Young Woman Hugging Dalmatian

Common Dalmatian Health Issues and How to Prevent Them

Do you have a beloved Dalmatian in your life? These spotted pups are known for their unique looks and energetic personalities, but they can also be prone to certain health issues. From skin conditions to deafness, there are several challenges that Dalmatians may face throughout their lives. But don’t worry – with the right care and preventative measures, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come! In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most common Dalmatian health issues and offer tips on how to prevent them. So grab a cup of coffee (or treat yourself to a puppuccino), snuggle up with your four-legged companion, and let’s dive into these important topics together!

Introduction to Dalmatians and common Dalmatian health issues

Dalmatians are one of the most popular dog breeds, known for their striking black and white coats. But did you know that Dalmatians are also prone to certain health problems? In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the most common health issues in Dalmatians and how you can prevent them.

One of the most common health problems in Dalmatians is inherited deafness. Deafness can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, trauma, or disease. Because Dalmatians are born with white coats, they lack the pigment in their skin and ear canal that helps protect against deafness.

In the Dalmatian, deafness is associated with the extreme piebald gene (Strain 1996), which causes the whiteness of most of their coat and their blue eyes (in those that have blue eyes). Dalmatians are homozygous recessive for the extreme piebald gene and deafness seems to occur as a linked polygenetic disorder, in which inheritance of the gene makes it very likely that genes that cause the deafness are inherited also (Webb & Cullen 2010).


If you’re thinking about getting a Dalmatian, be sure to ask the breeder about the parents’ hearing status and get your puppy’s hearing tested as soon as possible.

Another common dalmatian health issue is urinary stones. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect urination problems.

Urinary stones are small mineral deposits that can form in the bladder or urinary tract. They’re often painful and can lead to infections or blockages. Male Dalmatians are especially susceptible to urinary stones because of their anatomy – they have a relatively long urethra, which gives minerals more time to form into stones. To prevent urinary stones, make sure your Dalmatian stays well-hydrated and avoid feeding them foods high in magnesium, calcium, or phosphorus.

Dalmatians are unique among dogs since they excrete uric acid in their urine rather than allantoin like other dogs. Some male Dalmatians form bladder stones composed of urate. The stones can cause a blockage of the urethra preventing the dog from urinating, which is a life-threatening problem. After surgical removal of the urinary stones, medical treatment is available to prevent their reoccurrence. The treatment for Dalmatians that form stones requires lifelong medication and frequent visits to the veterinarian for urine testing. All Dalmatians regardless of line or the sex of the dogs produce uric acid in their urine, however only a subset of male Dalmatians have the stone formation problem.

If you’re considering adding a Dalmatian to your family, keep these common health issues in mind and talk to your veterinarian.

Dalmatian Health Issues - check with your veterinarian.

Symptoms of health issues in Dalmatians

There are a number of health issues that can affect Dalmatians. Some of the more common ones include:

Hip dysplasia: This is a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and lameness. It is thought to be genetic in nature, so it is important to have your dog’s hips checked by a veterinarian before breeding.

Elbow dysplasia: This is similar to hip dysplasia, but affects the elbow joint instead. Again, it is thought to be genetic and can lead to pain and lameness.

Allergies: Dalmatians are prone to allergies, both environmental and food-based. Common signs include itching, excessive licking, and hot spots. If you suspect your dog has allergies, talk to your vet about possible treatments.

A common allergy among Dalmatians is a darkening “browning” of their coat. Bronzing skin syndrome, also referred to as Dal crud, is a type of bacterial folliculitis seen exclusively in Dalmatians.

Symptoms of bronzing skin syndrome can include:

  • skin scaling
  • itchy skin
  • patchy coat
  • skin attains a bronze/brown hue
  • bumps at the base of inflamed hair follicles
  • scabs or crusts around bumps due to ruptures
  • hair loss around bumps
Common Dalmatian health issues - Bronzing Skin Syndrome
Common Dalmatian health issues – Bronzing Skin Syndrome

With our personal experience, we’ve been able to tie some of the symptoms with diet. One of the common causes is a diet high in purine content. We’ve changed their diet to include more salmon and less chicken. Additionally, in the evening before bed, we religiously give our dogs fish oil supplements. We tell them to go get their “fish”, which is a keyword that they know just like “treat”, “go for a walk” or “go to the park”. We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

Urinary tract infections: UTIs are relatively common in Dalmatians, especially females. Signs include increased urination, straining to urinate, and blood in the urine. If you think your dog may have a UTI, take them to the vet for treatment.

Preventative Measures for Common Health Issues

There are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid some of the more common health issues in Dalmatians. Firstly, make sure your dog is well-exercised – this will help to avoid problems with weight gain and obesity, which can lead to joint problems later on in life. Secondly, keep an eye on their diet and make sure they are eating a nutritious and balanced diet – this will help to keep their immune system strong and reduce the chances of them developing any skin or coat problems.

Ensure that you keep up to date with their vaccinations – this will help to protect them from any potentially deadly diseases. By following these simple steps, you can help your Dalmatian stay happy and healthy for many years to come.

Tips on Diet and Exercise for Healthy Dalmatians

As with any dog, a balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for keeping your Dalmatian healthy. A good diet for a Dalmatian should include plenty of protein and moderate amounts of fat and carbohydrates. Avoid feeding your Dalmatian too much grain or filler as this can lead to health problems down the road.

As far as exercise goes, Dalmatians need at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity every day. A good way to provide this is by taking them on a daily walk or jog. If you don’t have time for a daily walk, try playing fetch or Frisbee in your backyard instead. Just make sure that your Dalmatian always has access to fresh water while exercising, as they can overheat quickly and drinking lots of water can help mitigate urinary issues.

By following these simple tips on diet and exercise, you can help keep your Dalmatian happy and healthy for many years to come by mitigating many of these common dalmatian health issues.

Important Vaccines & Treatments

Dalmatians are susceptible to a number of health conditions, some of which can be prevented with vaccinations or early treatment. Some of the most important vaccines and treatments for Dalmatians include:

Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a potentially fatal disease that can affect Dalmatians of all ages. Vaccination is the best way to prevent parvovirus, and all Dalmatians should be vaccinated against it.

Hepatitis: Hepatitis is a viral infection that can cause serious illness in dogs. It is important to vaccinate your Dalmatian against hepatitis to help protect them from this disease.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be deadly in dogs. Vaccination is the best way to prevent leptospirosis, and all Dalmatians should be vaccinated against it. Early diagnosis and treatment of leptospirosis is also important, as this disease can rapidly progress and lead to death if not treated promptly.

Ear infections: Ear infections are common in Dalmatians, especially those with allergies or skin problems. Treatment of ear infections usually involves cleaning the ears and using medication to clear the infection. Preventing ear infections is often possible by keeping the ears clean and free of debris.

Urinary tract infections: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are relatively common in dogs, and Dalmatians are no exception. Ensure that your dalmatian drinks lots of water and has an opportunity to urinate frequently.

Other Considerations for Keeping a Healthy Dalmatian

When it comes to keeping your Dalmatian healthy, there are a few other things to keep in mind. For starters, exercise is important for all dogs, but especially for Dalmatians. They are a high energy breed and need plenty of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

Another thing to keep in mind is nutrition. A healthy diet is important for all dogs, but Dalmatians can be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients. Be sure to talk to your vet about what kind of food is best for your dog.

Avoid overbreeding. Dalmatians are already prone to health problems, so breeding them too often can further increase the risk of genetic disorders. Stick to responsible breeders who health test their dogs and only breed when necessary.


The Dalmatian is a popular breed of dog that unfortunately has its fair share of health issues. Thankfully, many of these common conditions can be controlled or prevented with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care. With the right diet and regular check-ups from your veterinarian, you can help ensure your Dalmatian stays healthy and happy for years to come.

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