Siberian Huskies are the choice for many families and individuals around the world, but their pure breed status means that there is a great deal to be concerned about in terms of health problems. Just as with any animal, it is important to be aware of the common health issues that plague the Siberian Husky. This knowledge is important because many of these health issues are not only expensive to treat, but they can also be very time consuming in many situations.
One of the most common health issues found in Siberian Huskies is cataracts, which can be found in about 10% of the dogs that fit into this breed. Cataracts usually develop within 6- 12 months of the dog’s life, but often lead to blindness down the road. Because of this, it is especially important to have your Siberian Husky’s eyes checked out by your veterinarian on a regular basis. Progressive retinal atrophy, which also leads to blindness, is often found in Siberian Huskies. Both of these issues are considered to be costly, but an early detection lessens that considerably.
Uveodermatologic Syndrome is another eye disease that is common in the Siberian Husky. However, this disease also affects the skin and nervous system. It should be pointed out that the skin aspect of this syndrome is only cosmetic, but it can cause blindness if the eyes are severely impacted by it. Uveodermatologic Syndrome is hard to detect, but the signs usually start with the eyes. Many dogs will have redness of the eyes as will as decreased vision. Treatment is usually done to the eye with the use of a steroid.
Another common health issue for the Siberian Husky is Follicular Dysplasia , which can either result in abnormal hair loss or hair growth. This can also lead to patchy skin as well as secondary infections that cause the skin to have an odor. The experts say that this can begin in affected Siberian Huskies between 3 and 4 months. Siberian Huskies run a high risk of being impacted by Follicular Dysplasia and there is no treatment for it. In order to manage the disease, it is recommended that pet owners use a variety of supplements, shampoos, topical applications, and antimicrobials when needed.
Perhaps one of the scariest health issues for any pet owner to worry about is Hip Dysplasia. This is also a common issue in Siberian Huskies. Hip Dysplasia can cause severe changes to the inner workings of the hip joint. Not only is this an expensive issue to treat, but it’s also very painful for the dogs affected by it. It should also be pointed out that in many cases both hips are impacted by dysplasia, which of course means more pain for the dog as well as a higher cost for treatment. One of the worst aspects of Hip Dysplasia is that there is no certain age where it shows itself. For some dogs, it happens during middle age but it has also been known to present itself later in life. How and when Hip Dysplasia presents itself is dependent on the genetics of the dog in question.
Treatment for Hip Dyplasia is usually surgical, but there are other options as well. For example, weight management helps and is also considered to be a must to help relieve the pain. There are also many dog owners who use prescribed drugs to treat the pain instead of opting for surgery.
As with many breeds of dogs, the Siberian Husky has a number of common health issues that can cause severe pain and loss of quality of life. For this reason, it is important to get your dog evaluated on a regular basis by a veterinarian; equally important is simply being aware of your dog’s overall demeanor.