How Genetics Play a Role in Your Pet’s Health

Having a pet with a hereditary condition can present unique challenges for pet owners. These conditions can significantly impact your pet's health, requiring ongoing medical care and attention to ensure their well-being.


What are Hereditary Conditions?

Hereditary conditions are genetic disorders passed down from one generation to another. Some of these conditions may be more widespread in specific breeds due to selective breeding, but common genetic disorders stem from ancient disease liability genes. These disorders can affect dogs and cats across various breeds as well as mixed breeds.


Common Hereditary Diseases in Dogs and Cats

  • Hip Dysplasia: Especially common in large breeds, hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint, causing pain and mobility issues.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): Affects the retina, potentially leading to blindness.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): Results in cyst growth on the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney failure.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): Affects cats, causing a thickening of the heart muscle and potential heart failure.
  • Von Willebrand Disease: Causes excessive bleeding in dogs after injury or surgery.
  • Inflammatory Cystitis: Inflammation of the bladder, leading to discomfort and urinary issues.
  • Feline Urological Syndrome: Much like cystitis, causing urinary tract issues.
  • Diabetes Mellitus: Affects blood sugar regulation.
  • Lymphoplasmacytic Gingivostomatitis: Inflammation of the gums and mouth tissues.
  • Non-struvite Bladder Stones: Formation of bladder stones not composed of struvite.


Detection and Management

Some hereditary conditions may not show symptoms immediately, becoming apparent only later in your pet's life. It's crucial to monitor your pet's health closely and seek veterinary advice if you notice any concerning symptoms. Regular check-ups and screenings can also help detect potential issues early.

If your pet has been diagnosed, working closely with your veterinarian is essential. They can develop a tailored treatment plan that may include dietary changes, medication, or specialised therapies to manage the condition effectively. Proactive management can significantly improve your pet's quality of life and minimise complications.


The Role of Pet Insurance

Pet insurance can play a crucial part in covering the cost of managing hereditary conditions. These conditions often require ongoing medical care and treatment, which can become expensive over time.

Having your pet on our Superior or Ultimate plans could cover them for most* treatments related to hereditary conditions. With the right coverage, you can navigate the financial aspects of treatment, providing your pet with the best possible chance for a happy and healthy life.


*Ts & Cs apply.