So, you own a Husky.
We all know how challenging of a breed they can be when it comes to their behaviour, but with that hard work comes reward, unlike few other breeds can offer.
Just as special and uniquely demanding as their characteristics are, so Huskies are more prone to certain types of health conditions, which being aware of, can making diagnosing and managing them that much easier, leaving you more time to deal with the giant ditches they’ve dug in your garden.
First thing that comes to mind with Huskies is their skin. There are a host of skin conditions that can affect your Husky.
At the simplest level, Huskies can suffer from a general form of Dermatitis, which is nothing more than an allergy to something in their immediate environment. This could be dust, pollen, or even a mold – think hay fever for dogs. However, the symptoms manifest through acute skin irritations.
Your dog may lick the underside of its paws – incessantly, and bite their nails. Dermatitis for dogs can be hugely stressful and the skin becomes very itchy. Hair loss may develop too. Regardless of the symptoms your dog is experiencing, consulting a vet is a definite. Your vet may suggest a host of strategies including identifying and minimizing the items in your dog’s environment that are causing the issues, or potentially supplementing their diet.
Resistance is follicle
Our warmer climate doesn’t make the life of a longer-haired Husky any easier, as persistent heat can cause itchy spots on your Husky. As with Dermatitis, in conjunction with your vet you can look to provide acute relief for the symptoms by way of supplements or medical treatment.
Some people do choose to shave their Huskies in very warm environments, but that can be a controversial topic as the hair might not always grow back nicely and your dog could develop what is called ‘post-clipping alopecia’.
Keep em Lean
As a medium-sized breed, Huskies are not immune from developing hip dysplasia and arthritis. The earlier signs of arthritis could be your dog struggling to get up from lying down, or you’ll notice your dog develops an obvious lameness and discomfort when walking. Treating arthritic dogs is always more successful the sooner you diagnose it and like many health issues in all pets for that matter – a healthy weight is a critical element in maintaining your dog’s overall good health.
If you’re unsure as to whether your dog is overweight, consult your vet of choice. An appropriate baseline weight for your dog is their recorded weight at about 10-months-old, although you may not have that figure written down.
You can also run your fingers along the side of your dog. If you cannot feel their ribs, there is a good chance that your dog might be overweight.
As if their need to run wasn’t enough
In our discussions with our veterinary colleagues, the issue of Huskies with low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) came up quite a bit. Signs of low thyroid hormone levels will include things like dry skin and a noticeably rougher feeling coat, weight gain, hair loss, and even behavioural issues. As scary as this sounds, treatment is often quite simple through supplementing their natural hormone levels with a pill that your vet will provide.
This article does not cover all the health issues that your Husky may suffer from over time, however by keeping an eye on the condition of your Husky’s coat and skin, you’ll have a good chance at catching many issues that affect Huskies. As with all pets, maintaining a healthy weight through proper nutrition and regular exercise are some of the easiest and most effective things you can do for their long-term health and happiness.
As South Africa’s Pet Insurance of choice for breeds like Huskies, DogSure offers unlimited benefits for all breeds and does not discriminate or exclude any hereditary any conditions from policy benefits. If you’d like to find out how a DogSure policy works, here is a great 60 second video.