|Barked: Wed Mar 9, '11 1:05pm PST |
|What are the common health issues we see in shibas?
- Do you know if these issues are genetic or environmental or age related?
- Did a vet diagnose or did you?
Response: The major players as far as health in Shibas are patellar luxation, glaucoma, allergic/non-specified dermatitis, hip dysplasia. Some incidence of IBD seems to be reported among owners right now, so that might be an additional concern. These are largely genetic issues, although I suspect the dermatitis has an environmental component as well.
Currently, Hamlet has no health issues. He had a brief episode of a dermatitis-like infection on his face that turned out to be demodectic mange, fairly common in puppies of all breeds. This cleared up before a year of age and has not recurred. His patellas were excellent at his most recent check up (three weeks ago)and most patellar issues will surface by 1 to 1.5 years of age.
Did you know they were prone to this going in?
- Did you check the Breed Club site before you bought/adopted your shiba?
- Did your breeder discuss this with you?
- Did the rescue discuss it with you?
Response: Yes, I did extensive research on health issues and one of the reasons I picked a Shiba was that, in general, they appear to be fairly healthy dogs not prone to a large number of issues. I grew up with a Westie who had a terrible skin condition and was determined to do my research and pick a more genetically hardy breed. Our breeder was also upfront about health issues and screening.
If you knew now what you knew then about their health, would you still have bought a shiba inu?
Response: Yes, despite the issues in the breed, I still think they are one of the hardier purebreds out there.
Do you think certain ailments/issues will alter your Shiba's temperament/activity level/life span?
Response: Obviously, as Hamlet grows older, allergies are more likely to surface and other conditions can crop up. Glaucoma, for example, tends to appear after a few years of age rather than at the beginning of life. Whatever the conditions, however, I am confident (from what I've seen of elderly Shibas) that Hamlet will remain at a high quality of life and enjoy a good life span (God willing). Most elderly Shibas I have met seem very spry for older dogs and don't have the expanded decline of some dogs.
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