Bone and Joint Problems in Great Danes

A Great Dane’s massive size makes it prone to bone and joint problems. The physical structure of these dogs puts pressure on the joints, resulting in inflammation. Additionally, they are genetically vulnerable to joint problems. With proper awareness and treatment through a dietary regimen and timely treatment, you can prevent bone and joint problems in Great Danes assuring a healthy life for your pooch.

Bone and Joint Problems in Great Dane Puppies

Faster growth of Great Dane puppies makes them vulnerable to joint problems. The rapidly growing body creates stress on joints, leading to inflammation. The conditions known as Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in signs and symptoms. Fever and pain are the most visible indications of swelling joints in Great Danes puppies. Early treatment can help your dog overcome the problem.

Panosteitis is another short-term bone problem that affects Great Dane puppies. It usually causes pain in the leg, which makes it difficult to walk.

With a check on the protein level in the food, you can ensure a controlled growth of Great Dane puppies and prevent joint and bone problems in your pooch.

Osteosarcoma or Bone Cancer

Bone cancer or osteosarcoma is a prominent cause of Great Dane death. Danes are susceptible to this disorder more than any other breed. Medical treatment using surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy can help save your dog’s life.

Causes of bone cancer in dogs may range from lifestyle and dietary habits to genetic problems.

With a higher fatality rate among all bone and joint problems in Great Danes, bone cancer mostly affects dogs above the age of 7 years. The front legs are more vulnerable than hind legs. Lumps may develop, or your dog may have a walking problem. Cancer also makes bones fragile.

Wobbler Syndrome

A congenital deformity, the disease is considered among the most serious bone and joint problems in Great Danes. Wobbler syndrome is more visible in adult Great Danes aged 3 years or more. Puppies less than a year old may also suffer from it.

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The problem affects neck vertebrae, leading to serious cervical vertebra instability and pressure on the spine. It may aggravate in dogs wearing a collar. Wobbling is the first sign of the disease and pain, while lethargy, odd gait, and lack of coordination may appear within a few days. The progression of Wobbler syndrome may result in the paralysis of hind limbs.

The lack of nutrition, injury to neck vertebrae, structural disorders, and poor metabolism are among the potential causes of Wobbler syndrome in Great Danes. Pain medication is usually prescribed to provide relief for the dog. Surgery is an option, but mostly performed in the case of a severe disorder.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Among other bone and joint problems in Great Danes, hip dysplasia is the most common. Malformation of the hip joint, a hereditary problem, prevents the ball from sliding smoothly in the joint socket. This makes the hip joint unstable and weak, resulting in early joint degeneration, inflammation, pain, arthritis, and loss of hip mobility. Rapid growth and overweight contribute to the worsening of the disorder. Both surgery and medication are useful in treating the problem.

Elbow dysplasia is similar to hip dysplasia. It affects the elbow joint of the dogs.

Both hip and elbow dysplasia in Great Danes is hereditary. So, while purchasing a puppy ask the breeder about health certifications declaring parents free from the disorder.


Most bone and joint problems in Great Danes result in arthritis, as they grow older. The degenerative disorder is also linked to the weight and growth patterns of these dogs. It mostly affects joints in both front and hind legs.

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Arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness in Great Danes, forcing them to limp and despise exercise. The dogs also suffer from the loss of mobility.

Tips To Avoid/Treat Bone and Joint Problems in Great Danes

  • Cancer and congenital issues often require surgical intervention.
  • Rapid growth and obesity are the two foremost reasons of most bone and joint problems in Great Danes. You can avert the risk by ensuring a controlled dietary and nutritional regimen for your pooch.
  • By nature, Great Danes are couch potatoes. This causes them to become overweight, which puts stress on the joints, leading to frequent Daily exercise helps your dog to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Anti-inflammatory diet helps keep pain and inflammation subdued in a dog with arthritis. Consult with your vet about the diet for an arthritic dog and therapeutic supplements.
  • Physical therapy is useful for older Great Danes to avoid disability linked to joint problems.
  • Protect Great Danes from any bone or joint injury. Any injury to the joint enhances the risk of pain and inflammation.
  • Get an orthopedic bed for your dog if he has joint pains.

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