Below are some of the most seen medical issues Bernese Mountain Dogs face.
Various cancers can affect Berners. Cancers can occur in every dog, not only Berners. But for this breed, it is vital to notice the symptoms and treat them as early as you can, to avoid an early death. Some of the significant symptoms include swelling of a body part, a lump that appears and won’t go away, sore and cysts that tend to bleed continuously, cuts and bruises that do not heal, difficulty in breathing, and less energy. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to take advice from your vet and take immediate action. Cancers can be treated with Chemotherapy, medication, and the removal of lumps through surgery.
Hip Dysplasia is considered as a genetic health condition. It is advised not to breed dogs with Hip Dysplasia. The state includes the thigh bone not being attached to the hipbone properly. In severe situations, dogs tend to be lame on the rear legs. Slight conditions do not show from outside. But if you find something that is out of the ordinary, it is best to take an X-Ray to confirm. Berners with Hip Dysplasia tends to develop arthritis as they age. To avoid these sicknesses to the next generation, Berners with Hip Dysplasia is not bred.
Elbow Dysplasia is common in all large-breeds. It is not limited to Bernese Mountain Dogs. This condition is developed with abnormal growth. It promotes malfunctioning or malformed bones or joints. The severity of the disease can differ from one to another. Some dogs develop arthritis as they grow older, and some turn out to be lame. One of the main concerns during this condition is to watch their weight. Anti-inflammatory medication can help too.
PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA is a progressive disease. The disease worsens with time. It is the deterioration of retina over time. Bernese Mountain Dogs may develop this disease by first becoming night-blind. As the condition worsens, they become blind during the day and sometimes lose vision entirely. Affected Berners can still survive with less or no vision as long as their surrounding does not change.
PSS – Porto-Systematic Shunt
PSS is a health condition that happens in the liver. Symptoms of this disease show up usually before they are two years. The condition allows blood to bypass the liver, thus resulting in the liver’s blood not being cleansed as it should. This condition can be treated with surgery if diagnosed early. You will notice symptoms such as loss of appetite, low blood sugar, gastrointestinal issues, UTI (Urinary Tract Infections), intolerance to drugs and particular food, and undersized growth. If you see any of these things, ensure to visit your vet for more information.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is seen in both dogs and humans. Abnormalities in blood clotting cause this disease. Berners who are affected will have symptoms such as bleeding noses, prolonged healing from wounds, blood in the stools, and bleeding gums. This disorder can be managed, but cannot be cured. Even going through surgery will not entirely heal the issue.
This condition is commonly called Pano. You might see your Berner puppy limping on one leg when it reaches about a year old. After a while limping may stop. This health condition cannot be wholly healed too. But you can restrict or limit activities when you see the dog is in pain. People usually say not to feed the dog high-calcium and high-protein food because it is believed that they are the cause of Pano. But you can always ask your vet surgeon for recommendations. Always make sure to feed the Berner with high-quality dog food.
Gastric Torsion is one of the most dangerous health conditions seen among dogs. Especially in dogs like Bernese Mountain Dog, who are large in size and deep-chested, this condition can worsen very fast. If not attended on time with medical help, the Berner could even die. It generally happens when it eats huge meals at once, or exercise hard soon after eating, or drink water more than required. This will fill gas and air in the stomach, and it twists. Berners cannot vomit or throw out the excess gas, resulting in blood to get stuck in the heart. This blood pressure can put the dog to coma or even take its life. If you see your dog is trying to vomit but looks very depressed and restless, do not wait for long. Seek medical help from your vet as soon as you can.