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Leonberger Dog: Health Issues That Are Common for the Breed

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 09:01 PM

The majestic Leonberger dog is a large breed perfect for families with a friendly and trainable demeanor.

But as with all breeds, Leonbergers have a propensity for certain health challenges that prospective owners should consider before they bring this dog into their homes.

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Here are four health issues that might be of concern or lead to questions you can ask the breeder from whom you are buying:

1. Orthopedic problems

The two most common orthopedic problems in Leonberger dogs are hip dysplasia and panosteitis, according to YourPurebredPuppy.com. Dysplasia refers to a developmental deformation or misalignment of a joint. Panosteitis is a bone disease that causes remodeling and proliferation in bones, and it is common in large breeds, PetEducation.com said. The breed also tends toward elbow dysplasia. In evaluating hip X-rays of 1,000 Leonberger dogs, the Orthopedic Foundation of America found 14 percent were dysplastic.

2. Cancer

In a survey of 800 Leonberger dogs, cancer caused the death of almost 37 percent, YourPurebredPuppy.com reported.

Bone cancer is a problem for the breed. The Kennel di Storazondo, which specializes in breeding Leonbergers, said cancer is the No. 1 killer of Leonberger dogs. “Because of cancer, the lifespan of the Leonberger only averages seven years. If a dog lives a healthy life to the age of 4 however, they have a very good chance of living into the double digits,” the breeder's website said. “We don't yet have a way to test Leonberger puppies for risk or to evaluate their parents to know genetic leanings.”

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3. Hypothyroidism and other thyroid issues


LeonbergerHealth.com said thyroid issues tend to appear in the Leonberger breed more often than in the regular dog population.  Thyroid disorders can be easy to treat, but undiagnosed or untreated can cause multiple problems for the breed.

YourPurebredPuppy.com said up to 15 percent of the dogs have hypothyroidism.

4. Addison’s disease


This disease causes adrenal gland problems, has been a problem for the Leonbergers, but the Leonberger Health Institute has worked successfully to detect the genetic cause of this issue. That organization has also worked to raise funds and organize research on other diseases that affect the breed, including polyneuropathy.

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The majestic Leonberger dog is a large breed perfect for families with a friendly and trainable demeanor. But as with all breeds, Leonbergers have a propensity for certain health challenges that prospective owners should consider before they bring this dog into their homes.
leonberger, dog, health, issues, common, breed
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2015-01-21
Wednesday, 21 Jan 2015 09:01 PM
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