Choosing an Akita

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Common Diseases and Disorders

  • Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint develops abnormally and can result in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow joint develops abnormally and can result in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Ruptured cranial cruciate ligament is a problem that results from tearing of the cruciate ligament in the knee, causing lameness that may be severe .
  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Congenital deafness can occur in some dogs.
  • Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately. Without enough thyroid hormone, illness can occur.
  • Juvenile onset polyarthritis occurs in young Akitas and results in lameness and arthritis in several joints.
  • Congenital cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases which can lead to blindness.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Retinal dysplasia is a congenital disease of the retina.

    In addition, although these occur infrequently, the following disorders have also been reported:

  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD) a defect of the ventricular septum of the heart.
  • Pericardial effusion is an accumulation of fluid within the pericardial space. It can be caused by tumors of the heart or idiopathic (no known cause).

    Life Span

    The average life span of the Akita is 10 to 12 years.

    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.

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