Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in German Shorthaired Pointers, the best dog food diet for feeding German Shorthaired Pointer puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

German Shorthaired Pointer dog breed

German Shorthaired Pointer Health Problems and Raising a German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

The most common health problems in German Shorthaired Pointers:

Blood-clotting diseases are a concern in German Shorthairs, especially von Willebrand's disease, thrombocytopathia, and hemophilia.

Heart disease (subaortic stenosis) has become a concern in the breed, and also epilepsy (seizures).

And then there's cancer, which is a problem in virtually every breed, including the German Shorthaired Pointer. The most common cancers that occur in German Shorthairs are fibrosarcoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphosarcoma. That's quite a few to be worried about.

The eye diseases that Shorthairs are most vulnerable to are cataracts (appearing at 6-18 months old), cherry eye, entropion, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Because of these eye diseases, blind German Shorthaired Pointers are not uncommon.

Hip dysplasia is always a concern in large breeds, but the Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 11,625 German Shorthairs and found less than 5% dysplastic. That's good!

Other orthopedic diseases that can occur include elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis, panosteitis, and occasionally hypertrophic osteodystrophy.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases in the German Shorthaired Pointer include Addison's disease (serious) and hypothyroidism. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of German Shorthairs have low thyroid levels.

As with all deep-chested breeds, German Shorthaired Pointers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Skin diseases include chronic allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma), lupus, demodectic mange, and lick granuloma.

Rare diseases in German Shorthairs are lysosomal storage disease and chondrodysplasia.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR German Shorthaired Pointer?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in German Shorthaired Pointers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a German Shorthaired Pointer puppy who is genetically healthy.
  2. Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy German Shorthaired Pointer puppy or adult dog:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your German Shorthaired Pointer lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your German Shorthaired Pointer
The best diet for feeding your German Shorthair is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your German Shorthaired Pointer. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your German Shorthaired Pointer
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your German Shorthaired Pointer. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy really need? Does your adult German Shorthair need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your German Shorthaired Pointer. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your German Shorthaired Pointer. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female German Shorthaired Pointer.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.