There are only a few things a pet parent wants from their fur babies. Lots of cuddles, and kisses, and for them to be happy and healthy! Our genetics determine a lot of our health – and this also applies to our furry friends. Lots of diseases are hereditary – which means that there’s a higher chance someone will suffer from it if their parents, grandparents, or ancestors suffered from the same condition.
Before we can be a great pawrent, we have to be prepared! This article is written as material for your research and preparation before bringing in a new fur baby. It’s better to be informed and prepared mentally before diving into a role with such a big responsibility involved. So, what are the top 5 cat and dog breeds and their health issues?
Genetic diversity and variation is the key to healthy living organisms, and this also applies to us, humans! It gives a species a higher chance of survival because it helps with fighting infectious diseases, adapting to changing environments, and even other stresses that can impact our biological makeup.
Purebreds are friends that have been born through a long line of the same breed for generations. This means that their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors are of the same breed! Through a process of true breeding, breeders use the method of selective breeding to make sure that the friend is a pedigree.
This is also exactly why purebreds tend to have more health issues than our friends who are mixed! They tend to be more prone to illnesses and diseases, because of the limited gene pool they’ve been exposed to. Let’s take a look at the most popular purebreds and their common health issues!
These beautiful majestic friends have distinct patterns and features. But with a wild and friendly personality, Bengals are prone to a few health conditions that every Bengal owner should be aware of. These include: Flat-chested Kitten Syndrome (FCKS), cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are all conditions that can be hereditary to cats who are Bengals.
These divas are well-known for their glamorous fur and scrunchy faces. Apparently, over two-thirds of the Persian kitty population suffers from at least one health condition. Most conditions these little guys go through are heart disease, HCM, dental diseases, polycystic kidney disease, PRA, and hip dysplasia.
Bred from the land of smiles, Siamese cats are distinctly known for their signature look with darker faces, ears, lower legs, and tails! Sadly, these adorable cats tend to suffer from heart, respiratory, eye, and oral health issues. They can also suffer from HCM as the Persians and Bengals mentioned above, and they have bigger teeth than other feline friends, so their oral hygiene might need a little more tender love and care compared to other breeds.
These hairless friends are actually not bald, they are covered in a suuuuper fine coat. A natural mutation in their gene causes their quirky appearance that matches their playful personality. The Sphinx cat can potentially suffer from the following conditions HCM, skin issues (rashes, sores, sunburns, etc.), and also other dental problems.
These guys, cousins to our gentle ragdoll cats come in all coat colors and patterns. This dog-like personality of a cat was actually tailor-made for families, they are sweet, calm, and kind. Despite this, they risk developing genetic disorders such as HCM, and polycystic kidney disease (developed from their Persian side).
This majestic and vocal breed is a dream friend for many of us. With a thick double layered coat, skin-related problems and coat-related issues are a common occurrence for Huskies, especially in the tropical climate Thailand has. Autoimmune disorders, hypothyroidism, eye issues such as cataracts (clouding of eyes), and glaucoma are also common for these beautiful fur babies.
As many may already know, dogs and cats with shorter snouts usually experience respiratory problems. The technical term for breeds with this distinct feature is brachycephalic which means that all of the organs in their respiratory system are condensed and pushed together, resulting in a narrower trachea. Additionally, this also causes an elongated and soft palate, which can get in the way of their airway.
Pugs suffer the same fate as mentioned above with bulldogs. Respiratory problems, elongated soft palate, narrow trachea, you name it. Pugs also have a high chance of suffering from eye problems – they can pop out of the socket completely! Also, they might suffer from corneal ulcers, and scar tissue buildup on their cornea.
The mighty German shepherds are usually known to be by the police’s side as K-9 officers. Our four-legged hero is not invincible. As a bigger breed, they have a high chance of suffering from hip dysplasia. That’s when the joint doesn’t fit with the socket properly. Hip dysplasia can cause pain, arthritis, and issues when walking or running.
As the happy-go-lucky breed that’s always down for a good time, might not always have a good time. Golden retrievers can suffer from hip dysplasia, skin allergies, cancer, heart problems, aortic stenosis, and allergies.
The environment is super important for both a human’s mental health and also for our pets! Having a clean space that has been pet-proofed can definitely make it easier to have a sound mind while pets are alone at home – and reduce any risky injuries or accidents that come from an ill-prepared setting.
Neglect can happen easily if thorough research and being prepared was not a priority before taking in a friend. While we can sometimes expect our pets to fend for themselves, our pets have been domesticated and they need us. Both cats and dogs rely on their owner for shelter, sustenance, and love. Making sure they are fed with a roof over their heads, with a clean body, litter box, and environment is the bare minimum a pet parent has to prepare themselves for.
✔️ Make sure your pets stay active
✔️ Health appointments
✔️ Giving them the right diet
✔️ Learning new things together
✔️ Learning your pet’s love language
✔️ Spending quality time together
✔️ Establish rules, boundaries, and mutual respect
✔️ If you are shopping instead of adopting, make sure the breeder is certified and educated in the proper methods of breeding to minimize all the potential risks.
This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)
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