NCNCHealth Glossary

Authored by the Newfoundland Club of Northern California

This glossary is intended to provide important information about the various health problems that are common in the breed. While this glossary is not all-encompassing, we hope it will serve as a starting place for your discussions with breeders. Additional questions regarding a specific condition or individual dog should be directed to your veterinarian.

As a giant breed, the Newfoundland can experience various health problems. Potential owners should familiarize themselves with those problems. Progress has been made in identifying some of the genes responsible for these diseases and their mode of inheritance. It is estimated that every dog carries 5 or more “bad” genes. Responsible breeders don’t guess, they test! They follow their puppies, help new owners learn the ropes and want to know the results of their breeding, good or bad. A responsible breeder needs this information to continue to improve their breeding program. Knowing the hip, elbow, heart and cystinuria status of all breeding stock allows an appropriate mate to be selected and the risk of producing health problems minimized. However, anybody purchasing a Newfoundland should be aware that, even with every precaution taken, an individual puppy still could develop health problems. If your puppy develops a problem, contact your breeder. A responsible breeder can help you understand the problem and assist in any future decisions. Further, NCNC may be able to help by putting you in contact with individuals who have had similar experiences with their own Newfoundlands.

Orthopedic Issues
Hip/Elbow Dysplasia: In dogs affected with hip dysplasia the hip joints and/or elbow joints do not form correctly as the puppy grows. Affected dogs range from mildly to severely affected…
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Heart Issues
Subaortic Stenosis (SAS): This is an inherited disease in Newfoundlands, although the mode of inheritance appears complicated and is not yet completely understood. A ring of tissue forms…
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Eye Issues
Ectropion/Entropion: These conditions cause the eyelids to roll out (Ectropion) or to roll in too tightly (Entropion). Some dogs have both problems in the same eyelid. Poorly fitting lids…
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Miscellaneous Issues
Cystinuria: Affected dogs have an abnormal absorption of cystine (an amino acid) by the kidney that results in the formation of crystals and/or stones in the urine. This can lead to recurrent or…
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