|Barked: Thu Dec 16, '10 7:00pm PST |
|First: The proper terminology is Intellectually and/or Developmently Disabled. Mental disability has a negative conontation for many people
Second - Dogs aren't really easily defined as ID/DD but can have damaged or underdeveloped congnitive issues. Usually they are born with them, due to unjury during birth or trauma resulting in extensive brain damage or lack of oxygen. The only way to truly determine his cognitive and neurologic deficits (if any) is to have him evaluated by a board certified neurologist and then have an MRI or CT scan if deemed neccessary. However if this is only minimally affecting his daily life this may be overkill. A good neuro exam-with neurologist (around $100) may be a very good place to start.
OK lets look at the individual issues you are concerned with...
A) He has a "larger frame than the average bluetick". OK so this could simply be the result of his family tree. In humans with ID/DD especially common identifiable ones like Down Syndrome we see people who tend to range from overweight to obese. This has to do with alot of things both genetically, socially and medically. The actual genetic change that creates down syndrome has physical markers like "rolly-polly" or soft body frames. Also many times because others have difficulty interacting or communicating with those with ID/DD food is used as a reinforcer which only encourages additional weight gain.
HOWEVER - Dogs don't suffer from down syndrome. There are no genetic diseases that I am aware of at this point that cause soft or larger body frames. Where is Dan from? Was it an established breeder with lines of well proportioned dogs? Was it a neighborhood or backyard breeder? Was he from a shelter or a stray? I am more willing to believe he just isn't a perfect example of his breed (not that that doesn't make him cute as a button) not that he has ID/DD.
Also his photo of him standing shows me a slighly pudgy dog. To determine if he is proper weight or overweight check out this Body Condition Scoring Chart. BCS Chart You need to look at several different markers on his body like does he have an abdominal tuck, can you feel his ribs slightly or do you need to dig in your fingers, when you look down at him standing does he have an hourglass shape or is he box shaped. Hounds tend to do better on the slimmer side (but its my opinion that all dogs are better off on the slimmer side than the chunky side).
B) His strength is most likely due to his size and mass.
C) Catatonic stares can be indicative of several different things. They can be behavioral, neurological, metabolic etc. To determine the causes keeping a diary of when they happen and for how long may help. But the best thing to do is have him seen by a veterinarian. Have his eyes checked as well as his propriception (IE his ability to know where his own body is) and nerve responsiveness.
D) The waddling may be due to his extra weight or mass. Or it could be due to arthritic changes, malformation during development, previous injury or genetic problem from his family line. A physical exam with a vet could help you rule out pain or discomfort. Xrays may be able to pin point a bones malformation. Again knowing where he came from would be helpful.
E) There is one metabolic disease that may explain all the issues you mentioned. Hypothyroid disease causes animals to be lethargic, confused, stare and gain weight. It may be worth getting him tested when you see the vet. It is a pretty simple blood test and easily treated with daily medication. What is hypothyroidism?
Also what do you do with Dan every day? Is he a working dog? A hunting dog? Do you walk him? Have you done any agility or training with him?
Sometimes if dogs don't have a specific bond with someone or a job they enjoy doing they can seem "dumb" or uninterested when they are really just bored or don't understand what is expected of them. This is a total guess since I don't know what his life is like.
I just don't like to see dogs called dumb if nothing is expected of them.
Edited by author Thu Dec 16, '10 7:01pm PST
|my posts | my page | msg me | my family's posts | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|