There isn’t any dog breed that is completely free from inheritable genetic defects, but the Siberian Husky has the fewest health problems of all breeds. The Husky enjoys generally good health and temperament, but there are still health problems that you should look out for.
The good news is that the Siberian Husky Club of America or SHCA has kept an eye on potential genetic problems and taken positive action for the general health and well being of the breed. Since 1965 this organization has been tasked with being aware of genetic problems and alert breeders before the defects can spread. Because of the SHCA the two greatest areas of concern that have been found for the Siberian Husky is canine hip dysplasia and inheritable eye disease. However, with proper care and monitoring you can attempt to avoid these conditions in your dog and help them to live a long, healthy life.
Hip dysplasia is a condition where the head of the thighbone or hip joint doesn’t fit into the joint socket properly. When a puppy is born the condition isn’t typically present, most of the time it only develops within a dog’s first two years of life. The affected hip will suffer from inflammation, pain and arthritis as the condition progresses. Strenuous exercise such as sitting up, lying down or climbing stairs can make the condition worse. Males and females are equally affected by the condition and either a single hip or both can be affected. It is an inherited health condition, which means hip dysplasia is passed on from the parent dogs.
The Siberian Husky is one of the least affected dog breeds despite the high occurrence of hip dysplasia in dogs. The condition affects about one hundred fourteen dog breeds and the Siberian Husky is ranked one hundred eleventh for risk. This condition can easily be avoided in the breed by buying from breeders who can provide proof that both parents have passed the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals standards for breeding.
There are many eye defects that affect dogs, but only three of them are considered a concern in the few Siberian Husky health problems today. Hereditary or juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy are the three eye conditions of the Siberian Husky that you should be aware of. Any eye color can have an eye condition and each disorder affects a different portion of the eye. Even though eye problems don’t occur often in the Siberian Husky they are serious and should never be overlooked or underestimated. The Siberian Husky can develop hereditary or juvenile cataracts as early as three months of age.
If there is a mild case there will be a decrease in eyesight, but severe cases can cause complete blindness. Corneal dystrophy is a condition that affects the outer transparent portion of the eyeball. This condition is more common in females and is typically found in young adult dogs. This condition has no current treatment, but is seldom affects vision. A more serious condition is progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause a devastating loss of vision in dogs as early as five months of age and is most common in males.