Most common St Bernard diseases

The Saint Bernard dog is a national symbol in Switzerland, a country of origin. This breed is characterized by its enormous size.

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This breed is normally healthy and its life expectancy is about 13 years. However, as with most canine breeds, it suffers from some prototypical diseases of the breed. Some due to their size, and others of genetic origin.

Continue reading this article from the Animal Expert, to better understand the most common diseases of the Saint Bernard .

It may also interest you: Most common diseases in cats

Hip dysplasia

As with most large dogs, the St. Bernard is prone to suffer from hip dysplasia .

This disease, very much of hereditary origin , is characterized by the constant misalignment between the head of the femur and the alveolus of the hip. This same maladjusting causes pain, limping, arthritis, and in many severe cases it can even incapacitate the dog.

To prevent hip dysplasia, it is convenient for the Saint Bernard to exercise regularly and stay at his ideal weight.

Gastric torsion

The gastric torsion is produced when it accumulates too much gas in the stomach of St. Bernard. This disease is genetic, causing the stomach to dilate due to excess gas. This disease is common in other large, deep-breasted canine breeds. It can be very serious.

To avoid it we must do the following:

  • Moisten the dog’s ration
  • Do not give her water during the meal
  • Do not exercise immediately after eating
  • Do not give her too much food. It is preferable to give small amounts several times
  • Use a stool to raise the feeder and drinking fountain of the São Bernardo, so that he does not squat while eating and drinking


The entropion is an ocular disease, concretely of the eyelid. The eyelid turns into the eye, rubbing the cornea and causing eye irritation and even small lacerations of the same.

It is advisable to maintain good hygiene of the Saint Bernard eyes by regularly washing the eyes with saline solution or a chamomile infusion at room temperature.


The ectropion is how much the eyelid separates excessively from the eyes, causing visual dysfunctions over time. This once reinforces the idea that you should maintain good dog eye hygiene.

Heart problems

The Saint Bernard is prone to suffer heart problems . The main symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Sudden weakness in the paws
  • Somnolence

These heart conditions can be palliated with medication if they are detected quickly. Keeping the dog at its proper weight and with regular exercise is a good way to prevent heart disease.

Wobbler syndrome and other care

The Wobbler syndrome is a separate area of cervical disease. This disease can cause neurological deficiencies and disability. The veterinarian should evaluate and control this aspect of the Saint Bernard.

The internal and external de-worming of the Saint Bernard is essential at least once a year.

The Saint Bernard requires a daily brushing of your hair with a firm cervical brush. You should not bath him very often, since your hair typology does not require it. When you bathe, you should do so with dog shampoos, which are very soft in color. This composition of the shampoo has the purpose of not eliminating the protective layer of the Saint Bernard’s dermis.

Other care that this breed needs:

  • Do not like warm environment
  • They do not like to travel by car.
  • Frequent eye care

When Saint Bernard is still a puppy, you should not undergo rigorous exercises until your bone skeleton is well formed.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles the less common St Bernard diseases , we recommend you to enter our section on Inherited Diseases .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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