Wednesday Wellness: A Closer Look at the Healthy Akita
Strong, fuzzy, loyal, unique and proud are the traits that keep the Akita in business and adored in the hearts of pet lovers worldwide. If these traits catch your eye, you would be well advised to do a little research about the intriguing breed.
For those who are already privy to the Akita experience, you don’t need any assurance that you made the right breed decision. Still, managing a breed with the complex nature of the Akita can be a challenge day to day. Here are some health facts and tips that might help you get to know the breed that's majestic enough to be a national monument.
The first noticeable characteristic of the Akita is the thick double layered fur that looks like it could aid their survival in an Antarctic blizzard. Although it’s extremely convenient for their warmth, it might not be so convenient for your hypoallergenic needs. In order for you and your Akita to comfortably co-exist, daily brushing is recommended and weekly brushing is an absolute must.
The Akita is an energetic breed that can be acclimated to indoor living as long as daily exercise is in the routine. Due to their extremely large structure, it's important to keep activity moderate. However, beware not to get too carried away with intense play, since it could lead to long term health problems.
Every breed has its Achilles heel. The Akita is notoriously plagued with auto immune diseases. The most common is Hypothyroidism. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland’s tissue is slowly destroyed, leading to allergy like symptoms, weight variation, fatigue, lethargy, aggression, seizures, and kidney disorders.
There is no obvious cause to Auto Immune diseases in Akitas. The best thing you can do to prevent the onset is to keep your dog away from pollutants and other unnatural substances such as chemicals, fertilizer, and cheap dog foods. If diagnosed, most auto immune diseases can’t be subdued, but they can be controlled with a daily tablet in order for your Akita to live a happy, long life.
You can’t breed a 125 bear hunting machine without risking a few bones structure problems. Hip dysplasia is a common disorder found in the Akita. Factors that lead to dysplasia are too much rough housing, improper nutrition, excessive calcium in diet, and over feeding.
Keep these possible causes in mind over the course of your Akita’s development. If diagnosed, treatment consists of adding supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine, or surgery if the degree of dysplasia is severe.
Due to the above mentioned Auto Immune inheritance, Akitas tend to be especially sensitive to drugs. Because of conditions like thyroid disease, the liver is unable to detoxify the drug. For this reason, always seek professional advice before administering any type of medication for the first time.
Ask an Akita owner and they will tell you that the loyalty and devotion they feel in the bond with their companion is unrivaled by any other breed. For the Akita owners and adores of the world, you have the potential for up to 12 years of the greatest pet bond of your life. Providing the proper nutrition and lifestyle for a large breed dog is the foundation of a healthy Akita.
Photo courtesy of aldenchadwick