Siberian Huskies are a pretty healthy breed. The Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA) has been very proactive about watching for genetic issues within the breed and encouraging breeders to not breed dogs with defects, so they do not have the myriad of issues that some other breeds do. However, no dog breed (or animal for that matter) is completely free from disease. There are a few health concerns that Husky owners should be aware of that their dog may face. The following are the top 3 health concerns for Huskies.
#1 – Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is prevalent in over 114 breeds of dogs. According to the SHCA, it’s the top health concern for Huskies. Dysplasia occurs when the head of the femur does fit properly into the pelvic joint. It can range from mild to severe and is inherited. A veterinarian can diagnose it using radiography.
#2 – Eye Defects
Siberian Huskies can be affected by 3 eye defects: hereditary or juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. According to the SHCA, these diseases are very serious and should not be overlooked. The most common is hereditary cataracts. For all of these diseases, genetic testing is available so if you are getting a puppy, make sure you are going to a responsible breeder who has tested the parents before breeding.
#3 – Uveodermatologic Syndrome
This disease is complex, and affects the eyes, skin, and nervous system. Northern breeds are most commonly affected. It’s an autoimmune disease where the immune system destroys the melanocytes (pigment-making cells) in the skin and eyes. This causes premature whitening of the hair and skin. Huskies that are affected will also suffer eye problems, including uveitis and retinal separation. Painful, red eyes in your Husky should be checked out immediately. There is treatment, but irreversible blindness is common with this disease.
Frequently Ask Questions:
Huskies make great pets for many years, and they are beautiful too. But purebred Huskies have some health issues that potential owners should consider. As with any animal, it is important to know about the most common health problems that Huskies have since many of them can be expensive and take a long time to treat. If you are considering getting a Husky as a pet, read about their most common health problems here.
Do Huskies Have Health Problems?
All dogs can have health problems especially if they are not given enough exercise or the right nutrition. However, huskies are prone to certain health problems such as skin and eye problems. As with all large dogs, they have the potential to experience hip, joint, and arthritis problems too.
As with any animal, it is important to know about the most common health problems that Siberian Huskies have since many of them can be expensive and take a long time to treat. Take them to their annual checkup, though, as they are inclined to the problems mentioned below.
What Health Issues Do Huskies Have?
Huskies are unfortunately prone to hypothyroidism, which happens when a dog’s thyroid gland, which controls its metabolism, does not make enough hormones. This can make it hard for your dog to do the things he needs to do every day. Since this condition affects the whole body, you should take your dog to the vet right away if you think he or she has it. Next, one of this breed’s most common and dangerous diseases is called degenerative myelopathy. Your dog might have this illness if he stumbles, falls down, or walks like he is drunk.
Dental disease is the most common long-term illness in huskies. Tooth problems are more likely to happen to your Siberian Husky than to other dogs. Tartar on the teeth is the first sign of dental disease. As the disease worsens, it spreads to the gums and the roots of the teeth. If we do not stop or treat dental disease, your friend could lose her teeth and hurt her kidneys, liver, heart, or joints. In fact, your Husky’s life span could be cut by one to three years!
What Diseases Are Huskies Prone To?
Huskies are prone to eye problems, skin diseases, cancers, and hip problems. One of the common problems is a lack of zinc or a skin condition that responds to zinc. Siberian Huskies may lose hair on their elbows, feet, hocks, and especially on their eyelids, chin, and lips if they do not get enough vitamin A. Hypothyroidism may be a problem you will deal with with a husky. When your Siberian Huskies have this disease, you may notice that they are gaining weight despite not eating much. Another sign is that your dog’s fur is falling out, and there are bald spots that you can see.
Do Huskies Get Hip Dysplasia?
Yes, This is a genetic disorder that can happen to your husky. It is a condition in which your dog’s femur does not fit right into the hip socket. In other words, your dog’s hock joint and the elbow joint are a little loose, which keeps its bones from falling out. This disease can also be seen in other large dog breeds. If you do not want your beloved dogs to get this disease, it is important to screen the parent dogs as part of your breeding program.
Do Huskies Have Hip Problems?
Most of the time, Siberian Huskies are healthy dogs. You can say that their long history of breeding has kept them in great shape. They are very active and have a very fast metabolism. Huskies are the only type of dog that can run for hours and hours without getting tired because they can save their fat. However, running can lead to hip problems and arthritis, along with other joint problems.
Do Huskies Have Eye Problems?
Not many things affect your dog’s quality of life as much as how well his eyes work. Siberian Huskies can get or inherit several painful eye conditions. If not treated right away, some of these conditions can lead to blindness, and most of them are very painful. Cataracts are a common reason why old Huskies go blind.
Additionally, glaucoma is an eye disease that affects both Siberian Huskies and people. It is very painful and quickly causes blindness if it is not treated. Glaucoma is a serious health problem. Disease of the cornea can affect your dog by making their vision cloudy with no current treatment options. Progressive Retinal Atrophy runs in families and wastes away the retina of your dogs. As a dog owner, you can find this out early when you have your dogs checked. If your Huskies have this disease, they might not be able to see well at night. Later, its daytime vision will get worse and worse until it can not see anything at all.
Are Huskies Prone To Skin Problems?
Huskies can have a few skin problems. When your Siberian Husky keeps licking the same spot on its body, this is when hot spots start to form. This is a condition in which your dog’s skin gets sores, and its hair falls out. When your dog has this, the bacteria on it will keep spreading to other parts of its body. Your vet is the right person to talk to about this for treatment.
Pemphigus foliaceus is a disease of the top layer of skin that happens more often in Siberian Huskies. It usually starts around age four and causes crusts and hair loss, usually on the top of his nose and inside the flap of his ear. Some dogs can get it on the pads and nails of their feet. There is no cure, but there are many good ways to treat them.
Your Husky is likely to get zinc-responsive dermatosis, a skin infection that happens when he either does not get enough zinc in his diet or does not absorb it well. Signs include the skin around the mouth, chin, eyes, and ears that is red, hairless, crusty, flaky, or oozes, as well as sores on the foot pads and nose. If this disease happens to your dog, we will tell you how much zinc to put in his food.
How Do I Know If My Husky Is Sick?
Dogs can not express themselves. Any dog owner understands that canine body language is incredibly expressive. When sick, dogs instinctively hide their symptoms. You may be able to notice small personality and behavior changes in your dog. Subtle changes usually signal trouble. Early detection is crucial to helping your dog recover fast.
Some of the symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, urination changes, excessive hunger, loss of appetite, reduced or excessive thirst, unexplained weight loss or gain, and changes in their personality. Dogs may become more lethargic or reclusive when they are sick, while others become snippy because of the fear of being touched in a painful area. Other signs are easy to spot, such as coughing, wheezing, or trouble breathing.
Trouble walking or limping can be caused by arthritis, hip dysplasia, joint disorders, infections like Lyme disease, or a fractured bone. If your pet is lame or stiff, limit activities. Red eyes, runny eyes, squinting, or holding the eye closed might signal anything from a simple infection to glaucoma. To check your dog’s gum color, lift his lip and look at the gum tissue.Ultimately you know your pet best, and if something feels off, take them to the vet for help determining the problem.