Chronic diseases of the internal organs, the nervous system, the skin, and the auditory and visual systems are often difficult to recognize and insidious. Triggers for chronic diseases of the organs are also viruses, bacteria and parasites, but more and more often hereditary defects favor the outbreak of a disease or find their cause in it at all. They often manifest themselves as skin diseases, eye diseases, tendency to ulcers, but also as metabolic disorders and in the processing of nutrients, as a disturbed immune system or in the nervous system, z. B. as epilepsy.
Monogenic and polygenic hereditary diseases
Hereditary diseases can be divided into two groups. Into those that are monogenic, that is, caused by only one defective gene, and those that are polygenic, that is, dependent on a mix of genes. While DNA tests are already possible for many monogenic hereditary diseases, it is still very difficult, even impossible, to identify the causative genes in the case of polygenic diseases due to the gene diversity involved.
Which dogs are affected?
If there is something good about hereditary diseases, then the fact that the frequency is concentrated on very specific dog breeds or mixed breeds, in which the affected breed is contained. Other dogs are not immune to the disease, because a gene can always mutate, but the real chance is much lower. The breeds that are primarily affected in our naming are exclusively the experiences from German breeding and from German veterinarians. Here we would like to go into more detail about skin diseases in dogs. Which ones there are, how they manifest themselves and what you can do against it, you will learn now here.
1. Armadillo Westi syndrome – Epidermal dysplasia
" primarily affected:
West Highland White Terrier
Severe itching all over the body, loss of coat, skin changes such as partial discoloration, wrinkling and thickening.
General malaise, often strong odor and parasitic infestation.
The disease is not curable. However, it can be well controlled with constant treatment. Treatment is primarily against the parasite infestation.
2. Demodicosis (probably partly hereditary)
Demodicosis is caused by a type of mite. A defective immune system is amed among other things as favoring, therefore the illness stands here also under hereditary diseases.
" primarily affected:
Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd, Dalmatian, Great Dane, English Bulldog, Westi, Boston Terrier, Dachshund, Boxer, Pug, Chihuahua, Schar Pei, English Pointer, Beagle, Afghan Hound, Collie Bobtail
Hair loss, dry skin, scaling, painful purulent infections, skin thickening and crusting. The spread may be localized, but may also involve the entire body of the dog.
Malaise is the most common consequence. In the generalized form, i.e. in the case of a complete infestation, non-treatment can lead to total depletion of the body and thus to death.
The type of treatment depends on the form of demodicosis (diagnosis is u. a. by means of deep skin scraping). Localized demodicosis is now considered to be easily curable, but the generalized form is more difficult to cure. Prognosis can be made by the veterinarian only after the exact diagnosis of the form.
Caution: Considered to be a familial cluster, as the mites are transmitted from mother to offspring within the first few days of life.
3. Sheepdog pyoderma (not only hereditary, can also be acquired)
" primarily affected:
German shepherd dogs and their mongrels
In the early stages, nodules, pustules, and itching develop, later ulcers, fistulas, and boils, almost always spreading over the entire body, but especially appearing at prere points. Loss of appetite, weight loss, swelling of the lymph nodes and fever are also symptoms of this disease.
Untreated or improperly treated, the disease can lead to death.
In most cases, long-term treatment with antibacterial drugs is necessary, and depending on the spread and severity, also with additional other drugs.
Antje Plate has been sharing her life with dogs for more than 40 years, and for the last 20 years she has been studying dogs in depth. Over the years, she has established very close contacts with other owners, breeders of various breeds, veterinarians and cynologists. She also designs and manufactures custom dog harnesses.