Known Husky Conditions
Huskies, like any other dogs, have predispositions to certain genetically linked health issues, but with good care, they can live healthy and happy lives.
The health issues some Huskies may be prone to are as follows:
Cancer: Huskies are particularly susceptible to developing basal cell tumors, sebaceous gland tumors, hemangiopericytomas, a type of sarcoma that develops in the capillaries, and anal gland tumors, the risk for which can be reduced with neutering.
Degenerative myelopathy: This progressive neurological disease can first show up as weakness in the hind legs. There is no cure but various treatments, such as vitamin supplementation and physical therapy, can help with symptom relief.
Eye diseases: Cataracts, glaucoma, pannus, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy are several issues to look out for. While huskies are prone to heterochromia—a difference in coloration of the irises, most commonly resulting in two different eye colors— this trait does not pose any health issues.
Hip and elbow dysplasia: Dysplasia describes a joint malformation that over time can lead to chronic inflammation and arthritis. Large-breed dogs are more vulnerable to this joint health problem. Hip dysplasia symptoms are similar to those of human arthritis, including pain and difficulty or hesitation in getting up from a lying position. Keeping your dog fit and avoiding obesity is crucial in staving off this issue or reducing symptoms since more weight on a joint exacerbates problems. Fresh, precisely portioned food can help with this, and foods free of potentially harmful additives can also help minimize inflammation. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements may help relieve symptoms for dogs with hip dysplasia.
Hypothyroidism: This is a treatable hormone deficiency which has symptoms including fur loss, dry skin and coat, behavior changes indicating distress, and weight gain.
Inflammatory bowel disease: Chronic vomiting and diarrhea are signs of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is fairly common in Siberian huskies. Stress and changes in diet can exacerbate symptoms of IBD, but carefully managing your dog’s diet and lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms.
Skin problems Huskies have elevated risk for several skin health issues, including zinc-responsive dermatosis, uveodermatologic syndrome, and pemphigus foliaceus. These can cause dry, crusty, irritated skin, and lead to infection. Zinc-responsive dermatosis can be treated with zinc dietary supplements, which should be administered only under a vet’s supervision and only if they have this condition.
Spontaneous Pneumothorax: This refers to the sudden onset of a collapsed lung; spontaneous pneumothorax most often happens because of a collection of air in the space surrounding the lungs.
Von Willebrand’s disease: This is a blood clotting disorder that is often first discovered when a dog is injured with a cut that results in abnormal or excessive bleeding. It’s wise to test for this with a clotting or DNA test so you know whether your dog is vulnerable.