A genetic disorder that primarily affects the long bones in the body. It is most noticeable in the front legs. The Alaskan Malamute Club of America offers certification for dogs considered to be clear of the recessive gene. The picture is of Nori, a chondrodypsplastic Malamute.
Hip Dysplasia
An abnormality of the hip joint. It can result in lameness to varying degrees of severity. Diagnosis is by x-ray, and dogs with normal hips are eligible for certification by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Ratings offered for OFA certified dogs are Excellent, Good, and Fair. For a more in-depth look at hip dysplasia, see our brochure canine hip dysplasia.
A clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting in partial loss of vision. It is considered to be hereditary but the exact method of inheritence is not known. Animals used for breeding should be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Certification for dogs with clear eyes is offered by CERF.
Day Blindness
Also known as hemeralopia or cone degeneration. Affected dogs stumble into objects in bright lighting conditions. They see normally in dim lighting conditions. This is a hereditary condition. See "Day Blindness" by Dr. Ken Bourns.
Underactive thyroid gland. The condition is sometimes characterized by excessive weight gain, poor coat, infertility, lethargy, and lack of endurance.
Bloat and Torsion
Bloat involves the swelling up of the stomach from gas or fluds or both. Once distended, the stomach may abruptly twist. A twist of 180 degrees or less is called torsion. A twist of greater than 180 degrees is called volvulus. Bloat is any of the three conditions; acute gastric dilation, torsion or volvulus. These are life threatening conditions and require immediate veterinary care. Symptoms include excessive salivation and drooling, abdominal pain and distention, and extreme restlessness. Bloat can be caused by overeating, drinking excessively after eating, or vigorous exercise within a couple of hours after eating.
Coat Funk
Coat funk is a condition that affects the coat of mature dogs, and can lead to almost complete loss of the coat. The condition is not understood, but there is some evidence to indicate it is carried on the x-chromosome. There is a much longer discussion of coat funk elsewhere in this section.

Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
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Copyright © 2006-2007 Linda Dowdy, last revision 061101