Inhereted Diseases in Dogs

Diseases in dogs may be contracted from other animals or from the environment, or it can be genetic or inherited. There are a number of congenital diseases that can occur in dogs. The inherited diseases can vary according to the breed and the hereditary baggage of the dog’s parents.

Eye Diseases

Eye diseases can be congenital and can lead to blindness later in the life of the puppy. The parents must be screened before the breeding to prevent any eye diseases in the newborns.

Some of the most frequent inherited eye diseases include:

  • Cataracts. which hinders the sight of the dog
  • Collie eye anomaly, which results in a shortage of blood supply to the retina and eventually blindness
  • Ectropion is an eyelid dropping and results in the exposure of the interior of the eyeball, making it more susceptible for infections; this condition may be corrected through surgery
  • Glaucoma is a swelling of the eyeball which adds pressure on the retina and impairs the vision

Heart Diseases

Heart diseases may be inherited and may include:

  • Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the ventricular muscles and can be a fatal disease
  • The aortic and subaortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the aorta; the condition can be fatal
  • Mitral valve disease is a leaky valve that may cause complications

Any cardiac problems should occur during the initial screening of the parents.

Endocrine Disorders

Diabetes and hyperthyroidism are frequent genetic diseases.

Diabetes mellitus is a condition that causes the dog not to be able to metabolize sugars and carbohydrates, due to a deficiency of insulin. The disease may develop early in life (by the age of 6 months) and the puppy will display excessive weight gain and will drink a lot of water.

Hyperthyroidism is an insufficiency of thyroid hormone production. The dog may be lethargic and will gain weight, having a dull coat and dry skin.

Blood Disorders

Blood disorders may be inherited:

  • Auto-immune hemolytic anemia is a condition that results in red blood cell deficiency.
  • Hemophilia is another genetic blood disorder that will cause excessive bleeding that is difficult to stop.

Muscle and Bone Disorders

There are also a number of muscle and skeletal diseases that can be inherited:

  • Dwarfism results in stunted growth and may cause a lot of pain due to an abnormal development of the front legs bones
  • Elbow dysplasia, which causes lameness
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Panosteitis, which causes sudden lameness

Other inherited diseases include the canine gastric delation volvulus (CGDV), which is a disease that causes a swelling of the stomach with fluids and gas and can result in shock and even death.

Deafness may also be inherited.

Epilepsy is a disease that has no determined causes, but it has been established that it can be congenital.

Kidney and respiratory diseases may also be genetic.

To prevent the occurrence of any of these inherited diseases, the screening of both parents is important. If there are any possible genetic factors that may cause problems for the puppies, the breeding is not recommended.