If you get yourselves a GSP, be prepared to share at least 12-14 years of your lives with them! Whilst they are generally healthy, extremely active dogs that will be an energetic member of the family, there are some health issues that potential owners should be aware of. Now, this isn’t a video that should worry you. The ailments that will be mentioned are just what can affect your GSP, not what will affect them. Along with love and care, the research and awareness of topics such as common health conditions are what makes a responsible dog owner!
HEALTH (MAJOR, MINOR, PREVENTATIVE MEASURES)
With that being said, let’s dive right in! I will be making you aware of the 3 most common health concerns and sharing a little bit of information about each one. To begin with, let us explore hip and elbow dysplasia. GSP’s and other medium to large breeds commonly suffer from this disorder. It comes from the joints in the hips and elbows not fitting together harmoniously. If left untreated, it can cause arthritis and even lameness. This is a hereditary issue, meaning that preventing it is to ensure that any breeding bitches and studs get full hip and elbow scores before being mated. This will help stop the issue being handed down to their pups. If you should notice your GSP becoming stiff, sore, or reluctant to get up ect, it is always best to get them seen by your vet!
Another major concern I will share with you is GDV, or bloat. The symptoms are that the stomach will flip upside down in the chest due to a build-up of gas. Once it does flip, it is a time critical issue. When the stomach flips, it starts to restrict blood flow, which can very quickly cause your dog to go into shock. A way in which you can help prevent this from happening is to slow feed your dog. This will stop them swallowing excess air if they are allowed to quickly wolf down their food! A puzzle feeder if great for a GSP, it will help prevent bloat and it will also keep their minds active. For a wet or raw diet, slow feeder bowls are really effective. But for a dry diet, large kong wobblers are brilliant for their brains and their stomachs!
Lastly, I will make you aware of one last common issue with GSP’s. This isn’t as serious of an issue as the other two but it is still something you should be aware of! Whilst they have very low-maintenance coats, it’s recommended to give them a brush a few times a month to keep an eye on any skin irritations or sensitivity. GSP’s can suffer with Atopy, meaning they can become hypersensitive to certain allergens. Being watchful of how your Pointer’s skin reacts to certain foods, grass types or even households products like fabric cleaner, will prevent flare ups from becoming a serious medical issue.
As always, any concerns that you have with your dogs, please do call the vets. A veterinary professional is where you will get the most reliable health advice, at Fenrir, our aim is to make you aware of these issues. Not to diagnose them.
Now, there will be a variation in the diet you provide for you GSP depending on whether you work them or not. A working male GSP should weigh around 27-28kg and will need to consume around 3000-3300 calories per day to stay healthy. Whereas a family dog that has a moderate exercise regime will need slightly less at around 2500-3000 to be at a healthy weight. As a lean, working breed, their diet should consist of an unprocessed, rich variety of proteins, grains and fats, particular omega 3. If you struggle to get a good amount of omega in their food, supplements will help their joints, so it is best to check with your vet what they recommend. Whilst Pointer’s aren’t prone to weight gain, keep an eye on their weight if they have been recently spayed or neutered, the hormone disruption can lead to unwanted weight gain.
So, the end the video, I’ll summarise everything for you. Whilst it isn’t nice to think about the ailments that can effect your dog, it is a part of being a responsible dog owner that you are at least aware of the most common for the breed you pick. As we’ve learnt, GSP’s are prone to some serious issues but we have learnt that there are some preventative measures to take such as responsible breeding for prevent bad joints, and slow feeders to help reduce bloating. Skin irritations can also be caught early by simply spending quality time cuddling and grooming your Pointer.
And their diet is fairly simple. Keep it unprocessed and balanced, should you work your dog, up the calorie intake and should you notice any irritation or itching, ask a vet if its possibly diet related. Also, looking into omega 3 supplements as your dog gets older to keep their joints as limber as possible.
And the last reminder, any concerns you have about the health of your dog should be addressed by a vet, the quicker you can get them seen and diagnosed, the better the outcome will be.