Ebook Sample Content Preview:
All breeds of dogs are prone to an array of health problems, and so too with Chow Chows. Of them, hip dysplasia, luxating patella and entropion are the commonest. But the chances of your pup not being dysplastic or having a mild problem with it are minimized if you buy him from a registered breeder who X-rays the hips of animals and examines them for dysplasia before they can be bred. But on the whole, we now know that about 50 percent of all Chows suffer from hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia: This is caused due to a malformed hip joint that results in the head of the femur bone not fitting perfectly into the hip socket in which the femoral head lies. Often, it leads to pain, lameness and arthritis. However, the good news is that this condition, though congenital, can be treated by surgery.
Again being congenital, a dysplastic dog will often and invariably produce dysplastic puppies. Therefore, to ensure you’re taking home a healthy pup, it is imperative you ask to see the sire and the dam, and inquire if they are diagnosed with this condition. If not, ask to see a certificate granted by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or by Penn HIP, stating this.
Do not believe what you hear, but wait to see the certificate proving they are healthy and clear of this condition. Ask for a copy of the same so you can show it to your vet. Also, ask him if he will guarantee a puppy against hip dysplasia for at least two years.
Entropion: Another medical condition they suffer from is entropion. Check if your Chow Chow has runny eyes. If he does, he may well suffer from entropion, a condition caused by eyelid abnormality in which the dog’s eyelids are turned inwards rather than outwards. This irritates the eye and, if you as an owner turn a blind eye to this, it can lead to your pet turning blind. If detected in time, it can be corrected with surgery.
Usually congenital, entropion can also be acquired in later life due to an eye injury or infection. However, since this isn’t always apparent in pups, you should take care to check this out when selecting your pup. Look out for clear, dry and sparkling eyes of the parents of your prospective pup. But if you see inflamed or runny eyes or crusty eyelids, you must know immediately that your pup is suffering from an eye infection and should be treated by a vet without delay.
Luxating patella: If the small, flat and mobile bone in the front of your Chow Chow’s knee is dislocated, don’t panic, as this is a knee problem that is yet again a hereditary one, often due to overweight. But this too can be corrected surgically.
Intolerance to anesthesia: Chow owners are often worried about their pets being intolerant to anesthesia, resulting in complications from surgery and death during surgery. This happens because this breed is said to have small hearts, in comparison with their body weight, and since anesthesia is given according to body weight, often they have been given a much larger dose than their bodies can take, causing their hearts to stop functioning.
Ruptured or torn ligaments: Your Chow Chow has such straight rear legs that the angulation isn’t enough, resulting in torn cruciate ligaments. He may rupture his ligaments when exercising strenuously. Or he may chase a ball, stop and start abruptly and cry in pain and turn lame. When he stays lame for some time, you realize that he needs immediate medical attention.
Diabetes: One of the commonest hormonal disorders in dogs, diabetes is a problem of the pancreas. It is caused due to the body producing insufficient amounts of insulin, thereby affecting the endocrine system. The highest occurrences of diabetes are found in dogs aged five to seven years, of which female dogs are more prone to it. If your dog is obese, he stands a greater chance of being affected by it. It is the most common hormonal disorder in dogs.