Most common health problems in Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

If you want to AVOID health problems in your "Swissy", 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 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


Greater Swiss Mountain Dog breed

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Greater Swiss Mountain Dog health problems

This giant breed has a short lifespan (about 7 years) and lots of potential health problems.

The three most common causes of death are cancer, epilepsy, and an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat, which can kill a dog within hours.

The rate of hip dysplasia is very high (18%) in the Greater Swiss. Elbow dysplasia (12%) is worrisome, as well. Affected dogs suffer pain, lameness, and early arthritis. Surgery is very expensive.

Then there are serious eye diseases, heart disease, colitis (inflammatory bowel syndrome), urinary problems....

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hip and elbow dyplasia and hereditary eye diseases, your Swissy 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy really need? Does your adult Swissy need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. 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 Greater Swiss Mountain Dog health problems

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club conducted a health survey that included nearly 850 dogs. They found the typical lifespan for their breed to be just under 7 years old. That's pretty sad for a companion dog.

The three most common causes of death, accounting for approximately 70% of the deaths reported in the survey, were: cancer (27%), bloat (21%), and epilepsy (21%).

The most common orthopedic diseases in Swissies (not in any particular order) are osteochondritis, panosteitis, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 3300 Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and found 18% dysplastic. That's bad, and the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Similarly, 2700 elbow X-rays were evaluated and 12% were dysplastic. Again, the true rate is higher.

The most common eye diseases were eyelash abnormalities (with up to 20% of the breed affected), eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), and cataracts.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

Colitis (inflammatory bowel syndrome) occurs regularly in Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, as do urinary infections.

Heart disease is a growing concern in the breed.

Blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's, thrombocytopenia, and thrombocytopathia) also occur in Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.


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.