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Husky & Sled Dog Health

Genetic Health

Huskies other and sled dogs are relatively healthy within the world of pedigree dogs. Sled dogs in general have few notable health issues, although there are a few specific problems that affect these breeds and that owners should be aware of. Some are thought to be largely genetic, and passed down through generations. These include Hip Dysplasia, and eye problems including Glaucoma and Cataracts. The genetic complexity of these conditions is not yet fully understood, but evidence strongly indicates that they can be passed down through several generations without actually 'showing up'. Breeding two dogs that both carry the genes may cause the problem to show up again, even after several generations of unaffected dogs. At present, genetic testing for these conditions has not been developed.

Hip scores and eye exams can detect problems in the individual dog. It is extremely important that any dog that is to be bred is HIP SCORED and EYE TESTED before the mating takes place. These tests will only show up problems that have emerged in these particular dogs. They will not show whether there are any problems 'hidden' in the genes that may show up in the next generation. This is one of the reasons why it is really important that breeders know the family histories of their dogs - not just some of the names on the dog's pedigree, but information about these dogs and their health.

Other Husky Health Issues

Upset tummies are a common problem in huskies and sled dogs, often due to dietary sensitivity. Our pages on food for huskies have information on this, and suggested foods for sled dogs.

Zinc Responsive Dermatosis is a relatively common skin complaint that causes hair-loss and scaling in patches usually concentrated around the eyes, ears and muzzle. ZRD, as it is known, is caused by a lack of zinc in the dog's system, and can be easily managed by adding zinc supplements to the dog's diet. ZRD is discussed in more detail on this page

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