Alaskan Malamute Health Problems and Raising an Alaskan Malamute Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
The most common health problems in Alaskan Malamutes:
According to an Alaskan Malamute Club health survey, the number one health problem in the breed is hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 12,000 Alaskan Malamutes and found 12% dysplastic. That's high, and the true rate is even higher, because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation.
Other orthopedic diseases in Alaskan Malamutes are elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis, panosteitis, luxating patella, Wobbler's syndrome, and a rare disease called chondrodysplasia.
According to the club survey, the second worrisome health problem in Alaskan Malamutes is a serious eye disease, cataracts. One form of cataracts appears at less than a year old, while another form appears around age six.
Other eye diseases of concern include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, and entropion.
Also day blindness, which is an inherited eye disease in Alaskan Malamute puppies. Itís officially called hemeralopia or cone degeneration. Cone cells help your dog see in bright light, so when they die, your puppy becomes "day blind." He may seek out shaded areas in the yard and be reluctant to enter sunny areas, where he will walk hesitantly, stumbling or tripping over things. There's no cure for day blindness, but the condition doesnít get any worse with time and with their acute senses of smell and hearing, most puppies with visual difficulties learn how to compensate very well, especially in familiar surroundings.
According to the club survey, hypothyroidism is third on the list of health concerns in Alaskan Malamutes. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 18% of Mals have low thyroid levels.
With their deep chest, Alaskan Malamutes are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in the Alaskan Malamute, especially osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, and mammary cancer.
Allergies cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma (bacterial skin infections). Other skin diseases reported in the breed include follicular dysplasia, zinc-responsive dermatosis, and the (fortunately rare) Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.
Blood-clotting diseases include hemophilia B, factor VII deficiency, and von Willebrand's disease.
Other health issues in Alaskan Malamutes include epilepsy, diabetes, polyneuropathy, and myasthenia gravis.
Alaskan Malamutes are prone to losing pigment on their nose and muzzle – this can be caused by nasal solar dermatitis, vitiligo, or lupus, but most commonly it's a harmless condition called snow nose where the nose only loses pigment in the winter.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Alaskan Malamute?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Alaskan Malamutes today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an Alaskan Malamute puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Alaskan Malamute puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Alaskan Malamute puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Alaskan Malamute lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Alaskan Malamute
The best diet for feeding your Alaskan Malamute is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Alaskan Malamute
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Alaskan Malamute puppy really need? Does your adult Alaskan Malamute need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Alaskan Malamute.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.