German Shorthair Pointers can develop a number of health issues. These include cancer, the leading cause of death in the breed, and Addison’s disease and hypothyroidism. In this article, we’ll explain the most common health problems in this breed and how you can prevent them.

Cancer is the breed’s leading cause of death

Although genetics can’t fully explain cancer in dogs, it is possible that certain breeds exhibit more risk of the disease than others. By studying different types of breeds, researchers can gain valuable insight into the genetic aetiology of cancer. The development of complex disease phenotypes often results from multiple genetic risk factors. Breeds that have more genetic risk of cancer may share common predispositions, or predisposing alleles that confer increased risk.

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer kills nearly half of adult dogs. The disease is particularly prevalent in larger breeds, such as the Boxer and Golden Retriever. However, smaller breeds tend to have lower cancer mortality rates. Dogs of all sizes are at risk of contracting cancer, including mixed-breed dogs.

To assess the risks of cancer, researchers at Nationwide looked at the top 25 breeds, which make up 70% of the breeds insured by the company. Boxers and Beagles had the highest incidence of cancer compared to other breeds. Meanwhile, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians had the lowest relative risk of cancer.


While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, it is a treatable condition that can be managed with medications and an oral thyroid hormone supplement. Dogs with hypothyroidism will need this treatment for life. The synthetic hormone used for this purpose is known as levothyroxine and is sold under several brand names. A blood sample is taken after one month of treatment to make sure that the thyroid hormone level is within normal range.

Hypothyroidism is a disease that affects about 70 percent of the 140 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, that doesn’t mean that any breed of dog is immune to hypothyroidism. The disease can affect all dogs, including German shorthairs. Therefore, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as your dog displays signs of hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a progressive disease that affects the metabolism of your dog. It affects nearly every cell in your dog’s body. It can be difficult to detect early because the symptoms can mimic other issues. There are two main types of hypothyroidism in dogs: primary hypothyroidism and secondary hypothyroidism. Secondary hypothyroidism develops when the thyroid is unable to produce the hormone it needs to function properly. Both types of hypothyroidism have similar symptoms.

Hypothyroidism in dogs can affect all areas of the body and can lead to hair loss, shedding of hair, and dry skin. It can also cause weight gain, a lethargy and an inability to tolerate cold temperatures. In some extreme cases, the condition can lead to seizures and heart problems.

In approximately seven percent of hypothyroid dogs, neurological signs will develop. These symptoms can involve the central nervous system or the peripheral nervous system. Although a causal relationship between hypothyroidism and neurological disease is unclear, the literature suggests that hypothyroidism can play a role in the development of these symptoms. The pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying these signs include alterations in axonal transport and ischemia.

Addison’s disease

When a dog shows signs of Addison’s disease, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of the condition are often vague and can mimic several other diseases. They may be present for several months or years before a diagnosis is made. It can be fatal if not diagnosed in time. If the condition is caught early, it is possible to treat it with intravenous fluid therapy and glucocorticoids. However, once treated, this condition may require ongoing monitoring for several days.

Addison’s disease is caused by an imbalance between the adrenal glands and the body’s natural hormones, cortisol and aldosterone. These hormones help regulate a dog’s body systems and internal organs. When these hormones are not produced in an appropriate amount, the dog will experience an Addisonian crisis, which is potentially fatal.

Although there is no cure for Addison’s disease, a dog will need to take replacement hormones for the rest of its life. The dosage may need to be adjusted over time, especially if the dog is under stress. It is important to note that it is not advisable for owners to change the medication without consulting a veterinarian. Any medication changes could result in a hormonal imbalance.

Symptoms of Addison’s disease vary from dog to dog, but may include loss of appetite, listlessness, and vomiting. Other signs of Addison’s disease include increased thirst, increased urination, a weak pulse, and painful hind-end areas. The disease can also affect the skin and may cause it to turn dark and tarry.

Addison’s disease in dogs is treated with a combination of intravenous fluids and long-term hormone replacement. This treatment usually involves giving a dog an injectable mineralocorticoid every three to four weeks, and giving it prednisone to replace cortisol. Fortunately, the prognosis for Addison’s disease is generally excellent with proper treatment.


While German Shorthairs are generally healthy, they can develop a condition called entropion, which causes the eyelids to roll inwards. This condition can damage the eyeball and can lead to pain. Luckily, entropion is easily treatable, and surgery can correct the condition. Other German Shorthair health problems include Von Willebrand’s Disease, which affects the clotting process and can lead to nosebleeds, bloody urine, and even bleeding gums. Although there is no known cure for this disorder, medication is available for treatment.

Entropion is a genetic condition that occurs in German Shorthairs. It causes the eyelid to roll inward, rubbing the eyelash against the eye. This can lead to vision loss or blindness. This condition can affect any dog breed, but it is particularly common in GWPs.

German Shorthairs also have a higher risk of contracting blood-clotting diseases, such as von Willebrand’s disease, thrombocytopenia, and hemophilia. They are also prone to subaortic stenosis, seizures, and other health issues. However, German Shorthairs are generally more resistant to these diseases than other breeds.

German Shorthairs are also more susceptible to mast cell tumors than other breeds. While mast cell tumors do not usually affect humans, they can occur in German Shorthaired Pointers. If detected early, these tumors are usually curable with chemotherapy. The only downside to this treatment is that it is expensive and requires a lifetime commitment. Your veterinarian will check for this type of cancer with a blood test. They will likely recommend that you get a full blood count twice a year.

Some German Shorthaired Pointers suffer from hip dysplasia. This condition causes lameness and pain. Less severe cases can be treated with diet and exercise. But in the worst case, surgery may be needed. Some German Shorthairs may also develop lymphedema, a condition caused by blocked lymphatic ducts. As a result, they develop swelling in their feet, legs, chest, and abdomen.

Eye conditions

German shorthair dogs are susceptible to eye conditions such as entropion, which causes the eyelids to roll inward. This condition is often genetic and can require surgery. When a German Shorthair dog has red or cloudy eyes, it may have conjunctivitis or pannus, which can cause eye damage. Treatments for these conditions include medication or surgery. A dog’s eyes should be protected from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by wearing dog sunglasses.

A new study found that German shorthaired pointers are susceptible to corneal endothelial disease (CED). CED is characterized by premature endothelial cell degeneration and is similar to Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Researchers examined the corneas of ten affected dogs using Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography and ultrasonic pachmetry. They also compared the morphology of the corneas using a Mann-Whitney rank sum test.

Another condition affecting German shorthaired pointer breeds is distichiasis. This condition results in abnormal hair growth in the eyelid, which rubs on the eye’s surface and causes pain and inflammation. The disease is more common in GSPs than in other breeds of dogs, but it is treatable with medication or surgery. Nevertheless, owners should watch out for symptoms early to treat the condition before it worsens.

German Shorthairs are also susceptible to a variety of blood-clotting disorders. The breed is susceptible to von Willebrand’s disease, thrombocytopenia, and hemophilia. It is also prone to seizures and subaortic stenosis. Other eye issues include cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.

Pannus is a progressive condition that affects the cornea. It typically develops in middle-aged dogs, although it can also affect younger dogs. It is treatable, but requires lifelong therapy. Treatment usually involves steroid eye drops and ointments. In severe cases, the dog may require surgery to remove scar tissue.