When selecting their new pet, most people seek out breeds with minimal health issues. On average, dogs bred for non-show purposes (ie not intentionally for showing) tend to suffer less from genetic disorders that can be passed from generation to generation. Mutts (dogs with DNA from multiple breeds) are generally considered healthier than pedigreed ones but that does not make them immune from diseases and conditions that may arise regardless of genetic makeup.
Not all breeds of dog are equally prone to illnesses or diseases, however. Certain varieties are predisposed due to genetics or appearance. Poodle breeds like Standard Poodles and Miniature Poodles have been shown to be at greater risk of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia than others due to narrowed blood vessels from their hearts to other parts of their bodies – potentially shortening lifespan and leading to weakness or fainting episodes in some severe cases.
Large breeds like Rottweilers may also be susceptible to joint issues like osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD). OCD occurs when cartilage doesn’t develop correctly in their joints and causes inflammation and pain, sometimes even leading to surgery as a treatment option. Sometimes dietary modifications or surgery can help avoid or minimize its occurrence altogether.
Exercise intolerance and collapse (EIC), another common problem among large dogs, causes them to become weak and collapse after 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity. Dogs suffering from EIC often struggle to breathe normally and find getting back up difficult despite being physically fit – in extreme cases this heritable condition may even result in sudden death.
Shih tzus are susceptible to numerous musculoskeletal issues, including hip dysplasia and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps). This condition causes the kneecaps to pop out of place when moving, leading to skidding or skipping when moving around. Cerebellar ataxia which affects balance and focus, as well as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia where their own system attacks their red blood cells can also be found among this breed.
Pugs, French bulldogs and other brachycephalic breeds with flat faces can create breathing issues due to shortened air passages. Furthermore, senior dogs may develop aortic stenosis; an aneurysmal narrowing that strains the heart and may lead to sudden death; most commonly seen among senior dogs. Furthermore, small breeds can develop skin conditions like ear infections or dermatitis which need surgical treatments; therefore it’s important that regular visits from a veterinary dermatologist are scheduled.