Dog Health Conditions
Dog Health Conditions are often present at birth but are
not visible immediately. Our small dog breeds, have a number of inherited conditions which you need to be aware of.
When choosing a dog breed, you may want to consider
some of these health conditions detailed in the table below.
Many small dog breeds, as are all breeds of dogs, susceptible to one or more of the conditions discussed
When choosing a puppy, it would be advisable to have both the parents checked for many of these dog health conditions.
Ensure you select a registered and responsible breeder. Do not use puppy mills or backyard breeders. Pet shops, unfortunately, are also particularly suspect when buying a puppy.
Congenital Defects in Dogs
Hernia: protrusion of part of an organ through the
membrane which contains it
differ depending on the organ(s) that is protruding and the size of the
opening in the diaphragm.
breeds (breeds with short noses) and Chinese Shar Pei
the junction between the oesophagus and the stomach from the abdominal
cavity forward into the thoracic cavity.
Cairn Terrier, Basenji, Pekingese, West Highland White Terrier
||More common in
male dogs. Result through some failure of the inguinal canal,
through which the testicle descends, to close properly.
Terrier, Basenji, Pekingese, Pointer, Weimaraner
normal closure of the umbilical ring. Increasing abdominal
pressure with advancing age forces omentum or intestines through the
Bones and Joints
Cervical vertebral instability
Dobermann Pinscher, English Sheepdog, Fox Terrier, Great Dane, Irish
Setter, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saint Bernard
as wobbler syndrome. Instability of the neck vertebrae results in
pressure on the spinal cord.
and giant breeds; also Cocker Spaniel and Shetland Sheepdog
conditions of the acetabulum (cup-shaped depression on the pelvis with
which the head of the femur forms the hip-joint) and head of the femur
(the bone of the thigh).
breeds, including Manchester Terrier, Pekingese, Poodle, Chinese Pug,
Schnauzer, Wirehaired Fox Terrier
||Necrosis (death of cells) of the femur head in the
absence of infection due to pathogenic oganisms.
Odontoid process dysplasia
Pekingese, Pomeranian, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier
malformation or subluxation (partial dislocation) of the first and
second neck (cervical) vertebrae that results in excessive flexion of
the joint that may result in compression of the spinal cord.
& Tervuren Shephers, Keeshond, Collie, Dachshund, Poodle, GSD, Setters,
seizures. Genetic predisposition in several dog breeds.
Yorkshire Terrier, English Bulldog, Chihuahua, Lhasa Apso, Chinese Pug,
Toy Poodle, Pomeranian, Cairn & Boston Terriers, Pekingese
accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (a watery fluid that is continuously
produced and absorbed, which flows in the brain cavities and around the
surface of the brain and spinal cord) within the skull. Congenital
forms may occur because of structural defects that either obstruct the
outflow or impede the absorption of cerebrospinal fluid.
||Toy & Min
Poodles, Pomeranian, Yorkshire, Cairn Terriers, Dachshund, Chihuahua,
Maltese, Boxer, Pekingese, English Bulldog, Min. Schnauzer, Shetland
Sheepdog, Siberian Husky
||The testes of
the male dog normally descend to the scrotum by 10 days after birth.
Cryptorchidism can be diagnosed if both testes are not within the
scrotum by 8 weeks of age.
breeds and Chinese Shar Pei
narrowing of the air passage leading to respiratory difficulty, mouth
breathing and snorting sounds.
Miniature Breeds, especially Chihuahua, Poodle, Pomeranian
due to malformations of the tracheal rings.
Ridgeback, Shih Tzu, Boxer
indentation of the skin that extends from the skin surface on the
midline of the back, ending in the subcutaneous tissues (tissues below
the skin) or extending through the spinal canal.
such as Pomeranian, Spitz, Samoyed & Min Poodles
as black skin disease.
||Urether (the tube
that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder) that enters at an
abnormal place resulting in incontinence (lack of voluntary control of
urination) since birth or weaning.
Familial renal disease
Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tsu, Rottweiler, Chow chow,
Norwegian Elkhound, Samoyed, Bull & Softcoated Wheaten Terrier, Std
Poodle, Chinese Shar Pei, Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dog
in affected individual dogs varies depending on the degree and duration
of renal involvement.
Other common health conditions:
Dogs Arthritis - Don't let them suffer in silence
Shunts in dogs
- Congenital Portosystemic
Tick Bite Fever
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Veterinary articles supplied by Dr S Strydom and published
with kind permission of DIA Publishing - publishers of KUSA Dogs in Africa Magazine
Dr Sunelle Strydom qualified as a veterinarian in 2004 at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria. She has a passion for writing and
the sharing of knowledge to promote animal health and welfare. She has written several articles for KUSA Dogs in Africa as well as for Vra vir Faffa on the Landbouweekblad website at www.landbou.com
- Boden E 1998. Black's Veterinary Dictionary
19th Edition. A & C Black, London
- Ettinger S J & Feldman E C. 2000. Textbook of
Veterinary Internal Medicine 5th Edition. W.B. Saunders Company, USA:2-5;
- TRuvinsky A & Sampson J. 2001. The genetics of
the Dog. CABI Pul=blishing: 191 - 194
- MedicineNet.com (website). Available from
http://www.medterms.com/scrip/main/art.asp?articlekey=7529 as accessed
on 25 September 2008.
- MedicineNet.com (website). Available from
http://www.medterms.com/scrip/main/art.asp?articlekey=5909 as accessed
on 26 September 2008.
- Merck Veterinary Manual (website). Available
as accessed on 4 September 2008
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