Typical pedigree dog? – breed-specific diseases in dogs
What are Breed Disorders?Breed-specific diseases are diseases that certain dog breeds are more likely to develop than others due to their genetic makeup. On the one hand, this is because breeds are bred for a special appearance or a special physique. Extreme physical characteristics can quickly lead to health problems. On the other hand, breeding can lead to genetic diseases creeping into the breeding lines and occurring more often due to a lack of genetic variation.
What breed dispositions are there in dogs?
respiratory diseasesBrachycephaly is one of the best-known diseases typical of the breed. Never heard? Probably yes, at least if you have met a pug or a bulldog: These dog breeds pant very quickly and sometimes rattle. The cause is the short skull bones and narrowing of the airways, which make it difficult for these breeds to breathe. A tracheal collapse is another respiratory condition caused by a weakening of the windpipe, which can cause coughing and shortness of breath. Short-headed breeds such as Pugs and Co. are also affected, as are Chihuahuas and other dwarf breeds.
The best-known example is hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip joint is deformed, causing pain and difficulty walking. It is most common in large breeds such as German Shepherds and Labradors. These can also suffer from a malformation in the elbow joint, but so can other tall breeds such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards and Bernese Mountain Dogs.
Patellar dislocation is another joint condition that causes the kneecap to slip out of position, causing lameness and pain. This is common in small breeds like Chihuahuas.
An extreme example of breed-related skin problems are wrinkled dogs like Sharpei. Due to the strong folds, the skin underneath is poorly ventilated, so that skin eczema and severe skin inflammation quickly develop.
heart diseasesUnfortunately, organs such as the heart can also be affected. An example is dilated cardiomyopathy in Dobermans, a heart muscle disease that can be fatal. But even small dog breeds can often suffer from heart defects.
Blindness & Deafness
Certain races, such as Dogs such as Dalmatians are prone to deafness due to a lack of pigment in the inner ear. This can cause hearing problems, especially if they have blue eyes at the same time.
Blindness is also a possible breed-specific disease in dogs. For example, Collies and Shelties are at high risk for eye problems such as retinal atrophy or what is known as Collie Eye Anomaly. One cause is the so-called Merle factor, which leads to blue-grey marbling and blue eyes, but also increases the likelihood of blindness and deafness occurring.
Genetic diseasesThe MDR1 gene is a mutation found in certain breeds such as Collies and Shelties. Dogs with this gene are more sensitive to certain medications, including ivermectin and loperamide, and can suffer from serious neurological side effects when taking them. A genetic test can bring clarity here.
Another common genetic defect is a blood clotting disorder in Dobermans. Some breeding lines are deficient in the so-called von Willebrand factor and are therefore more prone to bleeding, for example after injuries or operations.
How do you prevent breed-related diseases?
There are several ways to prevent or at least minimize breed-specific diseases in dogs. On the one hand, it is important to choose a reputable breeder and to find out in advance about possible health risks of the selected breed.
Reliable breeders attach great importance to healthy dogs. Therefore, they test their breeding dogs for diseases, such as genetic testing, even before they breed them. It is best to ask for the relevant health certificates to be sure-
Regular visits to the vet can also help to identify signs of possible illnesses at an early stage and to take action against them. A healthy lifestyle such as consistent exercise and a balanced diet are also important to prevent or reduce bone, joint and other problems. By preparing for breed-specific diseases in dogs and taking preventive measures, you can effectively protect your pet's health.
Not a pedigree dog, no problem?
We all naturally want to have healthy and happy dogs. With the awareness of the different breed-typical diseases in pedigree dogs, an important question arises: Isn't it perhaps better to get a mixed breed? Not necessarily.
Breed-specific diseases can also occur in mixed breeds, but the risk is usually lower. Nevertheless, it is important to be informed about possible health risks of dogs in general and to be aware of symptoms in order to ensure timely treatment.