Pet Wellness Guides > Top Newfoundland Dog Health Issues - Pet Insurance Review

Top Newfoundland Dog Health Issues

Posted: 05/29/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Newfoundlands, with their gentle nature and impressive stature, are beloved companions. However, like many large dog breeds, they can be predisposed to certain health concerns. These can range from musculoskeletal issues to digestive problems. Being aware of the most common Newfoundland dog health issues can help pup parents provide the best possible care for their fur baby.

Most Common Newfoundland Dog Health Issues

The following will help educate Newfoundland parents about the various health problems that are common in this giant breed.

Hip or Elbow Dysplasia

Dysplasia refers to a condition where the hip and/or elbow joints form abnormally as the puppy grows. The once-smooth motions of the ball-and-socket joint are now accompanied by a grinding sensation. Pups with dysplasia tend to lose interest in playing or going for walks. Needless to say, it can significantly impact their quality of life.

Mild cases of hip or elbow dysplasia may be managed with diet and pain medication. More severe cases may require surgery, with the most severe requiring total joint replacement.

Forelimb Anomaly / Congenital Radial Head Luxation

Another condition that describes a deformity, this time of the forelimb. As the puppy grows, the front leg(s) bow out and curve. While the condition is considered hereditary, the genetics behind it are not quite yet understood.

Ruptured Cruciate Ligament

The cruciate ligament is responsible for stabilizing the dog’s knee joint. A sudden tear or rupture of this ligament can cause sudden lameness.

Though all dogs can suffer ligament tears during vigorous activity or play, some breeds like Newfoundlands appear to have a genetic risk. This predisposition, coupled with their large size, makes them more susceptible to these injuries, which typically require surgery for repair.

Subaortic Stenosis (SAS)

SAS is an inherited condition that affects the aortic valve of the heart. Instead of being a wide opening, the valve narrows, restricting blood flow and increasing the pressure within the heart. The result is an overgrowth of scar tissue that interferes with the electrical impulses in the heart. 

Signs of SAS include exercise intolerance, lethargy, fainting, and even sudden death. Affected pups can experience a greater life span through medication.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Many dog breeds, particularly large and giant ones like Newfoundlands, are susceptible to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) later in life. This disease weakens and thins the heart muscle, causing it to enlarge and become inefficient. This ultimately leads to heart failure. Research is ongoing to investigate whether dietary deficiencies might contribute to DCM risk in Newfoundlands and other breeds.

Fortunately, some forms of DCM can be managed with dietary adjustments and medications that help slow heart failure progression. Additionally, atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats irregularly and rapidly, often accompanies DCM. Medication can sometimes be used to regulate heart rate in these cases.


In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, which impacts many bodily functions. Signs of hypothyroidism in your Newfie may include lethargy, poor coat, and weight gain. Luckily, pups with this disease can live a happy and normal life through medication management.


Bolat describes a condition where the stomach fills with gas, causing it to flip. As a result, blood supply is cut off to the stomach. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency surgery to correct. A dog’s recovery from bloat surgery depends on their overall health before surgery and the severity of damage to the stomach and surrounding organs.

Pet Insurance – Helping You Help Your Fur Baby

Whether it’s an accident like a ligament tear or a life-threatening condition such as bloat, treating some of these common Newfoundland dog health issues can be costly. Are you able to pay for an unexpected vet bill in the thousands of dollars?

Pet insurance helps pet parents cover the cost of care by reimbursing up to 100% of expenses. Now doesn’t that bring you some peace of mind?

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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