Health Schemes

Health Issues

Hip Dysplasia

The term refers to the shape and fit of the Ball of the Femur with the Socket in the Hip. Believed to be part inherited and part environmental. Hip Dysplasia is evidenced by signs of discomfort when running, standing or rising. The dog may be reluctant to rise or rises with difficulty, swaggers or sways its rear end while walking and may avoid excessive exercise, jumping or other use of its hind legs.

The Rottweiler Club of Victoria Inc. insists that only those dogs who fit the criteria for satisfactory hips can be bred from. This scheme has been successful in lowering the incidence of Hip Dysplasia, but not eliminating it. If your dog is reluctant to jump up into cars or is slow moving you may have to consider Hip Dysplasia. X-ray is done at 12 months to enter the Club Scheme. For more information (including information on the Hip Dysplasia Scheme), Click Here.

The Victorian Canine Association Inc has brought in a Pedigree Endorsement. Click here for further information.

Osteocondritis(OCD) / Elbow Dysplasia

This is a term covering several conditions in the legs. Usually seen between 4 and 8 months in the rapidly growing puppy. Mainly in the shoulder, hock or elbow. Presents as a reluctance to get up with lameness and pain in the affected joint. A frustrating disease that is sometimes difficult to diagnose as it may not be present on x-ray. Consult your vet. Do not rush from vet to vet, or rush into surgery. For further information in regard to the RCV Elbow Scheme, Click Here

Cruciate Ligament

Limping in the rear end does not always indicate hip dysplasia. The anterior cruciate ligament is an important structure I the stifle (knee) joint of the dog because it helps stabilise and strengthen the knee during movement. When the ligament ruptures (tears), it causes instability in the knee which in turn causes inflammation and damage to the joint.

The rupture can occur after a period of gradual degenerative changes in the ligament or by a traumatic accident. Surgery is required to repair the damage. The surgically repaired knee may never be as strong as it was before the rupture, and it is not uncommon for the cruciate ligament in the other knee to rupture later.

Teeth Problems

The correct bite is a scissor bite. Upper teeth closely fitting over the bottom teeth. Many variations on this can occur, undershot, overshot, wry etc. A bite problem does not affect the dog in any way except to render it a non breeding animal.

Missing Teeth

Correct dentition is 42 teeth. 20 on the upper jaw, 22 on the lower jaw. Missing teeth do not cause the dog any problems but again renders it not suitable for breeding. Refer to breed standard for clarification.

Entropion and Ectropion

Entropion, where the eyelid, along with the eyelashes, rolls into the eye, leading to possible ulcerations of the cornea and Ectropion, where the eyelid rolls outward and also causes irritation to the cornea are condition that must be corrected surgically. They are also disqualifications under the Rottweiler Breed Standard and animals exhibiting entropion or ectropion should not used as breeding stock.

Subaortic Stenosis (SAS)

SAS is a congenital defect of the heart that impedes blood flow and is inherited in several breeds including the Rottweiler. Among the clinical signs are exercise intolerance, fainting or collapse. Shortened life span and sudden unexpected deaths are also associated with SAS. Detection is determined by a Specialist listening to the heart.


Bloat is a condition where the stomach over-distends with gas and can actually flip upon itself (torsion). It is a condition especially prevalent in large, deep-chested breeds, including the Rottweiler. Early signs of bloat are restlessness and abdominal discomfort. Vomiting or retching commence, although, although nothing appears except saliva or mucus. As the retching and abdominal distress increase, the dog becomes weaker, breathing is laboured, the tongue becomes blue, until finally the dog collapses and dies.

Other Conditions

Immune Deficiency
Umbilical Hernia
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Neurological conditions

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