As a large breed, GSMDs do face their share of large-breed health issues, such as bloat and various bone/joint diseases.  There are also a few other health concerns facing Swissies which are not necessarily linked to their size/stature but are more unique to the breed, such as splenic torsion and urinary incontinence.

Swissies are considered relatively healthy as large breeds go, in that they don't suffer from the heart conditions that some giant breeds do, nor do we see high incidence of some cancers that plague other breeds, like osteosarcoma.  The average life-expectancy of a Swissy is approximately 8-10 years of age.  Some can live to be as old as 12, 13 and even 14 years of age, with a decent quality of life, while others leave us all too soon.  The three most common causes of death among Swissies, based on a 2002 breed health survey, were cancers, gastrointestinal conditions (such as bloat) and neurological conditions (such as epilepsy).

When it comes to health, do not put too much stock into whether someone is a GSMDCA member, but instead please be diligent in your research into one's breeding practices, one's willingness to be forthcoming about health issues and your own gut feeling about each individual breeder.

To read more about the most troubling health issues Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs confront, please click the links below.








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