Dalmatians, like many other breeds, can be prone to certain health issues. Be sure to purchase your Dalmatian from a reputable breeder who guarantees your dog free of health problems and genetic defects.
Breeders that truly care about the future of the breed and the quality of puppies that they produce will try to ensure that each breeding is an attempt to "better the breed" as a whole. This includes ensuring their dogs are genectically good specimens, healthy, have excellent temperaments, and represent the AKC breed standard to the best of their knowledge prior to breeding.
Listed below are some of the health-related terms you should be familiar with.
A responsible Dalmatian breeder will have all dogs/puppies BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) tested (hearing tested). There is a link between deafness and the pigmentation genes (piebald or merle genes) responsible for white in the coats in several breeds. Dalmatians are one of the breeds that can be genetically prone to deafness.
Dalmatians can be prone to urinary or bladder stones. Diets low in purines (not low protein) can help prevent and control this condition. Make sure your Dalmatian gets plenty of fresh water daily and has several opportunities to potty during the day.
Many breeders will have their dogs CERF tested to ensure that the eyes are free of genetic defects. A recently discovered issue in Dalmatians called iris sphincter dysplasia (ISD) involves the pupil of the eye. The current standard CERF test will not discover this irregularity. The eye should be examined before it is dilated to ensure that the pupil enlarges and contracts properly in darkness and in direct sunlight. Dogs with this irregularity will most likely squint when out in full sunlight and their eye color may appear darker due to the enlarged pupil.
Click here for more information on Iris Sphincter Dysplasia.
Click here for more informaiton on CERF testing.
OFA or PennHIP
Responsible, reputable breeders will have their breeding quality dogs assessed by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or PennHIP to ensure that their dogs are free from hip displaysia. Elbows may also be assessed.
Click here for more information about the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or to look up a particular dog in the online database!
Click here for more information about PennHIP.
Dalmatians can be prone to allergies and allergy related skin conditions.
Click here for information on Skin & Coat disorders iin the Dalmatian.
Epilepsy is a problem in many breeds. Dalmatians as well as many breeds, have recently begun showing up with more Epileptic seizures. It is a very traumatic & heartbreaking experience for any family to have to go through. Ensure that the breeder guarantees the health of your new family member.
Click here for more information on Epilepsy in canines.
Breeders may test the thyroid level on their dogs.
Click here for more information on Thyroid disorders.