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The PupJoy Post

What Are The Most Common Inherited Dog Diseases?

Bladder Stones

Although bladder stones often appear in purebred breeds like Dalmations, Bichon Frises, Miniature Schnauzers, and Newfoundlands, any pup can develop them. This potentially dangerous disease can cause some dogs to show symptoms like urinary accidents, trouble urinating, and bloody or dark colored urine.

Bladder stones are formed by a collection of debris and mineral crystals. Veterinarians diagnose them with an ultrasound or X-rays. Depending on the severity of the stones, some can be treated with diet and antibiotics whereas others require surgery.

For dogs with a predisposition for bladder stones can develop them at any time. Veterinarians often recommend therapeutic diets with periodic check-ups.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is common among large-breed dogs. Purebred breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards all have a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia. But, mixed breeds are at risk, also.

Hip dysplasia occurs when the head of the femur (or ball) doesn’t fit inside the pelvis socket. This causes the joint to rub and grind rather than smoothly slide.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia include pain or difficulty with the stairs, running, walking, laying down, getting up, and getting up and down from the furniture. Hip dysplasia can often be managed with pain medications, weight control, or physical therapy. Some dogs may require surgery, though.

Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of developing this disease.

Idiopathic Epilepsy

Breeds at risk for epilepsy are German Shepherds, Keeshonds, Belgian Tervurens, Beagles, Dachshunds, Labs, and Golden Retrievers. Ideopathic epilepsy are recurring seizures with unknown causes. It’s not easy to diagnose, though, as we are not with our dogs 100% of the time.

Although seizures can be caused by heat stroke, reactions to drugs, organ failure, poisoning, or other problems – it’s widely known as an inherited disease.

Anticonvulsive drugs can help prevent the brain cells from becoming “overly excited”. There is, however, no cure or preventatives for epilepsy.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy (or DM) is most commonly associated with German Shepherds but other breeds – like American Water Spaniels, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Borzois, Boxers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and Pugs – are also at risk.

This disease is a neurological condition found most often in middle-aged or senior dogs. It’s found in the mid-to-lower spinal cord and is due to the degeneration of nerve fibers. Symptoms include wobbliness and weakness in the back end, dragging rear paws, the inability to stand, and paralysis.

Degenerative Myelopathy has no cure. It’s a progressive disease, too, so the majority of dogs mobility problems and a loss of control of their hindquarters. It’s not painful for dogs – just very heartbreaking to watch.

Heart Disease

Specific breeds have a predisposition towards heart disease. Breeds like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dobermans, Dachshunds, Great Danes, Bulldogs, and Boxers. Mixed breeds can develop heart disease, though.

Symptoms of heart disease include weakness, coughing, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, collapse, fainting, or even sudden death.

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Breeds with small faces such as French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, and Pekingeses can suffer from brachycephalic syndrome.

Dogs with this problem have noisy breathing sounds and while their night-time snoring may be cute, they can be an indication of potentially genetic respiratory issues. These pups are often born with narrowed nostrils, elongated soft palates, and narrowed tracheas.

Brachycephalic dogs can suffer from exercise intolerance, heat stroke, or can collapse. Thankfully, these issues can often be improved with surgery.