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Chow Chow Health Problems – 10 Most Common Health Issues

Chow Chows are known for their independent and regal nature, making them charming and unique pets. However, they are also susceptible to certain health issues that potential owners should be well-versed in. On average, Chow Chows live around 8 to 12 years, which is influenced by factors such as genetics, diet and overall care. Being a breed with a strong predisposition to certain conditions, understanding their health landscape is vital to ensuring a happy and healthy life for your Chow Chow.

10 Most Common Health Problems & Issues in Chow Chows

1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to pain and decreased mobility. It’s crucial to know that genetics play a major role in this issue.

  • Symptoms: Chow Chows with hip dysplasia might show signs of lameness, reluctance to climb stairs, or difficulties in getting up.
  • Causes: Genetics are a primary cause, but rapid growth and obesity can exacerbate the condition.
  • Treatment: Treatment involves weight management, controlled exercise and in severe cases, surgical intervention.
2. Entropion

Entropion is an eyelid disorder where the eyelids roll inward, causing irritation and potential damage to the eye surface.

  • Symptoms: You may notice excessive tearing, squinting, or redness in the eyes.
  • Causes: Genetic factors and facial structure contribute to this issue.
  • Treatment: Surgical correction is often necessary to alleviate discomfort.
3. Elbow Dysplasia

Similar to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia involves abnormal development of the elbow joint, leading to lameness and pain.

  • Symptoms: Chow Chows with elbow dysplasia might exhibit limping, particularly after exercise.
  • Causes: Both genetic and environmental factors can play a role.
  • Treatment: Treatment may include pain management, exercise modification and surgery in severe cases.
4. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, affecting metabolism.

  • Symptoms: Look out for weight gain, lethargy and skin issues.
  • Causes: Autoimmune disorders are often behind hypothyroidism.
  • Treatment: Hypothyroidism is manageable through lifelong medication and dietary adjustments.
5. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

Bloat is a life-threatening emergency where the stomach twists, leading to gas buildup.

  • Symptoms: Signs include restlessness, a distended abdomen and unproductive attempts to vomit.
  • Causes: Eating too quickly, genetics and large meals are contributing factors.
  • Treatment: Immediate surgical intervention is necessary to untwist the stomach and address the condition.
6. Cataracts

Cataracts involve the clouding of the eye’s lens, leading to vision impairment.

  • Symptoms: Cloudy eyes and reduced vision are common signs.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and aging are key factors.
  • Treatment: Surgical removal of cataracts can restore vision.
7. Allergies

Allergies manifest as hypersensitivity reactions to environmental or food triggers.

  • Symptoms: Itching, skin rashes and ear infections can be indications of allergies.
  • Causes: Allergens in food, pollen and dust mites can trigger allergic responses.
  • Treatment: Managing allergies involves identifying triggers, allergen avoidance and sometimes medications.
8. Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is the dislocation of the kneecap, causing pain and lameness.

  • Symptoms: Hindlimb lameness, skipping steps and pain are signs.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and trauma contribute.
  • Treatment: Depending on severity, treatment may range from medications to surgery.
9. Heart Disease

Heart diseases encompass various conditions affecting cardiac function.

  • Symptoms: Coughing, exercise intolerance and fainting are potential indicators.
  • Causes: Genetic predisposition and aging are significant factors.
  • Treatment: Medications and lifestyle adjustments can help manage heart conditions.
10. Obesity

Excess body weight leads to various health challenges.

  • Symptoms: Difficulty moving, breathing problems and joint pain are common.
  • Causes: Overfeeding and lack of exercise contribute to obesity.
  • Treatment: Managing weight through a controlled diet, regular exercise and portion control is crucial for obese Chow Chows.

Precautions & Preventative Measures

Owning a Chow Chow comes with the responsibility of safeguarding their well-being. Here are essential precautions and proactive steps you can take to promote the health of your furry companion:

  • Provide a balanced diet with appropriate portion control.
  • Regularly exercise to maintain a healthy weight and promote joint health.
  • Schedule routine veterinary visits for vaccinations, health checks and early issue detection.
  • Groom your Chow Chow regularly to prevent skin and coat issues.

What Do Chow Chows Usually Die From?

Chow Chows, like all living beings, have a finite lifespan and understanding the common causes of mortality in this breed is essential for responsible ownership. While the specific lifespan can vary due to genetics, environment and care, it’s important to be aware of the typical health challenges that Chow Chows often face towards the end of their lives. Here’s an overview of what Chow Chows usually die from:

Chow Chow Health Problems – 10 Most Common Health Issues in Chow Chows