Down Syndrome in Dogs

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A lot of debate continues on the subject of whether a dog could suffer from Down’s Syndrome. Many have pointed out that a lot of symptoms in dogs mimic that of humans. Although it is unlikely that a dog can be said to have a confirmed case of Down’s Syndrome, there are a few symptoms and signs which can be linked with the condition. The markers for this syndrome in dogs are stunted growth, short limbs, delayed development, and cognitive impairment.

Similar signs

Many dogs have symptoms similar to the preceding ones. The problem is that of inadequate research. It is known that canines have much more chromosomes compared to humans and it is vital that the research on genes present in dogs, yield more results before we make progress in this regard. The sad part is that dogs are much less examined and genetically tested compared to humans. It is not possible to find out whether the puppies in the womb carry this genetic abnormality. In short, there is no evidence that it is possible to diagnose Down’s Syndrome in dogs. It should be remembered that dogs can have their share of genetic mutations and abnormalities.

It is evident that although dogs cannot suffer from Down’s Syndrome,  they can do suffer from a broad sweep of different genetic abnormalities. There could also be mutations and health issues which exhibit identical signs and symptoms. As a dog owner, the only action you can take is to get the correct diagnosis from a veterinarian. If you think that cognitive behavior is stunted in your dog; do get in touch with animal behaviorists. Patience is essential if your dog fails to learn new commands. Keep the training sessions short and set your dog to succeed. Do not get angry that even after repeated tries, your puppy seems to unable to learn. If you were unsuccessful today, then there is also tomorrow- a fresh start to your ventures.

Small remedies Take your dog on a walk tied to a leash if your dog has a shorter attention span. Remember, it will find everything much more interesting compared to you. You should check his emotional state and social skills. It is a good idea to keep a close watch on his body language. You should watch out for signs like lip licking, pacing, excessive panting, and yawning. Do know that a few dogs suffering from difficult health conditions could become aggressive, If you think your dog’s behavior has taken a turn for the worse, take it to the veterinarian as swiftly as possible. It is an excellent idea to create a safe space for your dog in the home, particularly if you have small children.