If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site


You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Call Us Today


Welcome to Chattahoochee Animal Clinic

Chattahoochee Animal Clinic's goal is to provide the best in veterinary medicine. In doing so, the medical staff participates in continuing education in the veterinary field, both new and upcoming. Topics include wellness care, medical & surgical techniques, and treatments. Along with being up to date on veterinary medicine, we also understand that each pet is an individual. We customize your pet’s healthcare, as well as customizing all the other services we offer.

One of the many ways we can customize care for your pet, is to become experts on their breed. Having knowledge about medical issues associated with specific breeds assist us in providing individualized healthcare.

Purebred dogs and cats, even mixed breeds, often suffer from illnesses specific to their breeds. As a prospective pet owner, you may want to obtain a written guarantee of health from a breeder before purchasing a puppy; reputable breeders do their best to ensure that their dogs don't succumb to breed-specific illnesses. Here are some common illnesses specific to purebred dogs.

1) Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia often occurs when your dog suffers a subluxation in the hip joint. This causes abnormal wear of the joint, which leads to osteoarthritis. Dogs of all ages can develop signs consistent with osteoarthritis; in some severe cases puppies as young as five months have displayed symptoms including limping and pain with exercise. For the most part, however, dogs develop osteoarthritis later in life.
Many researchers feel that hip dysplasia is a genetic disease;
many breeds of dogs are prone to it, including:

  • German Shepard
  • Great Dane
  • Labrador Retriever
  • English Setter
  • Golden Retriever

While dogs of all sizes can suffer hip dysplasia, larger breeds seem especially vulnerable.

2) Bloat

Once again, larger breeds are most at risk for bloat or gastric torsion. Bloat occurs when your dog's stomach swells due to swallowed air, or when gas or fluid causes your dog's stomach to swell dramatically. This swelling can cause the stomach to become twisted, cutting off circulation to the internal organs. Bloat is a serious, life-threatening illness that requires emergency veterinary care.
Breeds prone to bloat include:

  • Great Dane
  • Greyhound
  • Great Pyrenees
  • German Shepard
  • Saint Bernard

Any large, deep chested dog may be vulnerable to bloat. You can avoid bloat by feeding several small meals a day instead of one or two large meals, and by encouraging your dog to rest for an hour after eating. We offer stomach tacking, which significantly reduces the chance of illness. Ask a medical staff member for more details.

3) Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a hormonal imbalance that occurs when your dog's thyroid doesn't function properly. Hypothyroidism is quite common in dogs; symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, weight gain, excessive shedding, discoloration of the skin, sensitivity to cold, and anemia. Hypothyroidism is easy to treat with daily medication. Here are some of the purebred dogs prone to hypothyroidism:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Irish Setter
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund

4) Congenital Heart Disease

Heart disease is also common in dogs. Symptoms of heart disease in dogs include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Lack of energy
  • Edema in the lungs
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Collapse

Heart disease can be fatal, but, if caught early, can often be successfully treated with diet and medication. Here are some breeds, which may develop heart disease due to congenital heart problems:

  • Collie
  • King Charles Cavaliers
  • Bulldog
  • Irish Setter
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Saint Bernard

These breeds may be genetically predisposed to develop a heart murmur:

  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Poodle
  • Schnauzer
  • Dachshund
  • Pomeranian
  • Chihuahua

5) Epilepsy

Epilepsy in dogs may have physiological causes including low blood sugar, ingestion of toxins, organ failure, or brain tumors. However, many researchers believe that idiopathic epilepsy (or epilepsy for which there is no obvious cause) may be hereditary.
Here are some of the bloodlines believed to be prone to developing idiopathic epilepsy:

  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • Boxer
  • Dalmatian
  • Saint Bernard
  • German Shepard
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Golden Retriever


Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which your dog's pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can be treated with insulin injections, but it is a chronic illness that requires close daily supervision. While diabetes isn't necessarily fatal, it is very difficult to manage.
These purebred dogs are prone to diabetes:

  • Beagle
  • Poodle
  • Fox and Yorkshire Terriers
  • Bichon Frise
  • Dachshund

These are a few examples of breed specific illness. For more information click below:

Back to Veterinary Services