Genetic Illnesses

The 3 stars of our Campaign in support of improved dog breed legislation: Tigger, Jojo and Rocky and the Genetic Illnesses which their breed could develop. Signs of an inherited diseases may not appear until the dog is 3 to 7 years old.

Tigger is a Miniature Poodle.
His breed can suffer from a literal grocery list of hereditary diseases from Optic nerve hypoplasia which effects the eye and can lead to blindness in one or both eyes, joint disorders such a patellar luxation ("loose kneecaps") and Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP), blood disorders, allergies, epilepsy, and many others.


Jojo is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
His breed often suffer from a disease called syringomyelia where the skull size is too small for the brain, leading to severe pain and neurological problems. Jojo could also suffer from severe breathing problems due to brachycephalic "short nose" airway obstructive syndrome (BOAS), valvular heart disease, hip dysplasia and deafness.


Rocky is a Golden Retriever.
His breed suffer from hip dysplasia, where the hip joints of a growing puppy do not develop properly. This eventually will cause chronic joint pain and disability which may require long-term medication or even surgery. Goldens are also prone to getting cancer, digestive disorders, epilepsy, skin disease, other joint problems e.g. elbow dysplasia and heart disease.


Pedigree dogs are a result of selective, restrictive breeding for characteristics that are "aesthetically pleasing characteristics" of the particular breed. Unfortunately, these inbreeding policies have resulted in breeds with associated genetic diseases, which can and do have serious impacts on the health and welfare of these animals.

Responsible breeders will screen potential breeding dogs for illnesses such as hip dysplasia and syringomyelia so as to minimise the possibility of these diseases being passed onto their puppies. Bad Breeders who care only for profit, and in maximising the numbers of puppies they produce, do not bother to screen their dogs for poor genetics.

After all, if your badly bred puppy develops a genetic illness, it is going to be YOUR problem,
as your veterinary fees mount up over the years,
and you have to watch your beloved dog suffer in pain.


Jacqueline is a mongrel or mixed breed.
Genetically, mongrels may be considered superior to pedigrees to an extent, due to something known as "Hybrid Vigour". This is where the best of genes from their varied parentage are naturally selected for, making them generally healthier and more resistant to disease than pure breeds. They are thus less likely to suffer from inherited diseases such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, facial/eyelid abnormalities and breathing disorders.

Mongrels are generally tougher and more adapted to life in Hong Kong. Many pedigrees are just not suited to live here e.g. Siberian Huskies with their arctic coats and Bulldogs with their narrow airways.

With so many mongrels available at the SPCA
why not consider adopting one of these often genetically superior animals
and provide them with the loving home they so deserve?


Date review: 16/12/2019