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Health Issues:

There are no lines clear of any genetic diseases that affect the Newfoundland breed and there is no guarantee that obtaining a puppy from clear parents will provide you with a sound disease free puppy. Breeding cleared stock decreases the chances of hereditary disease, but again does not guarantee disease free puppies.


Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disease of the hip joint whereas the femur head moves in the socket and wears down the bone surfaces. 
Hip dysplasia can be affecting only one hip or both hips. Hip Dysplasia can vary in severity from a mild/borderline case to a complete subluxation of the ball and socket. Hip Dysplasia is influenced by genetics and environmental and nutritional factors.
Treatment of hip dysplasia varies with how severe the condition is. For elderly and hip dysplastic dogs glucosamine supplements can be added to diet. Sometimes even pain killers must be given to the dog, depending on how severe the case is. Hip Dysplasia can be operated, but it will renew.


Containing various links to health articles, including hip dysplasia, nutrition and radiography, etc.

Animated differences in normal and dysplasic gait

The Importance of good positioning on canine hip X-rays

If you are interested in more detailed sites on hip grading, visit:

Hip dysplasia in South Africa

Hip rating comparisons between different countries

Orthopedic Foundation For Animals: Hip Grades


Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia
is a general term that is used to describe a developmental degenerative disease of the elbow joint. Treatment of osteochondritis of the elbow varies with what distinct abnormalities are present. Dogs with clinical ED typically develop foreleg lameness between the ages of 5 and 12 months of age, however, in some cases the lameness may not be apparent until as late as 5-7 years of age. The lameness may be variable and periodic.
Dogs may demonstrate soreness after rest, improve slightly with activity, but then worsen with increased activity. Jumping and sharp fast turns usually exaggerate the lameness. Pain can be elicited by overextending the elbow, and there may be a slight to moderate swelling noticeable when carefully feeling the elbow joint.

Heart Diseases

The congenital heart defect known as aortic stenosis consists of a narrowed, malformed aortic valve. This is the valve that leads from the main pumping chamber of the heart to the main artery to the body.  In aortic stenosis, there is narrowing and partial blockage of blood flow from the heart to the body. The blockage may involve thicked, abnormal valve flaps or webs of tissue just above the valve or just below the valve, within the ventricle. 

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS) is a congenital heart problem that can occur in any breed. Even breeding stock that has been cleared for SAS can still produce it. SAS is a defect in the heart valve that will ultimately be fatal to the affected dog. No outward abnormalities are evident in a dog affected with SAS. Through auscultation with an extremely sensitive stethoscope and using ultrasound, a veterinarian specializing in cardiology can evaluate the heart function in dogs of any age. SAS is not present in puppies at birth and is a complicated defect that develops primarily during the first six months but up to a year.


In dogs with cystinuria, the kidney transporter for cystine, an amino acid, is defective. In acid urine, cystine precipitates to create crystals, which may further precipitate to form stones in the kidney and bladder. Cystinuric dogs often show signs of a recurrent urinary tract disorder. Because male dogs have a narrower urethra than female dogs, male dogs are more likely to become completely blocked. Without appropriate and immediate care can lead to death. 


Other health conditions to be aware of are inherited eye diseases, including cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). While cataracts may sometimes be corrected by surgery, PRA is not treatable and may cause blindness by 4 to 5 years of age as PRA can actually disintegrate the retina. Neither of these diseases is detectable in a young puppy.

Entropion, Ectropion, and Cherry Eye are conditions that also effect the health of a Newf's eye.  

  • Entropion is the turning in of the eyelid, allowing the eyelashes to rub on the cornea and can cause complications.  The direct cause of this is complicated, but is primarily due to the massive size of the Newfs head which commonly has larger eye sockets.  It is common to find the lower eyelid "hitting" the lower part of the eye ball instead of gently rolling up and over to the middle of the eye to meet the upper eyelid with each blink or squint. This condition can be operated.
  • Ectropion is an outward turning of the lower eyelid. Typically a dog that has a massive head, will also have extra skin that can accommodate their
    growing skulls. These dogs will often have more elasticity also which allows their skin to stretch over the head.  These issues can lead to ectropion, which leaves the eye exposed to irritation and/or infection.  Surgery can be performed to correct it. 
  • Cherry Eye is a mass of red tissue at the corner of the eye of the third eyelid.  It usually occurs in younger growing puppies/dogs, affecting one eye first, but then typically the second within a few weeks.  Surgical removal of the entire gland is required.



Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid levels, is caused by an underactive thyroid gland.  Testing for hypothyroidism is available.


Acute Gastric Dilation/Torsion, better known as bloat, is a condition when the stomach suddenly becomes distended with gas and/or fluids. 
In severe cases, twisting may occur and cause death.  This condition occurs more commonly in larger breeds with deep bodies.  Some suggestions
to help avoid this condition:
-Raise your dogs food bows off the ground
-Feed smaller more frequent meals
-Never exercise your dog before or after meals


Skin Problems

Some Newfoundlands have allergies such as food- and pollen allergies. Some Newfoundlands are prone to skin problems such as hot spots.


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