Top 6 Most Common Genetic Diseases in Dogs

It’s not surprising that DNA can contribute to dog illness. After all, DNA influences everything from a canine’s physical characteristics to his tendency to develop a wide variety of canine diseases over his lifetime. While specific illnesses are related to purebred dogs, medical problems are related to multiple breeds with similar statures or conformations.

When considering adopting or buying a new dog, it is vital to look into the breed and breeder (if applicable). Some canine types are typically healthier than others because they have fewer health problems.

Genetic Disorders in Dogs

Discover more about the hereditary and congenital conditions in dogs, which breeds are predisposed to them, and how to treat them:

Heart Problems

Numerous canine breeds have a history of inherited heart conditions. Myxomatous valve disease can affect Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Dachshunds. This hereditary condition in dogs causes pressure to develop within the heart chambers. Coughing, weakness, stomach distention, low appetite, difficulty breathing, and collapse are all symptoms of heart disease.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the most typical musculoskeletal condition and hereditary condition in dogs affecting mixed-breed and purebred dogs. Small canines with hip dysplasia do not usually show the same pain and discomfort as larger dogs, showing a size-weight relationship to medical presentation. The ventrodorsal view or distraction index is utilized to make a radiographic diagnosis.

Allergic Skin Disease

In the clinical procedure, one of the most common presentations is indications of allergic skin disease. These signs are common in mixed-breed and purebred canines, with some breeds being more vulnerable than others.

The heritability of a topic dermatitis in Golden and Labrador Retrievers was 47%, showing a significant environmental contribution. A molecular genetic study discovered a chromosome 28 segment related to atopic dermatitis in German Shepherd dogs.

Urinary Bladder Stones

Another hereditary congenital condition in canines is urinary bladder stones. Although bladder stones can be an unexpected incidental finding on radiographs, numerous dogs experience pain and major medical problems due to stones in their urinary systems. Urinary accidents, blood in the urine, and increased frequency of urination are all signs.


It’s frightening and troubling to see your pet have a seizure. Dogs usually tense and fall to the ground during a grand mal seizure, salivate, paddle their legs, and some lose control of their bladder and bowels or vocalize. A seizure occurs when brain cells become too thrilled and go beyond a “seizure threshold.” If no underlying cause is found, the presumptive diagnosis for persistent seizures is idiopathic (unknown cause) epilepsy.


While mutations in tumor cells cause all cancers, some are thought to be spontaneous or environmental. However, others are thought to be caused by inherited predisposing factors.

The most typical congenital conditions in dogs are lymphoma/lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and osteosarcoma. Malignant, squamous cell cancer, transitional cell cancer, mammary tumors, and histiocytic sarcoma are other cancers with genetic predispositions.

Bottom Line

Canines with hereditary conditions should not be bred. Because most of these hereditary conditions are complexly inherited, identifying a possible breeding dog’s genetic threat for carrying disease-liability genetics should be based on details about the existence of medical disease or normalcy in first-degree relatives.

Carriers of testable recessive disease-liability genes can breed with mates that test normally, and their offspring can mate with offspring that test normally. You must change canines with testable dominant disease-liability genes for breeding with normal-testing relatives.

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