There is alot to know about owning a great dane. The intricacies of the breed are many; Danes can be prone to unique health problems related to their size, and are generally short lived. On the upside, they are loyal, frequently good natured, and generally low key compared to smaller breeds. Still, sharing your home with something that weighs more than you do creates its own challenges.

Many dog illnesses are inherited, others caused by improper nutrition, and many a combination of both. Veterinary medicines, treatments, health screenings, and selective breeding is helping yet sadly, the Great Dane remains a relatively short-lived breed.

Following are few of the diseases affecting Great Dane breed:    

Bloat (Gastric Torsion)

Danes, and other large-chested breeds, can be prone to a condition often referred to as "bloat". Explained simply, the stomach expands with gasses, and for some reason, the dog cannot expel the gasses contained within. Sometimes the stomach actually twists on it's axis, further complicating things. A dog suffering from bloat must have immediate veterinary care and it will most likely require an expensive surgery to correct the condition. Immediate action is required if the dog is to be saved. Bloat is something that all Dane owners should be familiar with. more..     

Hip Dysplasia-HD

Hip dysplasia is a common developmental problem affecting the canine. It is an inherited disease and another of the major dog illnesses affecting Great Danes. This disease is not fatal but can cause great pain to the affected dog and slowly, methodically, debilitate the animal.Some early warning signs could be slight lameness in the rear, abnormal gait, and lack of activity. more..

Wobblers Syndrome

Wobblers Syndrome or Spondylolithesis is a disease of the nervous system caused by pressure on the spinal cord by the lower cervical (neck) vertebrae due to either a malformation of the vertebra or a malocclusion (when the vertebrae do not come together properly). This causes anywhere from a mild, to a severe affect in the dogs gait. more..

Cancer

Just like people, your Great Dane can get Cancer too. Important steps to prevent cancer are a healthy routine including proper diet and exercise. If you have a female Great Dane, it’s important to have her “fixed” if you do not plan to breed her. Cancer treatments are not always effective, and like people -- your Great Dane’s prognosis may be questionable. more..

Hypertrophic osteodystrophy -HOD

HOD is inflammation of the growth plates, and can be accompanied by depression, weight loss, and fever. The joints may be swollen and feel hot. Mild cases usually resolve with no lasting ill effects. However, in the rare case of severe HOD, permanent damage to the bone joints can result in limb deformities. more..

Puppies must also be de-wormed of internal parasites at the age of 2 weeks and should repeat every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. It should then be repeated every 3 months for the rest of their life and dogs must also be de-wormed of external parasites such as fleas, ticks, and lice to ensure optimal health

In addition to parasite control, preventing contagious disease is also very crucial. Vaccines help to reduce puppy’s risk of acquiring infectious canine diseases and viruses. Puppies receive their first parvo/distemper/parainfluenza shot at the age of 6 weeks and these vaccine shots are repeated every 3 weeks with the final one given at 16 weeks. General vaccination guidelines include a rabies shot and kennel cough (bordetella) vaccination at 16 weeks. Rabies shot is required by law. Boosters of all these vaccinations are administrated every year for the rest of dog's life.


Danes are very easy to groom and keep clean. A few minutes each day will keep dane's coat and skin healthy and keep shedding to a minimum.

On a daily basis, a brisk brushing using a rubber curry comb, followed with a bristle brush, will remove dead hair and dirt. Complete the daily grooming by wiping the dog down with a damp rag. Visually check for fleas/ticks and skin sores, cuts/scratches to be treated.

Dane should have its nails trimmed, ears cleaned, teeth brushed and bathe with a canine or baby shampoo when needed.

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