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.
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