Siberian Huskies were first bred as work dogs that lived under great physical strains and in terribly harsh climates. As such they are very resilient and generally healthy, but there are some conditions that are commonly found in Huskies. As an owner, you would do well to stay informed on such conditions in order to be able to recognize their early symptoms and stop them from progressing further.
Like many breeds, Huskies often suffer from genetic eye disorders. One of such disorders is cataracts. They usually develop in older dogs, but Siberian Huskies can sometimes be afflicted with juvenile cataracts which can start developing when the pup is just several months old. You can recognize the onset of cataracts by the appearance of cream or gray colored specks in the dog’s eyes. If you do notice such specks contact your vet immediately, surgical solutions are available, but if the condition is left untreated for too long it might lead to blindness.
Corneal dystrophy is another hereditary eye disorder that Huskies often suffer from. It attacks the layers of cornea and usually if it is present in one eye, it will be in the other one as well. Depending on the layers it affected it might result in small ulcers. It can also manifest itself as white areas in the dog’s eyes. There are medications that are able to repair smaller damages to cornea, but surgical procedure might be necessary for the more advanced cases.
Entropion is also an eye condition which is characterized by an eyelid (usually lower) that is not developing properly, and starts growing inward towards the dog’s eye. It usually develops early in the dog’s life, and while it can be repaired surgically, it is probably best to wait while the dog is a bit older and his facial bones are better developed.
Zinc-responsive dermatosis is condition that causes the dog’s skin to become crusty, and it is caused by the dog’s inability to properly absorb zinc from its nutrition. The condition is easily counteracted by the addition of extra zinc to the dog’s diet, sometimes this will be required for the rest of the dog’s life. If left unnoticed the dog might scratch the irritated skin and cause further irritation, wounds and inflammation.
Siberian Huskies are also known to suffer from laryngeal paralysis. This is basically a disorder of nerves that regulate breathing. This condition prevents the laryngal muscles from properly opening the larynx when the dog tries to breathe in. Its symptoms are labored and rasping breathing. If it is of hereditary type it will usually develop in a dog before he reaches 6 months of age, but other types of this condition might come up later in a dog’s life. If the condition is not too severe, keeping your dog away from stress and heat will be enough for it to stop having breathing problems. In more severe cases, however, a surgery is required.