Like many other breeds, the Northern Inuit Dog is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning to share your home with one of these active and good-looking dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
This is no more or less prevalent in the Northern Inuit breed than any other breed. Hip dysplasia can be hereditary or environmental, caused by poor nutrition or even by a difficult birth. All breeding dogs should be hip scored so that the chance of hip dysplasia can be reduced.
Should be viewed in the same context as hip dysplasia above. All breeding dogs should be elbow scored.
Primary and secondary Glaucoma
This is not a breed wide problem, but can be inherited, therefore all breedings dogs should be eye tested. Glaucoma is found in many breeds of dogs so this is not a breed specific disease.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
A test is available through Laboklin or Embark. All breeding dogs who are not clear by parentage should be DM tested. The Northern Inuit Association is working hard to eliminate this disease by DM testing any dogs who are not clear by parentage, before accepting the dog into the breeding programme. DM is found in many breeds of dogs so this is not a breed specific disease.
A life limiting genetic condition which causes limb deformities and severe eye issues. A test has been developed and any dog who is not clear by parentage must be OSD3 tested prior to breeding. The Northern Inuit Association is working hard to eliminate this disease by OSD3 testing any dogs who are not clear by parentage, before accepting the dog into the breeding programme. OSD3 is a breed specific problem (only found in Northern Inuits).
There currently are no conclusive findings on the mode of inheritance but epileptic dogs are never used for breeding and appropriate veterinary care is always advised. The Northern Inuit Association keep records of every dogs’ breeding lines to try to prevent epilepsy being passed down the generations. Epilepsy is found in at least 26 breeds of dogs so this is not a breed specific disease.
Although research has shown there is some genetic link, the cause of Addisons is unknown. It is considered to be an autoimmune disease, and there is some indication that it is on the rise. This rise could be a result of high inbreeding – the Northern Inuit Association have a breeding strategy in place to lower the level of inbreeding so that Northern Inuits will be less susceptible to this type of disease. Addisons is found in many breeds of dogs so this is not a breed specific disease.
Male Northern Inuits can be prone to retained testicles, where one or both testes do not drop. There are no lasting consequences, if the dog is neutered at an appropriate time (for this breed the recommended age is not earlier than 18mths – 24mths of life as they are slow developers). It is proven that this is mainly inherited, although some environmental reasons can be a factor too.
Unfortunately there can never be any guarantee that a puppy of any breed will not develop health issues (genetic or environmental issues), no matter how many tests are carried out. Thankfully, the majority of Northern Inuits live happy healthy lives without issue and the life span averages between 12 and 15 years old. Ask us if you have any questions about the health of the breed – we are open and honest and no questions are considered silly.