Rottweiler Health & Known Deseases

Health Problems

JLPP – Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy

Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy
Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (JLPP) is a neurological disorder which has been discovered in Black Russian Terriers. As a disorder affecting the nerves, it is named polyneuropathy: poly- (many), neuro- (nerves), -pathy (a disease). It is a most commong disorder in the Black Russian Terrier breed. The disorder appears too be similar to Charcot Marie Tooth disease which affects humans. The same as in Charcot Marie Tooth disease, Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy in dogs appears as very heterogeneous, from predominantly demyelinating forms to predominantly axonal forms. Predominantly demyelinating forms are characterized by very slow motor nerve conduction velocities (MNCV) and histopathological evidence of demyelination. Predominantly axonal forms are characterized by mildly slowed MNCV and axonal abnormalities on histopathology with many intermediate forms

The first symptoms of the disease appear in the larynx and throat. In a healthy dog, one of the longest nerves in the body supplies the muscles of the voice box, called larynx. While the dog is barking, air moves over the vocal folds, which start to vibrate. On the other hand, when the dog breathes in, larynx’s muscles pull the vocal folds on the side, so the air can easily enter the lungs. When the nerves are unable to transmit this message correctly, and the muscles become weak or even paralyzed. The dog is unable to breath in properly, due to vocal fold which cannot be pulled out of the way. This is called the laryngeal paralysis, and it is often the first symptom in the affected dogs. Affected dogs breath noisily, and the air flow into the lungs is particulary difficult during the dog’s exercise or in the hot weather. Choking the food or water is common, which often results in pneumonia. Abnormalities in the eye development of the affected dogs have been also reported. JLPP affecred dogs appear to have smaller eyes than normal, a condition called microphthalmia, and they develope cataracts as well as other changes.

Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (JLPP) is caused by a mutation in the RAB3GAP1 gene. The disorder is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. In case of showing the jlpp symptoms, the healthy parents of the affected cub are obligate heterozygotes, and therefore carry one mutant allele. Heterozygotes have no symptoms. At conception, each cub has a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being an asymptomatic carrier, and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier. There is no cure for this disorder, and only way to prevent it, is to breed dogs which are not carriers of the mutation. Defected genes for autosomal recessive disease can be passed for many generations without affected individuals occurring until two carriers are bred to one another. The only way to find out if there is a chance of getting an affected puppy is to do genetic testing.


Full article from the ADRK

Video on what the disease does to dogs

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia (HD) is a developmental disease in which there is a malformation of the hip joint(s). It is a genetic disease which may also be influenced by environmental factors. It is a common problem in most large breeds, and depending on severity, can cause serious pain and/or debilitation. HD is almost never detectable in animals younger than six months, and then in only the most severe cases. Two years is generally considered the minimum age for accurate diagnosis.

An x-ray of bad hips.

The Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) maintains a Hip Dysplasia Registry, which functions as a diagnostic service and a registry of hip status for dogs of all breeds. X-rays are evaluated by three veterinary radiologists, and are assigned a hip status of Excellent, Good, Fair, Borderline, Mild Dysplasia, Moderate Dysplasia or Severe Dysplasia. Dogs receiving evaluations of Excellent, Good or Fair are assigned an OFA Breed Registry Number. Only dogs that are at least 24 months of age are eligible for an OFA Number.

X-ray of good hips.

In an effort to reduce the incidence of HD, responsible Rottweiler breeders will not breed dogs which have not received OFA clearance. Puppies should only be purchased after careful evaluation of the hip dysplasia status of the parents and the grandparents. The breeder of the puppies should be able to provide copies of the OFA certificates (on official stationery from the OFA). This is not a guarantee that your puppy will not develop HD later on; research has documented the fact that normal parents can produce litters with one third or more of the puppies dysplastic as adults. Genetics may be the cause of dysplasia but environmental factors such as over-feeding, over exercise and injury of young animals may also contribute to this


Elbow Dysplasia

Like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia is a hereditary disease. It is a malformation of the elbow joint(s). OFA certifies elbows on a pass/fail basis. As with hip dysplasia, your breeder should be able to show you reports from the OFA defining the conformation of both parent’s elbows.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)

OCD is a disease of bone formation that leads to lameness and arthritis. It results from a disturbance of the process by which cartilage is turned into bone during the growth process. Abnormally thickened cartilage forms in areas of the joints that are subject to stress and, hence, prone to damage. Cracks form, and the cartilage can tear, forming a flap. This flap may remain attached to the bone, or it may tear away and float freely in the joint. The cracks, flap or free cartilage piece lead to inflammation of the joint (arthritis), pain and lameness. More than one joint is often affected simultaneously. In dogs, a the most commonly affected joint is the shoulder, followed by the elbow, hock and knee.


Sometimes referred to as “growing pains” or “pano”, panosteitis occurs as a rotating lameness, usually in puppies about four months of age. There are tests for pano which should be done to rule out more serious problems. Sometimes crate rest is all a puppy needs for complete recovery.

Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD)

VWD is a hereditary a bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia. Dogs affected with VWD may have symptoms ranging from prolonged bleeding of toenails cut short to hemorrhaging during minor surgical procedures. Dogs may be carriers while exhibiting no outward symptoms. VWD is diagnosed through blood screening.


Bloat is a common condition in which the stomach swells from gas, fluid or both. Bloat becomes a medical emergency when the stomach distends and then flips over, causing torsion. Bloat and torsion may be caused by over-eating, drinking large amounts of water after eating, and/or vigorous exercise after a meal. Efforts to prevent bloat may include feeding several small meals a day, crating the dog for several hours after eating, and monitoring water intake.

Purdue Study On Bloat

Heart Diseases

The most common heart problem seen in Rottweilers is Sub-Aortic Stenosis. This disorder can be very mild or so serious that it results in sudden death. Reputable breeders, working with canine cardiologists, hope to identify the mode of inheritance of this and other heart problems.


Some Rottweilers are prone to flea and/or food allergies. Symptoms and severity of the allergies vary from dog to dog.

Eye Diseases

Entropian (eyelids rolling inward) and Ectropian (Eyelids rolling outward) are inherited conditions which require surgical correction. Both of these conditions disqualify a dog from being shown in AKC conformation competition.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CPRA) and certain types of Cataracts are inherited conditions. Dogs used for breeding should be examined annually by a Board-certified Veterinary ophthalmologist, until at least eight years of age, as hereditary eye problems may not present themselves until later in life. Dogs examined by a Board-certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist and found to be free of hereditary eye disease may be registered annually with the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).


Epilepsy may result from injury to the head or from bacterial infections of the brain. If no such cause is found, it is regarded to be congenital. Congenital epilepsy can be an inherited trait, and has been observed in many breeds. The term epilepsy refers to recurring episodic seizures/convulsions. The episodes can be triggered by fatigue, excitement, anxiety, noise or in females, by estrus. It may be controlled with medication. Obviously, breeding is not recommended.


Hypothyroidism refers to insufficient output of the thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It may slow down the whole-body functions; the dog may become lethargic, mentally slow, without much energy. Its coat may become dull, thin and fall out easily. In males it can lower the sperm count and reduce sexual activity. In females it may cause irregular heat cycles. The signs may develop very slowly, and the condition can be detected with a blood test. Usually, it is a permanent condition, and is treated with thyroid hormones. Hypothyroid is generally considered to be an inherited trait.


Cancer is becoming a very common condition in the Rottweiler breed, with bone cancer being the most frequent type. Any suspicious lumps, moles, sores or unexplained lameness should be investigated by your veterinarian.

Fleas?  Try this recipe for a Natural Flea Spray!

Bring a quart of water just to a boil. Pour it over a fat sliced lemon and a tablespoon of crushed rosemary leaves. Let this sit overnight.  Strain and put in a spray bottle.  If you have a serious infestation, pour the whole batch in the tub as a rinse after a bath with a good herbal shampoo. Leave on and rub in for five minutes.