Can dogs have Down syndrome?Yes!
We all have heard about instances where dogs and human beings have shared moments of happiness and sorrow together. The kind of compatibility that these two have is hard to find in other species. Unfortunately, this relationship has a dark side too. The way cancer, epilepsy, and heart failures can affect both dogs and humans, it makes us question the fact that whether a commonly found disability, Down Syndrome, in the latter, can be found in the former or not.
What is this disease about?
Source :- thedestinyformula.com
If you are someone who does not know what Down syndrome is, keep reading the article. As said by the National Down Syndrome Society, in the humans, it falls in the chromosomal category. Where there is a deformity in the number of chromosomes in a human baby while being born, he/she suffers from this disease. A normal baby is born with 23 pairs i.e. a total of 46 chromosomes whereas the babies suffering from Down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome 21 in their bodies. Every one out of every 700 babies is born with this abnormality in a year.
Also Read :- Can dogs have autism?
Some of the symptoms of this disease in human beings are:
- A face which is a bit flattened
- Almond-shaped eyes
- Ears and neck which are smaller and shorter than normal
- The height which is shorter than other children and adults
- A tongue which always sticks out of the mouth
- Poor muscle joints
- Hands and feet smaller in size
- Some people suffer from ear infections, hearing loss, eye diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, hearing defects, etc.
Do dogs have it too?
Source :- howtotrainthedog.com
Now coming to the main question that whether dogs can suffer from Down Syndrome or not, the answer is not quite clear as dogs and human beings are two completely different species and have different chromosomal makeup. We have 23 sets of chromosomes whereas our loyal pets have 39 of them. Hence, the effect of an extra chromosome 21 is different on both of us. Scientists have even carried out experiments on genetically engineered mice to find out the truth but it failed too, as the mice were not real but engineered. Though there have been some revelations on this case that either the dogs have an early death when suffering from such abnormalities or the condition of Down Syndrome does not really exist in them.
Some of the symptoms in dogs which look like Down Syndrome are:
Source :- dogtime.com
There have been some states which look like Dogs with Down Syndrome and one of them is Congenital Hypothyroidism which results in the following conditions:
- A big head with a protruding tongue
- Smaller limbs
- Slower growth
- The opening of the eyes, ears along with the tooth ejection is retarded
- Slower learning abilities
How can you treat your pet?
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To be honest, Down syndrome is not curable just like any other hereditary condition. What you can do on your level is that form a good diet for your dog and remember to check the ingredients of the pet food always because it can help in better working of the low functioning organs. Take help of various supplements and medications available to cure the above-mentioned symptoms. Consult a good veterinarian to get better results.
Knowing that your dog has slower mental abilities, train him with utmost special care because love and care can cure what medicines can’t.