Pet Wellness Guides > Carolina Dog Health Problems - Pet Insurance Review

Carolina Dog Health Problems

Posted: 07/17/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Carolina dogs are one of the coolest dog breeds on the planet. They are indigenous to the United States and a fairly rare/primitive breed that is relatively new to domestication. If you want to learn more about this breed, including common Carolina dog health problems, keep reading!

carolina dog health problems

Carolina Dog Breed – The New Pup on the Block

The Carolina dog goes by a few different names: Yellow Dog, the American Dingo, The Yaller and the Dixie Dingo (sounds like a dance move). The breed started as feral dogs living in the Southeastern United States for hundreds – if not thousands – of years before becoming domesticated. To this day there are still wild Carolina dogs found in some parrots of Georgia and South Carolina.

So how did this agile and incredibly independent breed get to the US in the first place? It’s believed the Carolina dog is a descendent of prehistoric dogs that migrated with human beings across the Bering Land Bridge from Asia to North America thousands of years ago. And until quite recently, this breed has remained wild. As some have said about the Carolina dog, you don’t last on your own for thousands of years in the wild without being incredibly courageous and clever!

Carolina Dog Health Issues

If you’re looking for a dog that is prone to very few health issues, you’ve found it. Because the Carolina dog has been living in the wild for so long and has only been domesticated since the early 20th century (and has not yet been over-bred), the breed is fairly hardy and healthy with a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years.

So far there are only two main health issues pup parents need to be aware of with this breed:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

There is a minor concern that the breed may be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. These are skeletal diseases where the ball and socket joint do not develop properly. This can lead to painful, loose joints that make it difficult to move freely and have a good quality of life.

Depending on the severity of the disease, some pups do well with little treatment through exercise modification and medication while others may require corrective surgery. Since the Carolina dog is such a new breed, there is not a lot of data at this point regarding dysplasia, simply that it has a mild chance of showing up.

If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not your pup may be prone or showing signs of joint issues, speak to your vet.

 Multidrug Resistant Mutation (MDR1)

Recent studies suggest the Carolina dog may be sensitive to Ivermectin, a common medication used to treat parasitic diseases in dogs. Dogs that have the multidrug resistant mutation are at risk of serious – and even life-threatening complications – after receiving specific doses of certain medications, such as Ivermectin.

MDR1 is caused by a genetic variant that allows certain drugs and toxins to build up in the bloodstream. In some cases, these toxins can actually cross the blood/brain barrier.

Signs of drug toxicity related to MDR1 drug sensitivity include:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Blindness
  • Death

It should be noted that all FDA-approved heartworm prevention products contain doses of Ivermectin lower than those known to affect dogs with MDR1 sensitivities. If you have a Carolina dog and are concerned, speak with your vet for guidance.

How to Best Care for a Carolina Dog

As you may have already imagined – a breed that has survived for thousands of years on their own in the remote wilderness is fairly low maintenance. You won’t need to spend hours brushing and bathing these pups. In fact, Carolina dogs are known for being very clean dogs.

Having said that, you’ll want to take every measure to ensure their environment allows them to thrive. Not any household will be the right fit for this pup. They require a person or family who has the time and energy to exercise their mind and body each day. 

These are dogs that have spent thousands of years roaming and running wild. They will not do well cooped up in a home, laying on the couch all day. Ideally they would be taken on at least one if not more walks/hikes each day. They would also ideally love to have a big back yard as well or even be part of a working farm. 

But be warned, Carolina dogs have a strong prey drive and need to be in a fenced area or on leash at all times outdoors, or they are apt to run after something and be gone in an instant.

Since Carolina dogs are pack animals, they can do well with other dogs. But being so headstrong and wildly independent, this is not the breed for first-time pup parents.

Pet Insurance – Give Your Carolina the Care She Needs When She Needs It

One of the very best ways you can take care of your pup is to make sure you can afford the care she needs should a sudden and serious illness or injury occur. Did you know that each year, one of every 3 pets will require an emergency vet visit? And these visits can cost in the thousands of dollars.

Since most pup parents do not have that kind of money lying around, more and more are deciding to enroll their fur baby into a pet insurance plan. With a comprehensive policy, you can have as much as 90% of your vet bill paid for. Talk about peace of mind!

If you’ve been thinking about pet insurance but weren’t sure who was the best provider, here are the top providers with rankings based on over 150,000 reviews from pet parents just like you:

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.3Pet Assure12





The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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