Originally Posted by milos_mommy
I didn't say "they have many health problems compared to other breeds", but personally, I'd consider hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, degenerative myelopathy, eye problems, panosteitis, pancreatic problems, deafness, von willebrand's, and then some to be a lot of health issues.
Some of these issues aren't what I would call widespread in the breed but yes, they can occur and yes, some lines are overly prone to them. Pano is something dogs outgrow, although it can be bad while they have it. DM generally affects older dogs.
The most widespread health issues I have seen tend to be bloat, allergies and joint issues (some HD/ED but even more so, near crippling arthritis in elderly dogs). I do think epilepsy is probably more common in the breed than many people realize. Still given all that, plenty of GSDs are healthy too. I wouldn't consider them a "heartbreak breed" like the breeds in which many dogs tend to get cancer at young ages or in which the majority of the breed is affected with one or more serious, life threatening health issues. Most GSDs, I have known for their lifespans (both pet and show/working bred) lived to be old dogs and were relatively healthy.
There is a risk that any dog you get might end up with health problems or have far too short of a life. There's increased known
health risks in different breeds but I have known mixed breeds who died young due to uncontrollable seizures, heart problems, cancer or who's quality of life was seriously affected by genetic issues such as hip dysplasia, luxating patellas, addison's, cushings or severe allergies. As living creatures, there is a risk that any dog might inherit the wrong combination of genes that led to life changing or life threatening disease. And sad to say, a certain percentage of dogs will die before their time due to accidents. And dogs sometimes get lost never to be found again. I have known far too many well loved and well cared for dogs who were hit by cars during a one time escape, died due to some freak accident or who got out accidentally and were never seen again. You just can't spend your time obsessing over what might happen if you choose any given dog or puppy. Certainly make an educated guess and hope for the best but with any dog there is a huge list of "what if's", some you know and some you don't.