Most common health problems in Rottweilers, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Rottweiler

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Rottweiler, 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 Rottweiler 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


Rottweiler dog breed

Rottweiler Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Rottweiler health problems

Cancer (all kinds, but especially bone cancer) kills nearly half of all Rottweilers.

Orthopedic diseases are rampant in Rottweilers: hip dysplasia (21% affected), elbow dysplasia (39% affected), osteochondritis, cruciate ligament rupture – all of which cause lameness and pain and can require expensive surgery.

One of every four Rottweilers has an inherited eye disease, some of which cause blindness.

Two different heart diseases are serious problems in Rottweilers.

Colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) can cause chronic diarrhea. Epilepsy is a concern, as is blood-clotting disease.

Rottweilers are at high risk for an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat, which can kill a dog within hours.

Rottweiler puppies inherit weak immune systems, making them more susceptible to parvovirus/coronavirus than most other breeds.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Rottweiler have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and hereditary eye diseases, your Rottweiler 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 Rottweiler, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Rottweiler 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 Rottweiler 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 Rottweiler 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 Rottweiler
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 Rottweiler. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Rottweiler
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


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


Information on spaying your Rottweiler. 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 Rottweiler. 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 Rottweiler health problems

The Rottweiler Club conducted a health survey of 225 owners who gave information about more than 1000 Rottweilers.

Of the deceased dogs in the survey, cancer claimed the lives of 43% of them. The most common cancer in Rottweilers is osteosarcoma (bone cancer), followed by lymphosarcoma, then mastocytoma, melanoma, histiosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma.

Orthopedic diseases are rampant in Rottweilers: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, panosteitis, osteochondritis, intervertebral disk disease, wobbler's syndrome, and luxating patella.

  • The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 99,000 Rottweilers and found 21% dysplastic. That's bad.
  • Elbows are much worse – 39% of 18,000 elbow X-rays were dysplastic – the 3rd worst rate of 123 breeds.

Heart disease (mostly sub-aortic stenosis, but also cardiomyopathy) is a very serious problem in Rottweilers.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Rottweilers are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat – in fact, of all breeds, they are the 11th most likely to develop it.

The most common disease of the hormonal/endocrine system is hypothyroidism. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of Rottweilers have low thyroid levels. Addison's disease is a growing concern in the breed, and diabetes occurs occasionally.

Skin diseases in Rottweilers include allergies (which cause itchy skin) bacterial skin infections (pyoderma), non-tumorous growths (sebaceous cysts), demodectic mange, and occasionally vitiligo.

Colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) is a common cause of chronic diarrhea in Rottweilers. Pancreatic insufficiency is another digestive disease that has been reported.

Epilepsy is a concern, as is blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).

Veterinary ophthalmologists report that 1 in every 4 Rottweilers has an inherited eye disease, especially cataracts, retinal dysplasia, eyelid abnormalities (entropion or ectropion), or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Rottweiler puppies are more susceptible to parvovirus/coronavirus than most other breeds.

Other health problems reported in Rottweilers include autoimmune hemolytic anemia, polyneuropathy, urinary infections, and kidney disease.


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.