The Huggable Husky
Simply said, huskies are very personable. She is a devoted and submissive friend, yet she can also be independent and stubborn. She is a happy and devoted addition to any household with early socialization and continuous guidance.
In order to be used as a sled dog, the Siberian Husky was initially transported to Alaska in 1909 from Siberia. The Chukchi people of northeast Asia originally bred Huskies with a concentration on canines that had exceptional stamina and could withstand tough environments.
The Husky is well groomed and hardly smells like a dog. Due to their sociable nature and need for close human interaction, they do not make ideal watchdogs. Siberian Huskies are bright dogs with an instinctive drive to work; they are also quite energetic and need a lot of room to go about.
Huskies are a great running companion in the cooler months! She doesn’t bark often, but when bored or under-exercised, she tends to howl in the crowd. The Siberian Husky has an average lifetime of 11 to 14 years and is typically a healthy breed.
Your Siberian Husky’s Health
We are aware that you want to take excellent care of your dog since you love her so much. Because of this, we have outlined the health issues we will touch on with you during the lifetime of your Husky. We can design a preventative health plan to keep an eye out for and, perhaps, avert certain foreseeable dangers by being aware of the health issues unique to Siberian Huskies.
Numerous illnesses and medical disorders are inherited, which means they are influenced by the breed of your cat. The diseases we’ve discussed below have a considerable rate of occurrence and/or influence in this breed, according to the agreement of canine genetic experts and veterinarians.
This does not imply that your dog will have these issues; it only indicates that she is more vulnerable than other dogs. In order to give you a sense of what can develop in her future, we shall outline the most typical problems seen in Siberian Huskies. We obviously can’t cover every scenario here, so always contact us if you have any strange indications or symptoms.
This manual includes the most significant genetic predispositions specific to Siberian Huskies as well as basic health information crucial to all dogs. This information helps in our joint planning for the particular medical requirements of your pet.
A explanation of what you can do at home to keep your Husky looking and feeling her best is included at the conclusion of the article. You’ll be aware of what to look out for, and everyone will feel better knowing that your friend is receiving the finest treatment available.
General Health Information for your Siberian Husky
By the time canines are two years old, 80 percent of dogs have dental disease, making it the most prevalent chronic issue in pets. Unfortunately, compared to other dogs, your Siberian Husky is more prone to have dental issues. Tartar buildup on the teeth is the first sign of dental illness, which then advances to gum and tooth root infection.
Your friend might lose her teeth and risk harm to her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints if we don’t treat or prevent dental disease. In fact, the lifespan of your Husky may potentially be shortened by one to three years! We’ll provide your dog frequent dental cleanings and advise you on how to maintain your pet’s healthy teeth at home.
The same bacterial and viral illnesses that may affect any dog, including parvo, rabies, and distemper, can also affect Siberian Huskies. Given her age, the illnesses we find in our region, and other considerations, we will advise immunization as a way to avoid many of these infections.
Siberian Huskies that are obese might have serious health issues. It is a dangerous condition that may aggravate heart disease, back discomfort, metabolic and digestive diseases, and joint difficulties. When your friend looks at you with those soulful eyes, it might be tempting to offer her food, but you can “love her to death” with leftover human food and dog treats. Give her a hug instead, clean her hair or teeth, play a game with her, or maybe go on a stroll with her. Both you and she will feel better!
Inside and outside, your Husky’s body may get infested with various worms and insects. Her skin and ears might get infested by everything from ear mites to fleas and ticks. She may get hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms by drinking contaminated water, peeing on contaminated ground, or being bitten by an infected mosquito, among other methods.
All of these parasites should be taken seriously since some of them may spread to you or a member of your family. It’s critical that we regularly test for these parasites since they may harm your dog buddy and possibly cause death. In order to maintain her health, we may also suggest preventative medicine.
Spay or Neuter
Spaying your Husky is one of the finest things you can do for her (neutered for males). This entails surgically removing the testicles from men and the ovaries and often the uterus from females. By having your pet spayed or neutered, you may reduce the risk of some malignancies as well as the probability of your pet becoming pregnant or siring unwanted pups.
While your pet is asleep during this procedure, we have the opportunity to spot and treat various ailments that your dog is prone to get. This would be an excellent time, for instance, if your pet needed hip X-rays or to have a puppy tooth pulled since it is more convenient for you and less stressful for your pal.
Prior to surgery, routine blood testing enables us to identify and address frequent issues that raise the risk of anesthesia or operation. Don’t worry; when the time comes, we’ll talk about the precise issues we’ll be searching for.
Genetic Predispositions for Siberian Huskies
Few things have a more significant effect on your dog’s quality of life than the health of his eyes. Unfortunately, Siberian Huskies are susceptible to inheriting or developing a wide range of eye disorders, some of which may result in blindness if left untreated and most of which can be very painful! Every time we examine him, we’ll check his eyes to see if there are any causes for worry.
- In senior Huskies, cataracts are often the cause of blindness. When we check him, we’ll keep an eye out for his eye lenses becoming more opaque, so that they seem foggy rather than clear. Many canines cope well with losing their eyesight and continue to function normally. There may also be a surgical procedure to remove cataracts and restore vision.
- Glaucoma is an eye illness that affects both humans and Siberian Huskies. If neglected, it may quickly result in blindness. Squinting, watery eyes, blueing of the cornea (the transparent front of the eye), and redness of the eye whites are all symptoms. Pet owners almost ever notice pain, despite the fact that it occurs regularly and may be quite severe. Certain forms of glaucoma patients often describe how it feels like an ice pick has been stuck in their eye. Yikes! In severe situations, the eye may seem swollen, enlarged, or bulging. In order to detect glaucoma and begin treatment as soon as possible, we’ll conduct an annual glaucoma screening. Medical emergency glaucoma. Call us right away if you notice any symptoms, and then get to an emergency room!
- Pannus is comparable to a tan on your dog’s eye. Infected breeds have corneal infiltration by inflammatory cells, which causes the cornea to darken when exposed to UV radiation and may result in total blindness. Given that particular breeds, like your Siberian Husky, are more prone to the ailment than others, it is thought to have a hereditary component. We’ll keep a careful check on his eyes for any early symptoms and begin preventative eye treatments if necessary. Doggie sunglasses are another choice to lessen exposure to the sun.
Dogs may have a number of different hereditary bleeding diseases. They might be extremely minor or quite severe in intensity. When a significant injury or surgery is done on a pet, substantial bleeding may happen even though the animal first seems okay. Blood coagulation disorders like Von Willebrand’s disease are often seen in Siberian Huskies. Before doing surgery, we will undertake diagnostic tests to rule out this issue, such as blood clotting times or a specialized DNA blood test for Von Willebrand’s disease and other related illnesses.
- Blood coagulation disorders like Von Willebrand’s disease are often seen in Siberian Huskies. Before doing surgery, we will undertake diagnostic tests to rule out this issue, such as blood clotting times or a specialized DNA blood test for Von Willebrand’s disease and other related illnesses.
Dogs may have three different forms of seizures: reactive, secondary, and main. The brain’s response to a metabolic issue such low blood sugar, organ failure, or a toxin results in reactive seizures. A brain tumor, stroke, or trauma may cause secondary seizures. The condition is known as primary or idiopathic epilepsy if no other cause can be identified. Siberian Huskies are often affected by this ailment, which is frequently hereditary.
If your acquaintance is prone to seizures, the onset of an episode often occurs between the ages of six months and three years. Finding the reason may be aided by a preliminary diagnostic workup. In most cases, lifelong medicine is needed to help control seizures, and regular blood tests are essential to track side effects and treatment effectiveness. Avoid him hurting himself if your dog is having a seizure, but don’t attempt to restrain his lips or tongue. He won’t benefit from it, and he could unintentionally bite you. When a seizure lasts longer than you expect, contact us or an emergency hospital.
Laryngeal paralysis, a condition where the voice cords hang down into the airway and become paralyzed, may affect Huskies. The main sign is loud breathing, particularly after exercise or while outdoors in hot, muggy conditions, but in extreme situations, a pet may also pass out and have trouble breathing. Medication and environmental management are possible treatment options. If your pet exhibits any indications of respiratory distress, bring them in straight once to avoid a surgical emergency!
High Blood Pressure
Compared to other breeds, huskies are more susceptible to hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, which may develop on its own or be brought on by another illness. Like in humans, high blood pressure in dogs may result in blindness and strokes. His blood pressure will be regularly checked by the medical staff at Prestige Animal Hospital, and if necessary, they will prescribe medicine to lower it.
Some breeds, like your Husky, have a range of cardiac abnormalities at birth. The heart’s arteries or the separating wall’s structure are most often impacted. The electrical impulses that govern the heartbeat or the operation of the heart valves may both be affected by defects. We’ll pay close attention to his heart throughout each inspection since this breed has a high risk of heart problems. If we detect a cardiac murmur or if you have any uncommon symptoms like fatigue easily, coughing, a large tummy, or fainting, we may advise further testing.
The most common cause of mortality in elderly dogs is cancer. Your Husky is more likely to get cancer in his latter years since he will likely live longer than many other breeds. A lot of malignancies can be cured by surgical removal, while others can be cured with chemotherapy. An early diagnosis is crucial! When we evaluate your pet, we’ll do routine diagnostic tests and search for lumps and bumps.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of hip dysplasia, a genetic condition that leads to arthritis by causing the hip joints to develop incorrectly. Siberian Huskies often experience hip dysplasia. You could see that he has weak rear legs or has trouble standing up after laying down. To diagnose the condition as early as possible, we’ll take X-rays of your dog’s joints. The sooner the arthritis is treated, the sooner pain and suffering may be avoided. When hip dysplasia is severe and life-threatening, surgery may be an option. Additionally, bear in mind that overweight dogs may experience unneeded pain and suffering from arthritis years before animals of normal weight.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The immune system condition known as IBD, which is prevalent in Huskies, causes the intestinal lining to become overwhelmed with immune system cells known as lymphocytes and plasmacytes. The lining of the stomach and/or the intestine thickens, which impairs the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients effectively.
Vomiting or diarrhea that persists for a long period is typical, and symptoms may worsen briefly before returning. IBD may worsen as a result of stress, dietary changes, or intestinal parasites. There will be a need for diagnostic testing, which may involve an intestinal biopsy, if your friend’s diarrhea or other digestive issues cannot be attributed to less serious causes. To maintain management of IBD, lifelong drugs and specific diets are often necessary.
Degenerative myelopathy, a neurologic illness that results in weakness and impaired nerve function in the rear legs, is comparable to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease in humans. Huskies are more susceptible than other breeds to it. If your dog has this condition, he will ultimately have hindlimb paralysis, which also causes incontinence.
He will get weaker and more crippled in the back legs. Degenerative myelopathy cannot be cured, however rehabilitation, exercise, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements may be beneficial. You may get a genetic test to see whether your dog is susceptible to this heritable condition.
Autoimmune Skin Disease
A superficial skin condition called pemphigus foliaceus is more prevalent in Siberian Huskies. Crusts and hair loss, generally on the top of the nose and within the ear flaps, are common side effects that often begin around the age of four. Some dogs also develop it on their toenails and footpads. Secondary skin infections are frequent because bacteria may readily enter the injured regions. The prevalence of skin crusts often waxes and wanes; there is no known cause, but there are several efficient treatments. Applying zinc-free sunscreen to vulnerable areas before going outside may help since sunlight makes it worse.
- Siberian Huskies experience the complicated condition uveodermatologic syndrome more commonly than other breeds. The words “derm” and “uveo” refer to the skin and inside of the eye, respectively. The immune system destroys the cells that produce color in the skin and within the eyes in this autoimmune illness. The pigmented regions of his nose, lips, and skin might shift from dark to bright, causing discomfort or blindness in the eyes. Sunlight may make this condition’s consequences worse.
Huskies are prone to zinc-responsive dermatosis, a kind of skin illness caused by either inadequate zinc intake or improper zinc absorption in the body. Signs include lesions on the foot pads or nose, as well as red, hairless, crusting, scaling, or leaking skin around the lips, chin, eyes, or ears. We will prescribe a carefully controlled dose of additional zinc to your dog’s food if he gets this condition.
Huskies are susceptible to hypothyroidism, a common ailment in which the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Dry skin and hair, thinning hair, vulnerability to other skin conditions, weight gain, fearfulness, anger, and other behavioral changes are possible symptoms. Each year, a blood test will be performed to check for this illness. Replacement hormones taken orally are often used as a treatment.
Urine from the kidneys flows down the ureters, which are tiny tubes, and into the bladder, where it is securely held until the dog has to pee. However, sometimes one of these tubes develops improperly in Siberian Huskies, causing urine to pass through the bladder rather than enter it. If the bladder is not filled, the urine will drop out naturally rather than on demand. The term for this ailment is ectopic ureter. An ultrasound of the bladder may be used to determine the issue, and surgery can be used to reconnect the ureter.
Alkaline phosphatase, or ALP, is an enzyme that is present in the plasma at excessive levels in a disease known as hyperphosphatemia. Although a microscopic examination of the livers of affected Siberian Huskies may indicate abnormalities within the liver cells, these dogs often exhibit no symptoms of sickness. However, other significant disorders may also cause the ALP enzyme to be increased, so we’ll want to rule out other issues before diagnosing your cat with this ailment. Usually, hyperphosphatemia is not dangerous and does not need treatment.
Taking Care of Your Siberian Husky at Home
Like it is with humans, a lot of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense. Watch her nutrition, ensure she exercises often, wash her teeth and coat frequently, and contact us or a pet emergency hospital if anything looks out of the ordinary (see “What to Watch For” below).
Ensure that you follow the recommended timetable for her checkups and shots. At this time, we’ll do the required “check-ups” on her and test her for illnesses and ailments that affect Huskies often. Getting pet health insurance is a crucial next step in providing for your pet. She’ll undoubtedly require medical exams and procedures throughout her life, and pet health insurance will help you pay for those expenses.
Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise
To help your Husky live longer, be healthier, and be happy for her whole lifespan, include her regular care into your calendar. The value of a healthy diet and regular exercise cannot be overstated.
- As you would a young child, keep an eye on your pet. Close doors, clean up your mess, and section off rooms as required. She will stay safe and away from things she shouldn’t ingest thanks to this.
- Most of the year, give her a good brushing at least once a week. She blows her coat twice a year and sheds a ton of hair at that time; regular brushing is advised.
- Siberian Huskies typically have healthy teeth, which you can maintain by cleaning them twice a week at the very least.
- Even as a puppy, clean her ears every week. We’ll show you how, so don’t worry!
- She is an energetic, intelligent dog, so keep her mind and body engaged to prevent boredom. Then the sinister behavior begins.
- She requires a strong fence and must be walked on a leash since she has a high prey drive.
- Snow nose, or a lack of pigment in the nose that makes her susceptible to sunburn, may afflict Huskies. She’ll need zinc-free sunscreen that’s suitable for dogs.
- Don’t offer your dog human food and maintain consistency in her diet.
- Feed her a nutritious food according to her age.
- Regular exercise is important for your dog, but start off slowly.
What to Watch For
Any unusual symptom might indicate a dangerous illness or just be a small or transient issue. Knowing when and how quickly to seek veterinary assistance is crucial. The typical mix of symptoms that many illnesses induce in dogs might be an obvious warning sign that your Siberian Husky requires medical attention.
If you see any of the following indicators, please contact us to schedule an appointment:
- alteration in appetite or water intake
- poor breath, inflamed gums, tartar buildup, or damaged teeth
- Hair loss and clawing, gnawing, or licking at itchy skin
- Mental dullness, excessive sleep, or lethargy
- Fear, hostility, or other behavioral modifications
- hair loss, dull coat, sluggishness, and weight gain
- Any lumps or bumps, no matter how big
Immediately seek medical attention if you see any of these symptoms:
- Head shaking or scratching, sore ears, or ear discharge
- inability to urinate easily or pee that is colored
- Any anomaly with the eyes, including cloudiness, redness, itching, or other symptoms
- any excessive involuntary tremors, shaking, or trembling that is not typical
- louder panting than usual, particularly in hot weather or after exercise
- Coughing, feeling tired or weak, having a bloated stomach, or collapsing
- Leg rigidity; unwillingness to get up, sit down, utilize the stairs, run, or leap; “rabbit hopping”
- weakness in the back legs or dragging the toes
I trust you now know more about the husky dog breed. Find a cute husky right away and have it set up.
- Find out more: How to Stop Huskies from Fleeing and Why They Do It