The royal families of Europe and German shepherds have something in common: they are both heavily predisposed to hemophilia. This is a genetic disease, passed from parent to pup, that is characterized by not having enough of a certain coagulation factor in the blood.
In a normal dog, when they bump into something or are cut, the damaged blood vessels quickly stop themselves up and the bleeding stops. In a German shepherd who has hemophilia, even a small bump or bruise can be dangerous, as their blood does not coagulate easily.
GSD Hemophilia, small issues can cause serious concerns
Dogs who have this condition will usually be easier to bruise, may experience nosebleeds, may even bleed when they lose their teeth, and may have serious internal bleeding from an injury that would be insignificant on a dog that does not have hemophilia.
One of the most serious concerns is that dogs with hemophilia will usually bleed much longer after surgery, sometimes making it impossible to perform surgery on these dogs.
Get a checkup if you think this could be an issue
Often, dogs who have this condition might become lame in a limb if there is bleeding in a joint or muscle in that area. In very rare cases, the internal bleeding may be so serious that they cannot recover, their blood will not clot, and they die.
It is important to test your dog for this condition long before they ever need a surgery or experience a serious injury, as this is not the most ideal time to discover that your dog is a hemophiliac.
Not all doom and gloom
It is important to note that while dogs with hemophilia may take longer to clot than dogs without this condition, most dogs with this condition still live a normal lifespan, though their owners may have to watch them a little bit more carefully.