Can Dogs Have Down Syndrome?

can dogs have down syndrome

The short answer is no but it’s more complex than that. First, let’s explain why down syndrome in dogs isn’t possible.

What is down syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by abnormal cell division which results in a duplicate or partial copy of chromosome 21. Humans have 23 sets of chromosomes and dogs have 39. So dogs already have more chromosomes and therefore down syndrome in dogs wouldn’t be possible. 

Duplication of all or part of chromosome 21 would have different effects between humans and dogs. But dogs can have genetic abnormalities. Those genetic abnormalities can resemble down syndrome characteristics. 

Characteristics That Can Resemble Down Syndrome In Dogs

can dogs have down syndrome
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Abnormally broadhead
  • Large tongue
  • Abnormal gait
  • Eye problems such as cataracts 
  • Delayed opening of the eyes in puppies
  • Delayed tooth development in puppies 
  • Hearing problems
  • Skin problems 
  • Short limbs
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Mental and or physical developmental issues 
  • Odd behavior such as being reserved or crying due to malformed organs
  • Bloody discharge from anus due to internal issues 

Conditions That Could be Confused As Down Syndrome In Dogs

can dogs have down syndrome
  • Growth Hormone Deficiency (Pituitary Dwarfism or dwarfism)
  • Congenital Hydrocephalus 
  • Portosystemic Shunt 
  • Congenital Heart 
  • Thyroid issue 

If you believe your dog has  a condition like down syndrome contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to diagnose your dog with any issue and recommend a treatment plan. 

About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our Best Friend Mobility Dog Wheelchairs.

A dog wheelchair is also referred to as a handicap dog cart or wheels for handicap dogs. One of the common needs is for hip dysplasia. We offer three different models and have small dog wheelchairs and large dog wheelchairs.

We offer a full support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog wheelchair, a dog wheelchair for back legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only one that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it. 

Leave a Reply