Down syndrome in dogs… Can dogs have Down syndrome? Let’s look at this question from a medical point of view.
What Is Down’s Syndrome?
Among the chromosomal pathologies, Down syndrome takes a special niche – one of the most common genetic disorders in humans. Its main cause is a random genetic mutation, as a result of which a third extra chromosome appears in 21 pairs of chromosomes. The frequency of the phenomenon is approximately 1 case per 600-800 children. A random mutation leaves its mark on the appearance of the child already at the stage of intrauterine development, which greatly facilitates the diagnosis of Down syndrome by ultrasound.
What Is Canine Down Syndrome
Genetically, dogs and people have numerous resemblances but crucial differences undoubtedly do exist. For instance, individuals have 23 sets of chromosomes while dogs have 39. Therefore, duplication of all or part of chromosome 21 would have various impacts in the two species. Surprisingly however, researchers are utilizing genetically crafted mice as animal models in Down syndrome research study. These mice carry an extra portion of their chromosome 16, which brings genes similar to those included on human chromosome 21. The outcome is a mouse who has some attributes similar to human Down syndrome. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that these are not naturally occurring mice; they have actually been genetically crafted.
Even broadening the definition of canine Down syndrome to include any hereditary duplication that results in clinical abnormalities similar to those seen in people with Down syndrome, the condition just has actually not been explained in dogs. Three explanations are possible:
- These types of chromosomal problems generally result in early death in dogs.
- The hereditary testing needed to determine dogs with
- Down syndrome just isn’t done.The condition truly doesn’t exist.
Down Syndrome Symptoms in Dogs
As we explained above, it would be wrong to completely name a genetic abnormality in dogs as Down syndrome. At the same time, we must admit that some conditions in the development of psa may indicate possible genetic pathologies. At the moment, they are most often referred to as “Down syndrome in dogs”. Let’s look at these signs and symptoms that any dog owner can notice:
The shape and size of the dog’s head
Canine down syndrome may be indicated by an abnormal head shape, compared to the standard shape for this breed (or compared to other puppies of this offspring). The size of the head itself may be larger, out of proportion to the torso.
Inhibition in development and growth
Genetic pathology in a puppy can be noticeable in the first weeks after birth. A puppy with a possible Down syndrome will not only lag behind in development and body size, but also generally look painful in their movements and activity. His slowness in development will be more noticeable with each passing week.
This can also include a delay in teething, late opening of the eyes and the appearance of hearing. All these are additional factors that indicate a delay in the development of the puppy.
Dog owners immediately notice when the pet is not thinking clearly. If the pet has a genetic disorder similar to Down syndrome, then this affects the mental development of the dog. The dog does not learn, does not act correctly like its relatives, often just looks stupid. Unfortunately, this is one of the serious factors that make caring for a sick dog difficult for the owners.
Muscle weakness and abnormal gait
The so-called Down syndrome in dogs is expressed in weak muscle development and their reduced tone. The dog moves with a certain difficulty and is not playful. The gait of such a dog shows problems in the development caused by genetic pathology.
Other symptoms of Down syndrome in dogs
Additional signs of Down syndrome in your dog include short limbs, a constantly hanging tongue (sometimes it is too large for its size), problems with the health of the eyes, hearing, and skin. In general, this is a difficult situation for the owners of the dog, although here you need to look at the complexity of the condition.
How To Look after Dogs With Down Syndrome
Genetic anomalies can not be completely treated in dogs. For dogs with genetic disorders like Down syndrome, a variety of remedies can be implemented to improve their quality of life and decrease the seriousness of symptoms.
Feed your dog high-quality foods and prevent foods consisting of fillers and meat products. Appropriately inspect the labels pasted on dog foods and do additional effort for your special canine friend.
Fresh vegetables and meat can assist dogs since vegetables boost resistance, and meat contains high protein for effective muscle repairing.
Fresh water with a low amount of salt is practical in eliminating thyroid concerns in dogs suffering from Down syndrome.
Dogs suffering from Down syndrome might have finicky consuming routines, so vitamins should be provided to them that increase the appetite.
Food items such as chicken, turkey, and others with strong scents may likewise be practical.
Skin allergy is a common condition in dogs suffering from Down syndrome, so do not take them outside throughout pollen gains season.
If your dog hurts himself, immediately clean the wounds to prevent skin infections.
Avoid physical barriers since your dog has bad vision when it comes to Down syndrome, and he may injure himself by running into items or furniture.
To make the potty training procedure a little bit much easier, think about buying pup pee pads or diapers for female or male dogs.
Offer soft pillows an orthopedic dog bed if your dog is suffering from joint pain. Make his sleeping area as comfy as possible.
Regularly see or seek advice from the vet worrying your dog’s condition. He/she will be able to direct you through possible treatment approaches and tips.
Dogs having Down syndrome may end up being aggressive, so they must be managed with care to avoid them from bitting and keeping yourself safe.
Exercises for Dogs Suffering from Down Syndrome
Growth and advancement of dogs with Down syndrome are unusual and require proper exercises with precautions to avoid any secondary anomaly.
They may struggle with heart, muscle, and limb problems, so they are unable to carry out and hold up against difficult exercises.
Go over suitable physical training for your canine friend to ease the symptoms of Down syndrome. Here are a few of the exercises:
Tug of war: Different tug of war toys are offered for dogs in different sizes. You can pick an appropriate size for your dog and teach your dog to pull it straight back to help reinforce his leg muscles.
Strolling: A short walk is also a reliable way to support the bones, muscles, and heart of your dog experiencing Down syndrome.
Roll-over: Tempt your canine friend to eat the reward by placing it near the nose, then shift the treat in a circular and clockwise motion so your dog will move sideways. This exercise is simple and helps to develop strong muscles.
Scratch dance: A dog will wriggle by dynamically scraping the upper and the lower end parts. It is a fun activity and likewise the very best exercise for dogs experiencing Down syndrome.
Physioball exercise: Place a physioball under the front legs of your dog. This exercise likewise strengthens the hind legs.