Most common health problems in German Shorthaired Pointers, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your German Shorthaired Pointer

If you want to AVOID health problems in your German Shorthair, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your German Shorthair already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


German Shorthaired Pointer dog breed

German Shorthaired Pointer Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of German Shorthaired Pointer health problems

A number of serious eye diseases, especially hereditary cataracts, cause blindness in German Shorthairs.

Heart disease has become a concern in the breed – also epilepsy and blood-clotting diseases. Cancer is a problem in virtually every breed, including the German Shorthair.

German Shorthaired Pointers are at higher-than-normal risk for an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat, which can kill a dog within hours.

Hip and elbow dysplasia occur in German Shorthairs, but at low rates. Breeders are doing a good job of X-raying and certifying the hips and elbows of their breeding stock. These orthopedic diseases cause pain and lameness and predispose the dog to early arthritis.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your German Shorthaired Pointer have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, heart disease, hip and elbow dysplasia, your German Shorthair has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your German Shorthaired Pointer, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your German Shorthaired Pointer puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


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

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


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your German Shorthair
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your German Shorthaired Pointer. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your German Shorthair
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 some vets aren't telling you.


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


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


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.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of German Shorthaired Pointer health problems

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 17,000 German Shorthaired Pointers and found onl 4% dysplastic. That's good! Of 2800 elbow X-rays, only 1% was dysplastic.

Other orthopedic diseases that can occur include 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.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.