American Eskimo Diseases And Health Problems


         I would prefer to lose my Eskie to ripe old age, than to be felled by disease or preventable problems. Death by disease, is not a glorious way to go.

         This is also a frequent question too. What diseases are Eskies prone to. So here they are -

Canine Bloat – Canine Bloat is not particularly common to Eskies; however, it is brought on when a dog eats quickly.  The stomach twists and causes a severe, possibly life-threatening, condition.  Symptoms include restlessness, distended abdomen, and unproductive  attempts to vomit.  If your dog suffers from bloat, get him or her to a veterinarian immediately for assistance.

Coronavirus – This is a virus resulting in digestive problems.  It is spread through infected dog’s feces.  Symptoms include stomach upset evidenced by a lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

Distemper – This disease primarily affects the respiratory and nervous system.  The virus is related to the human measles virus.  Mild symptoms of fever, lack of appetite and mucus secretion progress to evidence of brain damage.

Fleas – Fleas are an external parasite which feast on your dog.  To eradicate fleas you must kill the adult fleas as well as control the cycle of the pre-adult fleas.  Fleas are handled easily using topical treatments such as Advantage or FrontLine. Eskies are known to develop severe allergies to fleas. Even one flea is known to have caused frantic scratching and gnawing on its skin. Very painful

Heatstroke – This is brought on when a dog is allowed to overheat.  Symptoms include rapid loud breathing, abundant thick saliva, bright red mucus membranes, high rectal temperature, unsteadiness, diarrhea and coma.  If your dog suffers from heatstroke, get him or her to a veterinarian immediately for assistance.

Hepatitis –  This is a virus primarily affecting the liver.  Canine adenovirus type I (CAV-1) enters the dog’s system when the dog breathes in particles.  Lesser symptoms include listlessness, diarrhea, and vomiting while more severe symptoms include “blue-eye” (clumps of virus in the eye).

Hip Dysplasia – This is an hereditary disorder that affects how the ball of the femur (thighbone) nests in the socket of the pelvic bone.  Mild hip dysplasia may not need specific treatment, but more severe cases may require surgery.

Leptospirosis – This is a severe disease that affects the internal organs.  This is often carried by rodents and can be spread to people.  Symptoms range from fever, vomiting and loss of appetite in less severe cases to shock, irreversible kidney damage and possibly death in the most severe cases.

Parvovirus – This is a highly contagious virus and is potentially deadly.  This virus is contracted by ingestion of the virus, which is usually spread through the feces of infected dogs.  The most common symptom is severe diarrhea.  There are also vomiting, fatigue and lack of appetite.

Patellar Luxation – This condition is where the patella (kneecap) should glide along the trochlear groove of the femur.  Sometimes the groove is too shallow which requires the patella to ride along the ridge.  This may bring on arthritis conditions.  Surgery may be recommended if the condition is bad enough.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – The Eskie’s most significant hereditary problem is a form of eye disease known as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.  Some Eskies are carriers with no visible trait of the disease.

Rabies – This is a potentially deadly virus that infects warm-blooded mammals.  It is contracted by a bite from the carrier, mainly wild animals.  There are three stages to this virus:  1) the dog exhibits a change in behavior, fear; 2) the dog’s behavior becomes more aggressive; and, 3) the dog experiences a loss of coordination and trouble with bodily functions.  All dogs should be vaccinated for rabies.

Ticks – Ticks are external parasites, not as common as fleas, and are found all over the tropical and temperate world.  Dogs can contract Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many other diseases from ticks.  Most dog ticks have life expectancies from one week to six months.  Ticks are controlled the same way as fleas.

Urinary Tract Disorders – This can be the result of kidney disease or problems with the bladder.  Symptoms include difficulty urinating, begins drinking more water, urinates more frequently, or you notice blood in the urine.  If your dog suffers from a urinary tract disorder, get him or her to a veterinarian immediately for assistance.

Health Hazards To Humans

         Now the biggest health hazard an American Eskimo can pose to you is a broken heart! Chances are, you will outlive your Eskie – or situations may force you to give up the dog. Once either of those events happen – well, its going to hurt. Regret among American Eskimo owners isn’t out of the norm. Neither is sorrow. I am still regretful, sad and a little bitter about the events leading up to me surrendering my first American Eskimo. It was after me surrendering my American Eskimo that I also fell into one of the darkest periods of my life, lasting many, many years. And there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it.

         Now, the Eskie can be a nightmare for someone who’s allergic to dog hair and dander. If that’s the case, an Eskie may not be the best choice in companion. A shame.

         Ticks and fleas are always ever present hazards. Not fatal, just extremely annoying. Sometimes they can give actual health problems such as lyme disease or other bacterial based problems.

         The Eskie sheds a lot. So be prepared to find hair all over the place. I once had one stuck to my eye. Man, was it irritating…. Then again, I shouldn’t haven been rolling around on the floor with my eyes open. 

         In the next section, I’ll be covering a very common health disorder – hip dyplasia – that plagues most Eskies as they age, and how to handle it.  

American Eskimo 101 Crash Course

  1. American Eskimo 101 Crash Course Home Page
  2. Their Character, Temperament And Breed History
  3. Eskie Psychology 
  4. Extreme Hot Weather Care
  5. Extreme Cold Weather Care
  6. Grooming, Appearance And Bathing Care
  7. Nutritional Needs – What foods and vitamins to feed it
  8. Nutritional Hazards – What not to feed it
  9. How to socialize Eskies with guests, and other pets
  10. American Eskimo Diseases And Health Problems
  11. Some Ways To Deal With Hip Dysplasia
  12. How to handle rescued Eskies
  13. Eskie Training
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