Unfortunately, Great Danes puppies can encounter health related issues. We explore the more common issues in the tabs on the right as many issues are based on the age range of the Dane. As a general overview the following are common health problems that Great Danes puppies.
Every Great Dane owner should familiarize themselves with this condition. You should pay special attention to the symptoms, recognizing them early and acting fast can save your Danes life.
GDV is very prevalent in Great Danes and other deep chested dogs. It is caused by rapid expansion of gas in the stomach. This gas can cause the stomach to flip over on itself and cut off blood circulation to organs. It is a major killer in Great Danes and if suspected must be acted upon quickly. Prevention is possible but it can and does happen even when prevention is adhered too. It should also be noted that Bloating is not the same as GDV, they are two separate stages of the same process. It is possible for a dog to bloat without the stomach flipping though this is rare or in most cases in dogs that have had Gastropexy preventative surgery.Symptoms of Bloating
There are many factors that can cause Bloat. We wont go into all of them here but if you would like to read more about the causes of bloat this is a great article on bloating in Great Danes. The main causes believe to be involved are stress, size of meals and exercise directly after eating. Genetics are also a main factor, which is another reason we recommend show breeders if buying a puppy. Because they know the line, they will be able to tell you if there is a history of bloating in the family. Some will choose not to breed those with high prevalence.Prevention of Bloat
There are a few things you can do to minimize bloating and GDV. You should adhere to these rules strictly to lower the chances of bloat as much as possible.
There is a study out there from Purdue university that seems to debate the age old theories on bloat. I will link it here for your perusal. I will also link Linda's (The Great Dane Lady) rebuttal to the study. You can decide for yourself. DYHAS believes that stress and genetics are the key factors in bloat... the rest is a mystery that we feel has not been thoroughly disproven or proven which is what makes Bloat so scary.Purdue Study
1cc. = 1000mg
1.5cc. = 1500mg
Give 10 gelcaps = 1640mg Simethicone or give 1.5cc. (if liquid) Simethicone
Repeat process if you do not see a change or if dog vomits up first administration. GET TO THE VET!!! (Chances are the Simethicone will stave off the bloat if its in initial stages and the dog might be ok by the time you get to the vets office, but don't take that chance. If the Simethicone doesn't work, you will have wasted precious time getting to the vet while you waited for it to kick in. Administer and get to the vet ASAP.Quick note about Great Dane Gastropexy
Anytime you undergo surgery with a Great Dane it is considered dangerous. For some reason, Great Danes, perhaps due to their size can have issues with anesthesia. We recommend limiting surgeries or combining such surgeries with other necessary ones such as spay or neutering.
We just recently went through Gastropexy surgery with Hank while he was being neutered We read quite a lot of stories about gastropexy, some which do not recommend you do it, and some that do. So it was really with a heavy heart that we decided to go forth with the procedure. That being said though the main reason we did is because we are lucky enough to have access to one of the greatest veterinarian schools in the world at "The Ohio State University". They are simply amazing there and I had witnessed first hand the miracles they can work when they saved my sisters Great Pyrenees through complex spinal surgery.
Going into the consultation with the surgeon I really wanted to go the newer route of "non-invasive" which involves using laparoscopy with several smaller cuts. However, the surgeon explained to me that while she had done several hundred laparoscopy surgeries that in fact it is not better than the regular procedure unless you plan to show your dog (due to smaller scars). This is because instead of one incision, three must be made. One incision is for the laparoscopy, one for the instruments, and one for a tube that pumps nitrogen into the body cavity. In addition, the laparoscopy takes up to an hour longer, which means this is an hour longer the dog is under sedation. We decided to go with the regular procedure because of this, even though the cost was the same. We were very happy with the results. The incision is large and looks scary, but it healed up very well within two weeks.
To me, it is worth the piece of mind and the safety of the dog, but only if you can find a surgeon who has a good deal of experience doing it. Our last Dane Titan did not have it, and luckily never bloated, but I can tell you I was constantly vigilant of bloating with him. While Hank can still bloat, I know that the chances of it turning life threating are much slimmer now.
Wobblers affects younger Great Danes usually between 1-3 years of age.tOSU is currently doing an extensive study on Wobbler's in Great Danes and Dobermans. What is wobbler syndrome?
There are some great advances in Wobblers. Check out this inspirational video of something called the Ivivi collar
Among these types of cancer are osteosarcoma, lymphoma, and hemangiosarcoma We will discuss each in detail below.
Osteosarcoma or in la-mens terms, bone cancer is the more prevalent cancer you will see in Great Danes. This is because of the extremely long bones and rapid growth rates of those bones. This is also why nutrition at an early age is so very important for Great Danes. Genetics also play a key role in bone cancer in Great Danes. Another reason to buy from reputable breeders. It can affect Great Danes from as early as 1-2 years throughout the course of their lives.Causes of Osteosarcoma
Genetics is thought to play a key role in the contraction of this cancer. In addition, nutrition, particularly calcium intake can attribute to the disease. Other causes include environmental such as exposure to cancer causing agents in certain insecticides, fertilizers, etc.Synopsis of Osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma affects most large breed dogs. Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, Rottweilers, etc. can all be affected by this terrible disease. It is considered highly malignant and particularly aggressive. It most preventively targets the long bones in the dogs legs. There is also a correlation between spay and neutered Great Danes and the prevalence of Osteosarcoma. DYHAS does not recommend spaying or neutering a Great Dane until after at least 1 year old. It is thought that hormones play a key role in bone development so removing those hormones at an early age can affect bone development.Symptoms of Osteosarcoma in Great Danes
Symptoms generally start out as leg pain and can affect both back and front legs and shoulders. Front legs are considered more dangerous as it can spread faster to the shoulder and soft tissue areas in the chest cavity. In advanced stages the area will be sore and feel hot to the touch.Treatment of Osteosarcoma in Great Danes
Treatment should be begin with a trip to the vet on first signs of lameness. It is imperative that the disease be caught early to maximize survivability. Treatment may consist of Chemotherapy, Radiation, Amputation or a combination of those treatment depending on the aggressiveness of the tumor. Newer forms of treatment include stereotactic radiosurgery such as that being performed at the University of Florida. Factors need to be considered to treatment options such as age, cancer stage, etc. and should be discussed with your vet to determine the best course of action. This disease is, like other aggressive cancers, quite awful and unfortunately you may need to make that dreadful decision of Euthanasia. This is something you should discuss with involved parties such as your family and vet to determine the correct course of action.Additional Osteosarcoma Resources
Lymphoma is life threating cancer that Great Danes can contract. Like Osteosarcoma the outlook is often dim and when the signs show it is often too late. Little is known about how a dog contracts lymphoma but it is thought Genetics play a large role along with environmental factors such as herbicides.Symptoms of Lymphoma in Great Danes
General signs of Lymphoma are depression, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, loss of hair or fur and vomiting. There are several different kinds of lymphoma but the most prevalent is Multicentric Lymphoma which presents with enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, jaw, armpits, or groin area.Treatment of Lymphoma in Great Danes
If you feel lumps on your dog in any of the aforementioned areas you need to see the vet immediately. Prognosis is usually achieved via a biopsy of affected area. If the diagnoses is positive than you will have some tough decisions to make, not unlike Osteosarcoma. Chemotherapy is usually the preferred treatment method. Even with Chemo, remission is usually short lived.Lymphoma Resources
Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant cancer that arises from the cells lining blood vessels. It most commonly arises as one or more tumors in the spleen, liver or heart, but can also be found as a primary tumor in the skin or bone.
My first Dane, Titan was lost to Hemangiosarcoma, or so we believe he was. It came on very sudden over the course of a couple of weeks before he ultimately succumbed to it, even after surgery to remove it off his skin. Shortly after removal of a skin nodule he developed more and got to a point where we had to make that fateful decision. Titan passed just two days before his 11th birthday on Dec. 22cd. You can read more about Titan in the "About" section of the site.Causes of Hemangiosarcoma in Great Danes
The cause is unknown, though it is more prevalent in large breed dogs. It is most likely genetic or environmental.Symptoms of Hemangiosarcoma in Great Danes
Sudden weakness is a key sign of this cancer. The onset is usually quite rapid. With Titan, we noticed he did not want to go up or down the stairs anymore and when he did he seemed to have a lot of trouble. It was shortly after that we began seeing the lumps on and under his skin. This disease can cause the vessels to pop and internal bleeding follows. When this happens death can occur within an hour.Treatment of Hemangiosarcoma in Great Danes
Treatment for the skin variation is limited. By the time the dog presents with tumors, the cancer has already traveled through the bloodstream. Even know as I write this I remember how very quickly things went downhill. Unfortunately there is not much more I can add about this terrible cancer.Hemangiosarcoma Resources
Panosteitis or PANO as it is more commonly called is a self limiting and the least threatening of the bone diseases that puppies can contract. In effect, PANO is really just Growing pains. PANO can affect Great Danes until their growth plates close between 1.5-2 years of age.Symptoms of Pano in Great Danes include:
In most cases PANO is simply part of the Great Dane growing process. Nutrition may be a factor in some cases but for the most part it is simply the process of such large bones and growth plates going through their natural aging process.Treatment of PANO
Pano is a self limiting disease in that it will heal on its own. If you feel your Dane is experiencing Pano, you should limit his exercise and motion. In general PANO can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Heart disease known clinically as DCM is another ailment that could effect you're great Dane. DCM usually occurs in middle-late age Great Danes. It is a condition by where the myocardium of the heart is stretched and can no longer pump blood efficiently. The blood can begin to "backup" most usually in the lungs. DCM affects many different large breed dogs.Causes of DCM in Great Danes
The causes remain unclear. Most believe it is genetically linked.Symptoms of DCM in Great Danes
Usually the signs are not seen by owners until congenital failure presents. Some early warning signs can include:
Unfortunately there is no cure and not much that can be done for a Dane with DCM in the long term. General treatment consists of using several medications to prolong the life of the dog and make their quality of life better. Digoxin is often prescribed to help strengthen the heart and Lasix can help with fluid build up in the lungs. There are several homeopathic remedies that you may wish to try. The Great Dane Lady offers a package of several homeopathic ingredients that can help a Dane with DCM. I have seen her products work first hand on other health issues so I place some stock in her advice.DCM Resources