they look big, they don’t need a lot of exercise. Rottweilers are known to laze around the house, especially the living room couch.
Rottweilers are prone to many canine health problems. Most of them live up to 8-11 years. Pet parents must be aware of the health issues that are inherent to this breed, and how to mitigate them to increase their life expectancy. Here we are going to discuss some of the canine health issues that Rottweilers are prone to, and are the remedies for them.
Like all pets, Rottweilers are prone to fleas, heart worms, intestinal worms, and other such parasitic organisms. These parasites can cause devastating health problems in the dogs if they are ignored or left untreated. Rottweilers are not affected by fleas directly, but the saliva secreted during flea bites can cause allergies. Fleas are also known to transmit worms. Although fleas are not easily found, even one flea bite can cause severe problems.
Heartworms can cause many health problems and can be potentially fatal for Rottweilers. Heartworms get transmitted through mosquito bites, and even a single worm can multiply into hundreds. Heartworms live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of dogs and other pets. Prevention of heartworms is easy, but the treatment of the disease is complex and expensive. Rottweilers, just like other dogs, are natural hosts for heartworms, and if it is left untreated, the worms will continue to reproduce in their bodies. The disease can cause long term damages to the dog’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels that can cause problems even after the worms are gone.
These parasites can be treated with all-in-one medications, where a single medicine can protect the dog from several types of worms and fleas. Pills like Trifexis chews for large dogs are also much more affordable and convenient than purchasing several medications for each parasite. Trifexis pills can kill heartworm larvae present in the dog’s bloodstream, along with adult intestinal worms. The medicine also kills all adult fleas present on Rottweilers within a few hours.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
A Rottweiler’s eyes are one of its most weak body parts, and they are vulnerable to many eye-related diseases such as visual impairments and cataracts. But what affects them the most is Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The disease affects the photoreceptors in the eye, and it usually starts with night blindness which leads to complete loss of vision over time. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for the disease. But since it can get diagnosed at an early stage, the pet parents can be prepared for the challenges.
The disease creates a partial blockage on the left side of a Rottweiler’s heart, which obstructs the flow of blood. The left ventricle gets restricted to pass blood to the aorta, which is responsible for pumping blood into the dog’s entire body. When the heart faces this complication, it has to work extra to maintain the flow of blood and gets exhausted in the process. Aortic stenosis can cause heart attacks in Rottweilers if the pet parents are not aware of the situation. That is why it is necessary to keep an eye out for the development of the disease from puppy years through regular tests, such as EKG and Doppler Cardiography.
Rottweilers are big, lazy dogs, and that makes them susceptible to the displacement of the thigh bone from the hip joint. The disease can create a myriad of problems, such as strained walking, irregular gait, tenderness, lack of strength in the legs, and immobility in the worst scenario. The disease can be detected in the early stages and parents can get prepared accordingly. The problem can be treated with medication or surgery, depending on the severity of the problem. In most cases, a Rottweiler might develop a gait to support its hip and live a perfectly healthy life even with the disorder.
The elbow joint in Rottweilers can suffer the same complications as the hip joints. Although it doesn’t cause complete dislocation of the bone, it can be painful for the dog. Elbow Dysplasia has similar symptoms to Hip Dysplasia and should get treated according to the severity of the condition. If the disease is painful for the dog, or it is restricting their mobility, surgery can be the only solution.
A recent study showed that cancer is one of the most common causes of death in Rottweilers. Although the exact reasons for cancer in dogs is unknown, cancer is curable if it is detected in the early stages through chemotherapy and surgery. The symptoms may vary between dogs, and the best way to prevent the disease is to take them for regular checkups to monitor the development of any tumors.
Keeping a Rottweiler Healthy
Due to its popularity, Rottweilers are bred a lot, which means that many breeders do not take adequate care during the process. A poorly bred Rottweiler can be at the risk of several health-related issues. That is why it is essential to determine the reputation of a breeder and the conditions of breeding the dogs before choosing a puppy from them. The breeder must be able to provide a complete list of healthcare steps taken during and after the birth of the puppy.
Since Rottweilers are prone to heart and bone-related diseases, getting a balanced exercise is necessary for the breed. Pet parents should not overwork them, but should not let them become lazy and obese. Rottweilers also tend to eat a lot, so giving them moderate amounts of high-quality food is essential for their health. Spaying them can reduce the chances of several types of cancer. Rottweilers are a resilient breed, so taking proper steps for its health can ensure that it lives a long and healthy life.