All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit disease. Conditions that have been seen in the breed include hypothyroidism and deafness. Dogos may also be prone to glaucoma and laryngeal paralysis. And, like many large and giant breeds, the Dogo can develop hip dysplasia.
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary defect of the hip socket. It can be mild, causing little or no pain, or it can lead to severe lameness. Dogos with hip dysplasia may move slowly or avoid jumping. Depending on the severity of the condition, weight loss, medication, or surgery can help to relieve pain. Dogos that will be bred should have their hips x-rayed and graded by a veterinary orthopedic specialist at two years of age. Ask the breeder to show written evidence that a Dogo puppy’s parents have hips that have been rated as fair, good, or excellent by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Image: Ormando SLR – flickr
The Dogo is a fairly healthy breed, with a typical life span of between 9 and 12 years. Breed health concerns may include congenital deafness (can be unilateral or bilateral; in one or both ears), hip dysplasia, bloat/torsion (gastric dilatation and volvulus; GDV) and demodectic mange (demodex).
The primary genetic fault that “comes with” the breed, because it is a white-coated dog, is deafness. The Dogo Argentino Club of America monitors all litters whelped to DACA-registered parents. The percentage of deaf puppies is roughly 10% overall, which is the same percentage as that of the Dogo club in Germany. All Dogo Argentino puppies sold by DACA members should be accompanied by either a statement from the breeders’ veterinarian attesting to the fact that the puppy can hear, or a BAER (hearing) test report.
Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas. A puppy may develop one of these diseases despite good breeding practices.
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