Can dogs have Down syndrome?

Do you know about Down syndrome?  Each cell has a nucleus present in the human body and it stores genetic material in this genes. The genes carry responsible codes for inherited traits and are grouped known as chromosomes in rod-like structures. The nucleus from each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes, inherited half from each parent. The Down syndrome happens when there is partial or full extra copy of chromosome 2.

What about dogs?

Genetically, people and dogs have many similarities and there are important differences. There are 23 set chromosomes in people, while dogs have 39.  Thus, duplication of a part or all chromosomes will have different effects. It means if there is any genetic duplication, it will cause clinical abnormalities in dogs as well, same as people having Down syndrome.

There is no direct answer for can dogs have Down syndrome question. It is speculated that tigers, apes, dogs and other animals have genetic defects at is like Down syndrome. Few believe that in dogs Down syndrome exists, though it may be different than humans. The chromosomes are different than humans in dogs and so it is also believed that dogs do not produce Down syndrome. Even the research on the dog’s genes is not as advanced as on human’s research.

Does your dog have Down syndrome?

Your family veterinarian alone can identify your dog has Down syndrome. Yet ask your vet about Down syndrome, in case you notice symptoms like:

  • Hearing difficulty
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Poor eyesight with cataracts
  • Odd behavior or some unusual reserve
  • Thyroid problems

Suspected traits also include unusual physical features such as deformed hips or legs, frequent loss of hair, unusual skin patches, dry and warm nose and facial odd features such as protruding tongue and broad nose.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms indicate detecting down syndrome early and to take proper action.

Poor Eyesight:  The dog’s poor development results in poor eyesight and cataract development. Check their eyes to know if there is cloudiness as it may indicate cataract formation.

Unusual physical features:  These types include dogs with dwarf life facial feature and some abnormalities commonly include small head, flat face, short neck, slanting upward eyes and abnormal shape of ears. They tend to have patches on their skin abnormally or have deformed legs.

Hearing problems, random pain in internal organs, skin problems, discharge of blood from rectum, thyroid issues, congenital heart disease and behavioral issues are some Down syndrome signs in dogs.

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