Genetic Disorders in Dogs

In this interesting article, learn all about the most common genetic disorders in dogs, such as hip hip dysplasia. Read on!
Genetic Disorders in Dogs

Last update: 03 October, 2019

Just like humans, dogs also suffer from genetic disorders. Many dogs suffer from conditions that are already genetically predetermined before birth. Unfortunately, they’re very common, and it happens to both purebreds and crossbreeds. Genetic disorders in dogs are very delicate.

However, these types of pathologies aren’t always transmitted.

Several experts in the field who conducted various investigations and experiments state that genetic disorders in dogs are associated with historical evolutionary genes. They have progressed a lot in this issue. In the last hundred years, many experts have researched a lot about canine health.

This is a purely biological matter, as these evolutionary genes are scattered in the genome of each domestic dog.

Fortunately, thanks to scientific advances and investigations, various treatments to prevent and treat diseases in dogs exist today. As a result, pet owners may be able to enjoy their pet’s company for much longer and prolong their well-being.

Types of genetic disorders

Normally, pet diseases can be both genetic or of environmental or nutritional origin.

Genetic disorders in dogs.

Author: Soggydan Benenovitch

According to experts, there are five main genetic disorders in dogs. These are:

  • Skin allergies
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS)
  • Mitral valve disease
  • Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries

Fortunately, these genetic disorders don’t seriously affect the animal’s life. Genetic disorders are becoming more controllable and curable. Scientific advances are unstoppable, meaning there are many solutions to the conditions that affect pets.

Remember that it’s your responsibility to ensure the health of your pet throughout their life.


There are many tips to help prevent the development of a genetic disorder. You can easily prevent these types of disorders. Also, they’re usually easy to treat once diagnosed. An attentive and responsible owner can perfectly handle such situations.

The five main genetic disorders in dogs are:

  1. Skin allergies

They’re very common in dogs. They can include auditory system infections and skin spots, among others. Any dog breed can suffer from them. However, some breeds are more prone to suffering from them than others due to their genetics. Labradors and Golden Retrievers have a 50% risk of inheriting these pathogens.

They’re usually not very serious pathologies. Nowadays, there are several effective treatments for all types of allergies in dogs.

2. Hip dysplasia

This is an inherited musculoskeletal disorder that any dog breed can suffer from. Statistically, this condition affects large breeds more than small breeds. Large dogs tend to experience more intense symptoms and conditions.

In most cases, hip dysplasia is corrected by surgery. However, not all dogs are good candidates for surgery. This is a delicate and meticulous procedure. It’s one of the most complex genetic disorders in dogs.

3. Brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS)

This respiratory disorder affects certain breeds in particular. Flat-faced dogs such as Bulldogs or Pugs usually have this pathology more than others. The problem stems from the animal’s cranial formation. It doesn’t allow a good communication system between the animal’s pharynx and nose.

This disease is considered 100% genetic. In some cases, it can cause death due to breathing difficulties.

4. Mitral valve diseases

Such diseases particularly manifest in small dogs. Among its effects, it can lead to serious heart problems. If your pet suffers from heart problems, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

This is one of the most complex genetic disorders in dogs. If you don’t take immediate action, the consequences can be devastating.

5. Cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries

A dog with a CCL injury.

Author: LuAnn Snawder Photography

Some dog breeds, such as Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers, and Yorkies, among others, are more prone to suffering from this hereditary disease than others. This disease can be treated starting with your dog’s diet. You need to feed your dog foods that contain a lot of minerals and vitamins.

As you’ve seen, these disorders can be controlled by taking appropriate action. Only some of these genetic disorders in dogs are serious. But even in those cases, when the animal’s life is at risk, there are hundreds of treatments able to moderate and even control them.

Your pet’s lifestyle also contributes to the development of these diseases. Good nutrition and regular checkups are vitally important. Don’t forget that your pet can’t take care of itself, which is why you must accept this responsibility if you want them to live for many years.

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