Health Problems of Bernese Mountain Dogs


Many purebred dog breeds have medical conditions prevalent within their breeds. The Bernese Mountain Dog is prone to several of these genetic conditions.

Hip/Elbow Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, conditions that cause deterioration in the joints, are known in the breed. Signs include limping, difficulty getting up and pain in the joint area.

Malignant Histiocytosis

Malignant histiocytosis are malignant tumors found in 25 percent of the Bernese Mountain Dog population. These tumors infiltrate the lungs, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and liver. This is an aggressive rapidly spreading cancer.


Bloat, or Gastric-Dilation Volvulus, is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with swallowed air and places pressure on other organs and the diaphragm. Torsion is when the stomach twists during bloat cutting off the blood supply to the stomach.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an inherited disorder that causes progressive degeneration of the retina; the eyes are genetically programmed to go blind. There is no cure.

Von Willebrand's Disease

Von Willebrand's disease is a disorder that interferes with the clotting factor of blood. It leads to excessive bleeding after trauma or surgery, and can cause internal bleeding, bleeding of the gums and blood in the urine.

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