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Common Kangal Dog Health Issues
There are large dogs, and then there is the Kangal – a massive mutt with a big personality. This breed is originally from Turkey and was used to defend livestock against predators like wolves. To say this strong and courageous dog makes one heck of a guard dog is an oversized understatement. But, as with any dog breed, the Kangal is prone to certain health problems. If you’re thinking about bringing this breed into your life, keep reading to learn about the most common Kangal dog health issues you should be aware of.
Is the Kangal the Right Breed for You?
If you’ve been doing some research into the Kangal, you’ve learned how absolutely extraordinary this dog is. Beautiful to look at and fierce with a warrior spirit, it’s hard not to be captivated by the breed. Having said that, with its massive size and bold personality, this breed is not a good fit for every household.
Properly trained Kangals are calm and gentle dogs and can make a great addition to families with children. But make no mistake, this large and powerful breed (with an independent streak) requires a human who is fully confident and in control. Should a Kangal sense a lack of confidence from their human, they will put themselves in an alpha position and become very difficult to manage and nearly impossible to train.
The bottom line is, if you are a new pup parent, the Kangal is most likely not a good match for you. If, however, you have lots of experience handling dogs, particularly large, strong breeds, this could be a match made in Heaven.
Common Kangal Health Issues
The Kangal is considered a very hardy breed with a life expectancy of 11-13 years, which is quite good for a dog this size. The breed has very few recognized predispositions to disease or genetic disorders. The following are the main issues pup parents should be aware of:
Entropion is typically a congenital disease where the eyelids are deformed, and the outer lid turns inward. The disease can be a result of a chronic eye irritation as well. This inward turn of the outer lid allows the hairs to rub against the surface of the eye, causing a lot of pain and inflammation.
Those kangal pups that appear to chronically squint or have excessive tearing from one or both eyes should be examined. Treatment often requires surgery, but usually, this should not happen until the dog is fully grown because the position of the skin on the face will continue to change and shift.
Like many large breeds, the Kangal is predisposed to hip dysplasia, which is a condition where the cartilage plates surrounding the hip joints develop abnormally in growing pups. This results in a deformed ball-and-socket joint that is very stiff and painful. Symptoms usually begin to show in pups as young as 6 months old. They appear to be very stiff first thing in the morning or after resting for a long period.
Diagnosis will require a full examination with X-rays. Treatment typically involves anti-inflammatory medications to help improve mobility. In very severe cases, surgery may be required to replace the total hip joint.
Since hip dysplasia is often a genetic condition, it’s best to purchase your pup from a responsible breeder who screens his bloodline for the disease.
Lipomas are benign fatty lumps that typically develop in the subcutaneous tissue along the chest and abdomen. While usually harmless, these fatty tumors can sometimes grow to very large sizes that require surgery to remove.
How to Support the Health of Your Kangal
Now that we have learned some of the most common Kangal dog health issues, let’s take a look at how you as a pup parent can best support your fur baby’s health.
All dogs need to be fed a properly balanced diet, but this is particularly true of giant breeds like the Kangal. While hip dysplasia is typically a genetic disorder, it’s important to note that different nutrients influence different aspects of hip joint development. If you are unsure of the proper diet for your Kangal pup or how much to feed them, seek guidance from your vet.
See Your Vet Regularly
One of the best ways to ensure your pup lives a long and healthy life is to get them to the vet regularly. Regular wellness checks help your vet to spot any health issue early so it can be managed and treated quickly. The sooner something is diagnosed, the better your treatment options and health outcomes.
Get Pet Insurance Early
Finally, while there is not a long list of Kangal dog health issues, the few that there are sometimes require surgery – expensive surgery – to treat the condition.
Take for instance surgery for hip dysplasia – that can cost anywhere between $1200 to $2500 per hip.
Entropian surgery can cost between $500 and $2000.
And surgery to remove a lipoma can cost anywhere between $200 and $1000.
If you’re like a lot of pup parents, you don’t have thousands of dollars lying around in case of a medical emergency. And that’s exactly why so many are turning to pet insurance to help with payments. A comprehensive policy can pay as much as 90% of the bill. Talk about peace of mind!
If you’ve thought about getting pet insurance in the past but were overwhelmed and confused with which provider to go with, we make it very easy for pup parents. To date, we’ve collected over 150,000 authentic reviews from pet parents just like you. We use these reviews to honestly rank the best providers in the marketplace.
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- Tepeli, Cafer. (2004). Some genetic disorders in Kangal Turkish shepherd dogs. Indian Veterinary Journal. 81. 352-353.
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.