Welcome friend, pet dog lover. Today we will tackle a very urgent problem – we will discuss the topic “Can Dogs Have Down Syndrome?”
In this article, we will take a closer look at this issue. We will find out if a dog has Down syndrome, determine what a dog has Down syndrome and what to do if a dog has Down syndrome.
Scientific Facts About Down Syndrome in Dogs
Anyone who has devoted enough time to pet dogs understands that dogs and humans are quite similar to each other. No wonder they say, “what kind of owner is such a dog.” What makes the human companionship of pets so ideal is our unusual combination of similarities and differences.
However, this similarity has another side – the dark one. For example, diseases from which both humans and dogs suffer. These are diseases such as certain types of cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, and even heart attacks. It is not a complete list.
Down Syndrome is a human chromosome abnormality. And of course, we are interested in the question, “can dogs have Down’s disorder?”
What does science say about a disorder like Down syndrome? Our body consists of a massive number of cells. Every cell in the human body has a nucleus where the genetic code is stored. The heart of each section includes 23 pairs of chromosomes, 46 in total. We get half from mom, half from dad. Down syndrome occurs when, during a person’s formation, 21 pairs of chromosomes receive an additional one more chromosome. They become not 2 but 3. In other words, Down syndrome is an abnormality of chromosome 21.
Can dogs have Down syndrome?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in seven hundred babies born in the United States has Down syndrome.
The same cannot say of dogs, of course. In dogs, genetic abnormalities lead to premature death. Because of this, it is not possible to thoroughly study such a deviation.
Science knows cases of Down syndrome in chimpanzees and other animals.
On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence for genetic abnormalities found in dogs. Some congenital abnormalities are very similar to Down syndrome.
If Down Syndrome does occur in pets, some owners claim that their pets are slightly different from other dogs. There are some features in appearance, behavior, and physique that are similar to Down syndrome symptoms.
What are the symptoms of dogs with Down syndrome?
Dog owners do not immediately realize that something is happening to their pets. If you notice unusual behavior in your dog or are alarmed by the puppy’s appearance, seek help from your veterinarian.
Some of the symptoms dogs can experience due to Down syndrome are:
- If the Dog has round eyes and a flattened muzzle – this may be one of the signs of Down syndrome. Other facial features, such as a small head or short neck, and irregular ears, can also alert you. The entire structure of the face in dogs with Down syndrome appears to be deformed.
- Dogs with Down Syndrome have strange behaviors and traits that may include whining, howling, and yelling. Small dogs do not go through developmental stages quickly and can be unusually reticent.
- Another characteristic of dogs with Down’s symptom is hearing impairment. They are hard of hearing and slow to follow commands.
- Congenital malformations are common in dogs with Down syndrome. It happens due to a violation of the development of the circulatory system.
- Due to improper physical development with Down Syndrome, the dog’s internal organs can be deformed or affected. It can provoke severe, sudden pain in a dog with Down syndrome.
- Discharge from the rectum with blood impurities is possible in the later stages of this disease.
- Dogs with Down Syndrome are short due to developmental delays. A disproportionate body is also one of the signs of Down syndrome in dogs.
- Risk of visual impairment. Clouding of the eyes can be found in dogs with Down syndrome. It can be one of the early signs of cataract formation in the eyes of dogs.
- Dogs with Down syndrome have small, underdeveloped limbs. They suffer from impaired coordination of movement and have less strength in the muscles.
- Teeth and dental problems. Such as rancid and late teething.
- Skin problems. Many dogs with Down syndrome have skin conditions. Their skin is susceptible to the slightest irritation. It can be severely flaky and stained.
- Dogs with Dpun syndrome are very prone to manifestations of all sorts of allergies.
- Such pets often develop thyroid diseases. It affects the general condition of the dogs, their well-being, and their health in general.
In addition to all of the above, dogs with Down syndrome have behavior problems. They may howl or whine frequently. Poorly trainable. Because such pets are lagging in development, there are difficulties to accustom them to the pot. They also suffer from urinary incontinence and may come after a walk and write on your house floor.
Well, these are special dogs. Treat them with understanding, patience, and love.
How to treat dogs with Down syndrome
Given that Down syndrome is a genetic disorder, there is no cure. People have learned to live with this disease by observing sick children’s conditions and trying to help them in life.
Dogs with Down syndrome are more challenging to keep. Firstly, this disease in animals has not been studied. Secondly, there are no instructions from veterinarians on how to behave with pets with Down syndrome.
It is also difficult to care for a dog with Down syndrome, which has the characteristics described above.
In this case, only patience, calmness, and a person’s desire to care for a sick dog can help it adapt to life.
How to care for dogs with Down syndrome
We have already found out that dogs with genetic mutations not cure.
And the owners can only improve the quality of life and reduce the severity of the symptoms of dogs with such a deviation as Down syndrome.
- The dog needs to be fed with very high-quality food. It will avoid even more significant complications from the gastrointestinal tract. You will have to carefully study the labels and composition information on the food packages to do this. Remember that dogs with Down syndrome are prone to allergies. Refuse feed with harmful additives. Find the right feeder for your pet from our review 15 Best Automatic Pet Feeder Reviews
- Add fresh vegetables and natural meat to your pet’s diet. It will help strengthen your pet’s muscles and intestines.
- Make sure your dog is drinking enough water.
- Exercise is essential for dogs with Down syndrome too. However, check with your veterinarian first about what activity is right for your dog. For physical activities, you can use a rope or a small ball. In any case, your pet will enjoy playing with you. Pull the cord or roll the ball – the main thing is together. On a walk, you will need to make sure that the pet does not get hurt, and in case of injury, be sure to treat the wound immediately. It will be useful if your dog can play with other dogs like a regular dog.
- If your eyesight is impaired, you will have to watch your dog’s move not to get hurt or hit against an obstacle. It will have to monitor at home.
- Buy a soft pad to relieve muscle or joint pain. There is an excellent variety of them now.
- If your dog with Down Syndrome is showing aggression, consult your veterinarian about how you can help and protect yourself and your family and friends.
As you can see, it is not so easy to have a dog with Down syndrome, but your love and friction will pay off.
Known dog breeds with Down syndrome
Down syndrome dog breeds
A genetic disorder such as Down syndrome can occur in any breed of dog.
It not be said that such a disease is possible in dogs of this breed, and such a deviation will never appear in dogs of this breed.
However, some breeds are more prone to genetic diseases. It can be taken into account when choosing a pet.
Pit Bull Terriers, Chihuahuas, English Bulldogs, Shih Tzu, Golden Retrievers – these breeds are susceptible to various genetic diseases.
On a note
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that can affect both humans and dogs.
Because dogs with Down syndrome rarely survive, veterinarians know very little about how to care for and help such dogs.
Visit your veterinarian regularly and do regular checkups for your pet. Do not hesitate to visit the doctor if you find something strange in your dog’s behavior.
Pass the necessary examinations and treatment, pass all the tests prescribed by the veterinarian.
If your puppy turns out to be unique, you need a little patience, care, and love. He will grow up to be lovely and very friendly.
Follow a balanced diet, give vitamin preparations. Avoid injury while walking. Provide her with a comfortable, soft resting place.
Remember, dogs with Down syndrome need regular bathing with a shampoo that is free of allergic additives.
All these special dogs need is more attention, care, patience, and love. If your pet is around and you are ready to do whatever you can, keep going. Together you will overcome everything!
See what other animals can have Down syndrome.