Rottweiler Health Issues


Understanding Elbow Dysplasia

Understanding Hip Dysplasia

Aortic stenosis(AS) had been reported to be the third most prevalent congenital cardiac disorder in the dog, but researches at the Ontario Veterinary College (Dr. Michael O'Grady Dip-ACVIM Cardiology and staff) have found it to be the most common congenital cardiac disorder in dogs they have examined. It is reported to be the most common congenital cardiac disorder in Rottweilers.

Aortic stenosis is characterized by a narrowing of the aortic valve, the outflow tract from the heart's left ventricle. This causes a partial obstruction of blood flow into the circulation, increasing the heart's workload and in turn causing an increase in the thickness of the left ventricular wall. This "left ventricular concentric hypertrophy" results in decrease left ventricular disensibility and an increase in the heart dysrhythmias. Aortic stenosis maybe subvalvular, valular or supravalvular, depending on where the constriction is located. Sunvalvular, or Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) is most common.

Elbow dysplasia (ED) is a potentially crippling disease of dogs leading to the development  of irreversible and progressive arthritis in elbow joint. Even with early surgical intervention many dogs have chronic pain and lameness. For many veterinarians and breeders, elbow dysplasia is disease that is not only difficult to diagnose, but controversial when it comes to deciding on a dog's suitability for breeding. The single biggest misunderstanding when it comes to ED is that to be affected a dog must have clinical signs of lameness. Lame dog's are in fact the "tip of the Iceberg" with the majority of the dogs being asymptomatic carriers, which has caused the disease tp spread to very high levels within certain breeds.

The Rottweiler is currently ranked #2 in breeds affected by elbow dysplasia with only 58.5% of dogs receiving a normal score from the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA). This number may even be lower considering that not all breeding dogs are x-rayed and not all OFA scores are released for statistical use.

JLPP Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy

In dogs, hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic (polygenic) trait that is affected be environmental factors. The best way that breeders can prevent hereditary hip dysplasia is to screen their breeding for the disease. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) health testing can help breeders determine the condition of their dogs' hips, ensuring that they only breed dogs with hip joints rated normal grade or higher.


Heartworms have been common in the south eastern coastal states for more that 50 years. During the last 20 they have become areal threat to our Rottweilers. They have slowly spread inland from East coast and now few states, if any, are free from heartworms. Hundreds of dogs die every year from this deadly parasite.

The heartworm depends on both the dog and the mosquito in order for it to continue. Adult heartworms are found i the right ventricle of the heart and adjacent vessels. The larvae produced from the adult female heartworm is called micofilaria. These microscope creatures will circulate through your dog's blood vessels until a feeding mosquito ingests them. Once inside the host mosquito, the microfilaria will develop into its second and third stages. This takes about 2 to 3 weeks. It is at the third stage, when the mosquito bites your Rottie or someone else s's dog, the larva is then deposited back into the unfortunate canine. Next the larvae moves to the fat or muscle cells underneath the skin where they then molt and again make a transformation a fourth and fifth time.

JLPP is a disease that causes deterioration of the nervous system. The longest nerve which controls the muscles of the larynx (voice box) is affected first. This leads to muscle weakness and obstruction of air flow into the lungs after exercise or when the dog is hot.