HEREDITARY Dog DISEASES
You, as a dog owner, don't really need to know a lot about canine genetics, unless you wan to turn your dog into a breeder. However, it would be convenient for you to learn about the associated problems to the specific breed of your dog, how to detect them and also how to avoid them.
In order to produce dogs with pedigree, it is necessary to deliberately appeal to the endogamy, essential if you want to make sure that the descendants will inherit the aspect and the character stated by the standard of each breed. Now well, using only the individuals of the same lineage as breeder you will also increment the incidence of hereditary diseases and malformations.
Almost all the hereditary diseases are provokes by recessive genes, which means that they will only appear in the progeny when the father and the mother are at the same time carriers of the responsible gene. A dog may not present symptoms of a serious disease or malformation during its whole life and even then, inherit it to all its descendants, for being the carrier of the gene that causes it. harness leather dog leashes
PUPPIES WITH PEDIGREE
Before getting a dog, investigate the most common hereditary problems of the breed you have chosen. You can get a specialized book or ask the veterinary about this, but it is really important for you to know what you will have to face so you will be ready to make the appropriate questions to the breeder.
You can also ask the breeder to compromise himself to take the puppy back if there would be any serious health problem after the examination at the clinic. Even when some hereditary problems will only appear at an adult age, there is some other that can be detected on puppies.
LESS IMPORTANT PROBLEMS
Some hereditary problems as a little umbilical hernia or a little maxillary lining problem, are not really important and shouldn't worry you if you are planning to use your dog as a breeder (because they should only be perfect dogs). The retention of the testicles in the abdomen is more important because if it is not corrected through surgery when the dog is still young may cause more serious problems at an adult age.Some problems are considered hereditary because they tend to appear only on individuals of determined breeds or in certain varieties of one same breed. However, it is not always clear how these problems are inherited. The predisposition to inherit skin allergies for example, as well as some types of tumors and certain types of epilepsy, seem to be transmitted from parents to children in some blood lines, but they also appear in others. There are problems that can't be detected until a lot later so in the last case, we will only depend on the integrity and good intentions of the breeders, who are supposed to be sure that no ancestors of the breeder dog had suffered from hereditary problems before choosing it.
CAMPAIGNS AND DETECTION PROGRAMS
They have started, not long ago, a trial campaign aimed to help breeders to eliminate breeder dogs, any animal that suffers some kind of hereditary malformations with the purpose of progressively depurate these breeds, eliminating in this way, all those defects.
The first test is centered on the cataract (crystallite's opacity) and the progressive atrophy of the retina, which frequently cause blindness in some breeds. An ophthalmologist examines the eye of the male and female dogs aimed for breeding and issues a certificate in which he declares that there were no signs of eye problems on the animal up to the day of the examination.
In many European countries they also practice tests for hip dysphasia. This malformation is mainly cause by genetic inheritance; it can affect individuals of any breed even though it is a lot more frequent in big breeds. The test consists on taking radiographs of the male and female dog's hips before they get matted and give it a negative punctuation (the bigger the deformity is, the most point it receives) to the examined hips. Only the dogs with lower punctuation compared to the standard of its breed are considered appropriate for reproduction; rest are rejected as breeders.
Recently there was a similar campaign of detection for elbow dysphasia, responsible for the limping of the front paws.
The molecular biology has been greatly developed in the last few years. The DNA of an animal can be currently used to detect any defective gene. In the future, the carriers of these genes will be rejected as breeders and getting rid of the defective genes, the future generations will be free of hereditary health problems. The researches in this field may someday aloud the veterinarian to artificially modify the dog's gene to fight this type of disease.