Most German shorthaired pointers are tough, healthy dogs, but the breed can be subject to a number of hereditary disorders due to their breeding. Some of these health disorders include, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD), pannus, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), epilepsy, skin disorders and cancerous lesions in the mouth, on the skin and other areas of the body. As with other breeds, un-spayed female GSPs are prone to breast cancer. This risk is reduced if they are spayed. Many factors, like genetics, environment, and diet can all contribute to hip dysplasia, which is a deformity of the hip joint. Not all German shorthaired pointers will get this if they have a healthy life style. Though in severe cases, surgical correction may be required. Like many other deep-chested dogs, German shorthaired pointers are highly prone to gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. This is a life-threatening condition, requiring immediate veterinary treatment. GDV occurs especially if the dog is fed one large meal a day, eats rapidly, drinks large amounts of water after eating, or exercises vigorously after eating. In GDV, the stomach distends with gas or air and then twists (torsion), so that the dog is unable to rid the excess air in stomach through burping or vomiting. Also, the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded, causing a drop in blood pressure and the dog will go into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog may die. Some symptoms of GDV are: distended abdomen, excessive salivation, retching without throwing up, restlessness, depression, lethargy, and weakness. Precautions against GVD include: refraining from feeding immediately before or after exercise, feeding several smaller meals throughout the day instead of a single large meal, and avoiding the consumption of large amounts of water with dry food. As with any other hunting dog, contact with game can cause the spread of fungi and bacteria that can easily colonise in the gums or cause infections on open wounds and small cuts from scratching against plants and bushes during a regular hunting session.