Common Husky Dog Health Issues
There are various diseases that have been associated with Siberian huskies. Some are hereditary while some occur through the course of the dog’s life. One of the diseases that have been associated with Siberian huskies is Hip Dysplasia. Simply explained, hip dysplasia is a condition that occurs when the structure of the hip joint is distorted. This may happen when the head of the thigh bone is unable to fit in to the ‘cup’ provision of the hip socket. This results in rear lameness in dogs and occurs as the dog gets older. The size of Siberian huskies makes them particularly vulnerable to hip dysplasia.
A second common disease in Siberian huskies is Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It is a common disease among dogs and is especially common among dogs with protruding eyes. Characteristically, cells of the retina will continually degenerate, leading to the eventual loss of sight. Its onset normally occurs as the dog gets older and starts with an initial loss of night vision. Another similar disease that is common among Siberian huskies is eye cataracts. These also appear as the dogs age progresses. They may occur on one or both eyes, and if untreated may lead to the loss of sight. They are however relatively easy to treat especially when spotted before they progress.
Zinc deficiency is a genetic disease associated with Siberian huskies. Zink deficiency occurs when the dog is either not fed enough zinc or cannot absorb enough zinc from its meal. Siberian huskies, like most northern breeds have a genetic inability to absorb enough zinc from their diet. This therefore means that Siberian huskies need to be fed a diet that is high in zinc, to ensure that they can absorb enough zinc into their bodies. Meat and bones are a very good source of zinc as it is highly concentrated. Zinc deficiency commonly occurs in Siberian huskies as a skin condition called zinc responsive dermatosis. Some of the symptoms of zinc responsive dermatosis are loss of hair, crusting and scaling of skin around the face legs and head and hair coat becomes dull and dry.
Siberian huskies also commonly develop skin problems if not well taken care of. They may have dry or patchy skin. They may also develop lesions that may encircle the eyes, mouth, chin and ears. Their footpads may also be scaly. These problems are rarely genetic and often occur as a direct result of poor diet or hygiene. If Siberian huskies are kept in dirty conditions, they may develop an array of complications. Most of the medical problems associated with Siberian huskies are preventable, treatable and rarely fatal. If well taken care of, Siberian huskies can live to be twelve or more.