Alaskan Malamute Health Care & Feeding
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Quick list of Alaskan Malamute health problems
The major health concern in Malamutes is joint disease, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, which cause lameness and pain and can require expensive surgery.
The second worrisome problem is serious eye diseases, especially hereditary cataracts, which can occur in Malamute puppies and adults.
Bloat is an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome that can kill your Malamute in just a few hours.
Thyroid disease is also a concern, along with blood-clotting diseases.
Alaskan Malamutes can be plagued by a variety of itchy skin conditions and hair loss disorders.
(See more health problems below.)
Preventing health problems
Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Alaskan Malamute have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases and hip and elbow dysplasia, your Alaskan Malamute has less risk of developing those conditions.
Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Alaskan Malamute, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Alaskan Malamute puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Alaskan Malamute puppy or adult dog:
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
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.
Kibble or Canned Dog Food – Almost As Good As Homemade?
Are you looking for the best dry kibble or canned dog food?
Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but think you don't have the time or skill to make it? I have the solution for you....
Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.
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 some vets aren't telling you.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
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.
Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Complete list of Alaskan Malamute health problems
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 14,000 Alaskan Malamutes and found 12% dysplastic.
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. It's 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 doesn't 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.
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.