Weimaraners, like all dogs, are genetically predisposed to some illnesses as a result of selective breeding practices. The fact that an illness is genetic does not mean your dog will develop it, and proper health care throughout your dog's life can help keep him healthy.
Although any dog can get bloat, Weimaraners are especially vulnerable because of their deep chests. It occurs when the digestive tract becomes distended, and can result in potentially fatal intestinal tears. If your dog experiences swelling in his abdomen or appears to be having stomach pain, take him to the veterinarian immediately. Early intervention is key to saving dogs' lives when they suffer from bloat.
Autoimmune disorders harm the dog's immune system by causing her body to mistakenly attack its own cells. A variety of symptoms, including decreased immunity, allergies, frequent vomiting and swollen lymph nodes may indicate an autoimmune disease. The Weimaraner Club of America recommends delaying vaccinations until the dog is between 12 and 16 weeks to prevent autoimmune disorders, but even with delayed vaccinations dogs can still develop autoimmune disease.
Weimaraners can suffer from a variety of eye problems, particularly eyelid and eyelash disorders. Eyelashes growing in abnormal locations on the eyelids can cause eye irritation and infection. Eyelid disorders common to Weimaraners include entropion and extropion, conditions that cause the eyelids to roll inward or outward respectively. These conditions can lead to secondary problems such as blindness, eye infections and frequent redness and irritation. Weimaraners may also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the joints of the hip don't develop normally. Consequently, the hips rub together and deteriorate over time. Most dogs with hip dysplasia have difficulty and pain while walking or running. This usually occurs in older age, but in severe cases can start as early as puppyhood. If you are purchasing your Weimaraner from a breeder, ask if his hips have been checked and certified against hip dysplasia.
- Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats; Richard H. Pitcairn
- Trax Weimaraners: Weimaraner Health Issues
Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.