Inuit Sled Dog International
Copyright ISDI, 1997, 2012, 2016
Preserving the pure Inuit dog
There are no known genetic defects among Inuit dogs. Osteoarthritis, which may affect dogs that work hard, must not be confused with hip dysplasia common in other breeds.
The degenerative changes of osteoarthritis in ageing dogs are sufficiently dissimilar to hip dysplasia to say that Inuit dogs are not affected by this condition.
Osteoarthritis has been extensively studied among the dogs formerly in Antarctica. It is mostly due to trauma to the joints. The joints become inflamed due to cartilage breakdown. It appears at around five or six years of age, which is the dog's middle age, a time when normal aging begins a process of deterioration.
The trauma can be an accident from which the young dog recovers, or small but repetitive actions. One of the causes can be an ill-fitting harness.
A dog who, although worked hard but never suffered an accident or any kind of trauma, can sail through to old age without a limp.
Gradual and careful training of the pups will go a long way to prevent osteoarthritis.