Dog’s always continued to be a human’s loyal and affectionate pals for many years now. Being so close to human beings, they are considered more or like similar to humans when it comes to feelings. But does that really mean that they can also develop the same health conditions and ailments like us? To a certain extent, the answer is ‘yes’ as they do suffer from certain behavioral disorders such as depression or anxiety and they have also seen suffering from some similar diseases like humans such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, and heart failure, etc.
So Can a dog have Down Syndrome? In other words, can canines suffer from genetic or chromosomal disorders like human beings? The answer to this question is not as easy as you think. You just cannot put an end to this by simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. If we look at it broadly, no such medical case has been reported by veterinarian professionals yet.
But at the same time, it does not mean that it is not possible to have any such incident. Medical professionals across the world are doing research to see whether this can happen to canines also leading to the kind of abnormalities seen in humans in such a medical condition.
In this blog, we will try to unveil the mystery of Down Syndrome in dogs and try to understand more about its symptoms, treatment, precautions, etc. Being a pet owner or lover this read is surely going to help both you and your furry pal in dealing with such a situation.
Understanding Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome is a state of health condition which leads to certain physical and mental abnormalities. It is non-contagious and a birth defect caused due to some chromosome disorder in the body.
Genes play a vital role in retaining all kinds of information related to hair color, eye color, and many more in any living thing. Down Syndrome is generally caused due to genetic mutation. Now, what is a genetic mutation? A mutation is a condition in which a change in gene happens which is entirely different than the real genetic coding. If such a condition arises, it stays there for the entirety of your life and has currently no cure to it.
As stated above, the existence of Down Syndrome is still not evident in cats and dogs. However, many pet owners complain to have certain disorders in their dogs which matches the symptoms, signs, and health conditions of Down Syndrome.
How will you know whether your dog is suffering from Down Syndrome-like symptoms?
It is quite difficult to distinguish unusual behavior of dogs from Down Syndrome-like symptoms. But there are few signs and symptoms which can help you identify whether your dog is having Down Syndrome-like symptoms or similar genetic disorder.
If you observe any of the symptoms in your dog such as the flattened face, bulged circular eyes, dwarfism, mental dullness, weak or poor muscle condition, skin issues or poor muscle tone, etc., take him to the veterinarian at the earliest to get diagnosed and treated.
In most of the cases, the aforesaid signs can be observed due to a low level of thyroid in the body of your dog. But many dog owners mix it up with Down Syndrome and start to panic. Hence, it is always recommended to take your dog to a good veterinarian and get it diagnosed and examined fully to overrule the presence of Down Syndrome.
What to do if your dog is diagnosed with Down Syndrome?
The question is not that whether your dog is suffering from Down Syndrome or not, it is just that they are living with all those similar signs and symptoms. As a responsible pet owner, it becomes your duty to take good care of your dog and help him sustain a good health condition. There are certain things which you can do to make your dog live his life happier in such a situation.
For most of the health ailments, exercise has been found to be a very good remedy. But when it comes to a dog with Down Syndrome symptoms, it becomes a bit difficult as they cannot withstand intensive and stringent exercises. It definitely does not mean that they should refrain from exercises. The best solution is to get in touch with a vet and understand the best suitable and low-impact exercises for your dog.
There are many toys available in the market which can facilitate you to initiate such low-impact exercises for your dog. Most liked and recommended one out of the set is the tug of war for your furry pal as this very effectively helps strengthen your dog’s leg muscle. Also, a short and mild walk for your dog can also improve his bones and cardio health.
Other than the aforesaid measure of exercise, there are certain other factors also which determines the healthy life of your dog suffering from Down Syndrome. The appended tips will help you attain the required knowledge base to improve the quality of your dog’s life.
- Giving your dog a balanced and proper diet is important. Protein is good for them to repair their damaged muscles and regain energy. A nutritious and healthy diet will help you increase the lifespan of your dog suffering from Down Syndrome.
- Don’t leave your dog alone and try to socialize him with the children at home as they are mostly good with them and enjoy playing with them. Keeping your dog both mentally and physically fit by engaging them with what they love and cherish the most is the key.
- Last but not the least, you need to search and devote an area in your house for your dog to play, sleep, and relax. Dog’s temperament and habits are more or like similar to humans. To add to your dog’s comfort, you can opt for crate and bedding for them also this will them get a good night’s sleep.
Down Syndrome in dogs is still a matter of debate as there is no evident research that is carried out to prove the same. Though your dog might experience certain symptoms resembling Down Syndrome, unfortunately, there are no treatments available for such conditions at the moment for them.