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.
Epilepsy Epilepsy (seizures) is a known problem in the breed. It is a neurological condition of the brain that is believed to be hereditary and a predisposition of some breeds.
Polyneuropathy Polyneuropathy (PN) is an abnormality of the nervous system that is believed to be hereditary. From the AMCA website: "The condition is generally characterized by a lack of coordination and instability that leads to a labored gate which has been described as a bunny hopping gait where the rear legs work together to prop up the dog rather than to propel him. The degree of affection may vary from mild to severe. The dog may fall down, walk on the tops of his feet (with the foot folded under itself) or his gait may just look a little off. Exercise intolerance, loss of muscle mass, changes in voice due to an affected larynx and problems swallowing and regurgitating have also been described. First indications may be subtle; a dog that no longer jumps up on is house, a dog that lies down to eat, a dog who no longer jumps up and down at feeding time or shows a slight tremor in his legs." There is a genetic test for PN or a dog can be cleared by parentage.
Cataracts 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 inheritance is not known. Animals used for breeding should be checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist. Certification for dogs with clear eyes is offered by CERF.
Hypothyroid Hypothyroidism is an 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 fluids 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.
Chondrodysplasia A genetic skeletal disorder that primarily affects the long bones in the body. The chondrodysplastic malamute displays in varying degrees the following characteristics:
Excessively shortened front limbs with degrees of bowing and deformity, especially the radius and ulna
A topline that slopes from the pelvis down to the withers
Some chondrodysplastic malamutes display a severe degree of deformity while others display almost no visible characteristics.