Congenital Health Problems In Puppies

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By JeraldDossantos

A congenital problem is a condition that occurs at birth. It can be genetic or it may be caused by environmental factors, dietary deficiencies, or trauma in pregnancy. A puppy may have a congenital disorder from birth, but symptoms often do not manifest until they reach adulthood.

The incidence of congenital disorders in puppies is between 0.2% and 3.5%. These conditions can affect the eyes and other body systems such as the musculoskeletal system, genitourinary and neurological systems, as well as the cardiovascular system. Sometimes they are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

This post is for those who have recently adopted dogs or are considering bringing a puppy home. It will discuss common congenital problems that can affect puppies.

What are the most common congenital problems in puppies?

It is believed that dogs are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to allergens in their environment. Different types of allergies can affect dogs, including skin, food, pollen, mold, and insect allergies.

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Some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to allergies than others. Bulldogs and Maltese, for example, are more susceptible to skin allergies than Cocker Spaniels or Boxers. Boxers and Cocker Spaniels are more likely to have food and inhalation allergy. A radioallergosorbent or RAST test can be used to determine if your puppy is allergic.

What are congenital defects in pets?

Cleft palate occurs in the embryonic stage of puppies. Although this congenital abnormality may be severe, it is common to have an opening in the roof of your mouth that opens up to the breathing passages. This can lead to nursing respiratory infections or other issues.

Purebred dogs are more likely to have cleft palates than brachycephalic or brachycephalic dogs. Brachycephalic breeds are well-known for their small and narrow faces. Bulldogs are among these breeds.

Most cleft palates can easily be corrected by surgery

  • Polydactlyism

Polydactylyism (also known as Polydactyly, or PPD) is a rare defect in which a puppy’s first toes are extra. This condition is most often caused by genetic variation. It’s common in Mastiff** and Saint Bernard. The Norwegian Lundehund, a true polydactyl breed, has six fully formed toes instead of the usual four.

The condition will become an issue if the nail on your extra toe doesn’t get clipped frequently and gets stuck on objects as the puppy moves. The toe could become detached from the limb and cause muscular damage. Polydactyl toes may be removed surgically as soon as two weeks after birth.

Is pet insurance available for puppies with congenital issues?

Treatment for congenital conditions is almost always costly. A cataract surgery in dogs costs between $2,700 to $4,000; a patent ductus arteriosus treatment for puppies could cost you up to $10.000.

Good news! Most pet insurance companies will cover congenital and hereditary conditions as long as your puppy is not showing clinical signs. Some providers will not cover congenital disorders, even if they do cover hereditary conditions, because they consider the condition pre-existing.

Pawlicy Advisor’s online tool allows you to compare the top US pet insurance providers. You can also see which plans have limitations on coverage for congenital problems.