Common Health Problems With American Eskimo Dogs

American Eskimo canines are a sturdy breed related to German spitz dogs. These pooches are also commonly referred to by an abbreviated version of their name -- "Eskies." In terms of size, American Eskimo dogs exist in three groups, which are toy, miniature and standard. As with most doggie breeds, some health issues affect individuals of this breed more commonly than others.

Luxating Patella

One medical condition that occasionally affects American Eskimo dogs is patellar luxation. This applies to all of the size groups -- toy, miniature and standard. Patellar luxation describes issues with the exact location of a canine's kneecap. When dogs have luxating patellas, their kneecaps essentially spring out of the appropriate spot. Patellar luxation is prevalent in wee and big dogs alike. If you observe anything unusual in your American Eskimo's back legs, set up a veterinarian appointment immediately, the sooner the better. You also might notice your pet making conspicuous hopping motions as he tries to move around. Orthopedic difficulties of the back legs in general are somewhat common in American Eskimo dogs, so pay attention for any signs of them.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy also can affect these nimble doggies. The genetic retinal ailment progresses gradually, and with time causes blindness. If a dog has progressive retinal atrophy, either his retina ceased normal growth at too early of a stage, or his photoreceptors deteriorated at an abnormally quick pace. Progressive retinal atrophy isn't only common in the American Eskimo breed, but also in many others such as toy poodles, Australian cattle dogs, Siberian huskies and Irish setters. If you are concerned that your precious pooch might be experiencing eyesight problems, take him to the vet immediately.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another orthopedic concern that American Eskimo dogs sometimes experience. Hip dysplasia, in a nutshell, is a genetic ailment that is characterized by a hip joint that simply developed in an abnormal fashion. This leads to looseness of the joint and ultimately excessive motion of the bone in the legs. Some key symptoms of hip dysplasia in pooches are rigidness, hobbling and reluctance to partake in physical exercise or walk on stairs. If you have any reason to suspect that your precious pet might be dealing with this painful issue, bring him to the vet as soon as possible.


Diabetes also sometimes affects American Eskimo dogs. If a doggie has diabetes, then his body either doesn't make sufficient insulin or doesn't react correctly to the hormone. Be alert to signs of diabetes in canines, such as excessive urination, hazy eyes, weight loss, throwing up, exhaustion, increased hunger, dehydration and inordinate thirst. Veterinary assistance is a must for any dog who has diabetes, so don't wait around.

Robust Dogs in General

Despite these possible medical issues, American Eskimo dogs are, on the whole, fairly robust and tough dogs. With the right care, exercise and diet, they can live happily for anywhere between 12 and 17 years. Routine appointments with the veterinarian are a must, even if your pet seems to be in 100 percent glowing condition.

By Naomi Millburn

American Kennel Club: American Eskimo Dog
Animal Planet: American Eskimo Dog (Standard)
Westminster Kennel Club: American Eskimo Dog American Eskimo Dog
PetMD: American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dogs Organization of Vancouver: The Health of Your American Eskimo Dog
Whispering Pines Animal Hospital: American Eskimo Dogs
Animal Planet: American Eskimo Dog (Toy)
Animal Planet: American Eskimo Dog (Miniature)
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Diabetes
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Hip Dysplasia
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PetMD: Kneecap Dislocation in Dogs

About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.