How to Tell if Your Dog Has Down Syndrome – 2024 Guide


Being healthy is the greatest happiness that can happen to any person. Being in good physical and mental condition, able to cope with daily obligations and different situations is an invaluable benefit, greater than any material. Unfortunately, few people are aware of that, until they get into trouble with their health, whether it is him, himself or someone from the family.

Then he is faced with knowing what really means worry, fear, uncertainty, and hope. Other worries and problems become marginal and pushed into the background, and the only thought that forms and surpasses all others is how to heal or save from health, what we have left.

In some situations, loss of health does not happen suddenly. A certain number of the world’s population is born with health problems of various kinds and they follow them throughout their lives.

The whole family, someone who has a chronic and incurable disease or disorder, lives according to a certain regime, accustomed to stoically enduring all that life with the patient brings, trying to make life as easy as possible for him and make him happy as much as possible. One such congenital disorder is Down syndrome. And it is not just a problem of humans, but your pet can be affected too.

What is a down syndrome?


Down syndrome is a congenital disorder caused by chromosomal error. These people have three chromosomes, instead of two, on the 21st pair of chromosomes. This creates a genetic imbalance, which is reflected in several fields of physical and mental health. The exact cause of such mutations is unknown.

There are various assumptions as to why Down syndrome occurs, and one of them is the age of the mother. It is considered that age, over 35 years, especially for the first child, is risky and can result in a child with Down syndrome.

Symptoms of Down syndrome

Down syndrome can be diagnosed at birth. Children have a characteristic appearance. What can be noticed immediately is:

  • reduced head, small hairy eyes, small mouth
  • short neck in relation to the body, short fingers and characteristic vertical line below the 4th finger
  • extensively flexible joints, but weak muscle tone

Common problems are:

  • with hearing and sight
  • cardiovascular
  • gastroenterological
  • thyroid gland
  • early dementia

All these serious problems can, to some extent, be alleviated by various surgical interventions, adequate medical treatments, and physical therapy. Also, children can be trained to be able to train, eat, and even learn some simple tasks on their own. Their motor and cognitive skills can be improved to some degree.

No matter what, they are loved in their families and are able to provide love and tenderness. With proper care and attention, I can live to be 50 years old. Nowadays, their life expectancy is extended, thanks to various achievements and knowledge in the field of medicine.

Common diseases of humans and animals


There are various diseases that can affect both humans and animals. Of course, this only applies to mammals, so you and your pet, dog or cat, can take the same type of medication. Sounds a bit comical, but it’s true. Diagnoses that can be found in both humans and animals include:

  • cardiovascular system
  • liver, kidneys, stomach
  • urinary tract
  • thyroid glands
  • gastroenterological diseases
  • locomotor system
  • neurological disorders
  • psychiatric disorders (anxiety, depression)

As we can see, almost everything that affects humans affects even animal species, limited to mammals. Depending on your lifestyle, care, race, age, genetic predispositions… your pet will be prone to disease, similar to you. Sometimes something can be prevented and prevented, with proper nutrition, good living conditions, checks at the vet, and sometimes it is not possible.

Can a dog be born with Down syndrome?

Given a previous claim about joint diagnoses of humans and animals, scientists have investigated whether it is possible for a dog to be born with Down syndrome. First and foremost, a dog does not have the same number of chromosomes as a human. There are 78 chromosomes in his DNA, unlike human 46.

Therefore, there is no same genetic information on chromosome 21, so a trisomy on the 21st pair would not produce Down syndrome in a dog. So the question of the existence of Down syndrome in dogs could not be answered in the affirmative.

However, dogs, like other mammals, have their own inherited diseases and genetic defects, and some of them are very similar to Down syndrome. This has also been observed in tigers, chimpanzees (which are closest to humans), and has been tested in laboratory conditions, on mice.

Some symptoms are manifested, which worry and confuse the owners of puppies and adult dogs. Behavior and health, general condition and cognitive abilities are not at the usual level. Various studies have found that there are symptoms similar to Down syndrome:

  • specific facial expression and appearance
  • inertia
  • poor hearing
  • eye problems
  • unusual behavior that is not caused by anything (howling, barking, trembling, uncontrolled emptying of the bladder and intestines).
  • aggressiveness caused by physical and mental disorders
  • abnormality in the development of some organs and deformity related to it

There are even more symptoms you can find if you click here. As in humans, the consequences of an abnormal genetic structure of the dog, also leads to similar problems with the heart, thyroid gland, dwarf growth, hydrocephalus, growth hormone deficiency, defect in blood vessels, etc.

What to expect in the future?


It is quite clear that a dog with such disorders (as well as a human), will not be able to lead the expected life. You must be aware that this is a pet with special needs and that caring for it requires a lot of time, patience and even money.

It can be neither a guardian, nor a companion for a long walk, nor the company of your children. Numerous health problems prevent him from doing so and he is not to blame for that. Children and vulnerable family members should not be allowed to overdo it, due to the possibility of contamination and unforeseen situations. It will certainly live shorter, and its life will not be easy.

What can you do?

It is up to you to decide whether and to what extent you can meet the needs of such a demanding and sick pet. From the vet you will receive detailed instructions on nutrition (diet without much salt, protein diet and vitamin and mineral supplement), then you will be instructed in the basics of hygienic care and physical methods (exercise, walking, movement ..) Your pet will love you, be attached to you. Help it as much as possible.


Caring for someone with special needs is a sad and difficult thing. You share difficulties, you participate in the pains and limitations of one diseased organism, which depends on you.

Yet it makes you noble and brings to the surface the best of one’s personality. Knowing that you are helping and beautifying someone’s life, even if it is a dog, leaves a deep mark in your spiritual being.

Maybe such a connection is even stronger, and emotions even more branched. Do what you can to help, it will certainly not be a waste of time, but a gesture of friendship, love and the highest degree of humanity.