Health & Vet Care
HEALTH: The Japanese Spitz is a breed that has few health problems. They can suffer from a genetic issue known as Patella Luxation** which is a condition that allows the kneecap to easily displace out of its normal position. Many breeders recognise this potential issue and try to ensure that breeding stock is carefully chosen in an attempt to minimise the risk of this occurring in puppies.
The breed can also be prone to runny eyes and the teardrops that dampen the fur under the eyes has within it a bacteria that stains the fur brown thereby causing what is most commonly referred to as 'tear-staining'. The runny eyes can be caused by stress, by a grass allergy, by a hormone change near the dogs season, or in some rare cases by the tear ducts being too small or blocked.
Treat tear staining by regularly bathing each eye with warm water, or there are products on the market that aim to reduce the staining effect.
In the U.K. the Japanese Spitz is a dog that exists in small numbers, consequently the associated gene pool is not large, so again responsible breeders take care in their selection of breeding pairs in order to limit the effects of potential inbreeding with, in some cases, dogs being imported from abroad specifically to widen the UK gene pool.
So choose your new puppy with care, feed and exercise it well, maintain its protection against fleas, worms & disease and you can then look forward to a long lived, happy Spitz.
VET CARE: Before deciding to buy/acquire a dog, make sure you find out what health and behaviour problems he/she has, or may be prone to, for instance as a result of his/her breed, how he/she has been bred, and how he/she has been cared for. Always check with a vet if you are unsure about anything.
Things you should do . . .
Monitor your dog for signs of injury or illness every day, and make sure someone else does this if you are away. If you suspect that your dog is in pain, ill or injured, consult a vet promptly. Take your dog for a routine health check with your vet at least once each year.
Ensure your dog's coat is kept in good condition by grooming him/her regularly. If you are unsure how to groom your dog's coat properly, seek advice from a pet care specialist. Make sure your dog can be identified, ideally via a collar and microchip (ask your vet for advice), so that he/she can be treated quickly if injured, or returned to you if lost.
Finally . . .
Take sensible precautions to keep your dog safe. Always be alert to risks that may affect your dog. Consider taking out pet insurance to ensure your dog is covered if he/she needs veterinary treatment.