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If you want to talk shaggy, you can’t get any shaggier than the Old English Sheepdog. This awesome animal is one of the best pets to have around the house.
Old English Sheepdog
There is little bad to say about the Old English Sheepdog. They exemplify everything that we love in dogs. They are happy, easy going, playful and loves children. They were used as working dogs by farmers before so if they seem like they are lovingly herding members of your family, you shouldn’t be surprised.
This breed can live up to 12 years and are relatively healthy. They do, however, have some canine ailments that they are prone to. Some of these sicknesses are eye problems, hip dysplasia and Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia or IMHA.
Old English Sheepdog Health Problems
Cataracts are a fairly common ailment that dogs contract. There are several classifications of cataracts namely congenital, developmental, senile and inherited. The Sheepdog is usually the victim of congenital cataracts. They did not inherit this gene, but are nonetheless born with cataracts, perhaps because of toxins or formation of some bacteria in their eyes when they were puppies. It may be caused by extra lashes or distichiasis. Short and stubby lashes can rub into the eye’s lenses and cause irritation.
When Old English Sheepdogs are born with cataracts, they develop generalized progressive retinal atrophy. It is a degenerative disease that eventually leads to blindness. These eye problems result in reduced vision, but are not painful for the dogs. There is no known cure for it yet, but there are several supplements that can help inhibit the progress of eye problems in dogs.
Hip dysplasia is a common skeletal problem of many dogs, especially those of larger breeds. When this is left untreated, it will advance to severe arthritis which is extremely uncomfortable for dogs. You can prevent your dog from developing hip dysplasia by keeping him on a healthy diet and monitoring his calorie intake. A heavy dog tends to put undue pressure on his bones that can aggravate bone problems, inherited or otherwise.
Not a lot of pet owners know about IMHA in dogs and even scientists are not entirely sure on the exact cause and treatment for it. IMHA is disease that strikes the immune system of the animal. The red blood cells are destroyed, and this can be a precedent for various types of cancer.
There are reports that IMHA can be caused by vaccinations that have gone wrong. If a dog is “over-vaccinated” for example, the aggressive white cells that fights viruses end up destroying the healthy normal cells as well. You may be playing the part of a responsible dog owner, but it is important to be extra cautious when vaccinating dogs that may be prone to IMHA like the Old English Sheepdog.
Vaccinating Your Old English Sheepdog
Consult the vet on the dosage and frequency of your dog’s vaccination, as well as the diet and exercise you can give to him. Properly taken cared of, the Old English Sheepdog will live long and he can enjoy many happy memories with you and your family.