Health

We Lay the Foundation for Good Health

  • Our dogs receive excellent veterinary care, are housed appropriately and fed a nutritious diet, and are exercised regularly.
  • We complete all testing recommended by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America.
  • Test results are publicly available on the OFA website. We breed only dogs who are structurally sound and who have passed all recommended tests.
  • Each breeding is planned to preserve breed characteristics and improve our breeding stock. We carefully consider potential health issues in the lines of each pair of dogs we breed.
  • We continue our own education on health issues through reading, seminars, and discussions with our mentors and friends in the breed.
  • Like you, we want our Swissies to live long, healthy lives as our companions, so we are your partners on that journey.

However … you shouldn’t just take our word for it!

Instead, you should educate yourself and then bring your questions to us.

Swissy Health Concerns

Gastric Dilation and Volvulus (Bloat)

Gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV), commonly referred to as “bloat,” is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention to increase the dog’s chance of survival.

A brief explanation of the process is:

  • The dog’s stomach flips over between the esophagus and the duodenum and traps the contents of the stomach.
  • Gas-producing bacteria in the stomach cause it to swell. It is also possible that the stomach swells first and then flips—either way, the result is the same.
  • As the gas pressure builds and swelling increases, the stomach puts pressure on major blood vessels. This prevents blood from returning to the heart and cuts off blood supply to the stomach. Rupture of the stomach wall may also occur.
  • The swelling of the stomach puts pressure on the diaphragm, which prevents the lungs from expanding, so normal breathing is impossible.
  • The dog’s condition worsens rapidly and death is imminent.

To learn about the symptoms and treatment, click the link below.

https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/gastric-dilatation-volvulus

More information here: http://www.gsmdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Bloat.pdf

 

Splenic Torsion

Splenic torsion occurs when the spleen twists or folds, preventing blood drainage and causing the spleen to enlarge. While this typically happens in conjunction with GDV, in Swissies it can occur by itself.

Read about splenic torsion here:  https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/splenic-torsion

And about splenic torsion in Swissies here: http://www.gsmdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Splenic.pdf

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint develops abnormally, or when cartilage is damaged by a traumatic fracture. Because of the improper joint development, the joint grinds instead of moving smoothing, and over time the cartilage breaks down and the joint loses function.

We try to minimize the occurrence of hip dysplasia by breeding only dogs who have passed their hip clearances with an OFA rating of excellent, good, or fair.

The most important things Swissy owners can do to keep their dog’s hips healthy is to ensure their Swissies are at a healthy weight.  (See the “Weight Concerns” section for more info)

For information about Swissies and hip dysplasia: http://www.gsmdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Hip-Dysplasia.pdf

For information about OFA screenings, classifications, and treatment options: https://www.ofa.org/diseases/hip-dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia

More info coming soon!

Link to GSMDCA info: http://www.gsmdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Elbow-Dysplasia1.pdf

Osteochondrosis Dissecans
Weight Concerns
More info coming soon!
Seizures

More detailed info coming soon!

Link to GSMDCA info: http://www.gsmdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Website-Epilepsy.pdf

Urinary Incontinence