akita breed information

common health issues

Clinical signs of hypothyroidism are caused by a decrease in normal thyroid activity. In congenital hypothyroidism, puppies will have stunted growth and other abnormalities. A blood test confirms the disease and treatment with thyroid hormone supplements is lifelong.
GDV describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.
Elbow dysplasia is actually a collective term which refers to the effects of one or more diseases of the elbow joint which result in pain and arthritis. Many of these problems can affect both elbows and result in forelimb lameness and elbow pain, often requiring surgical correction.
Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.
Atopy refers to skin allergies caused by inhaled or contact allergens. Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to pollen, dander, grasses and trees. Their allergies result in itchiness that can be seasonal or year-round. Affected dogs are prone to ear and skin infections. The condition varies in severity but is usually lifelong and often requires constant medical management.
A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.

This working breed originated in Japan and is one of the seven breeds designated as a national monument there. Its name originates from the Akita prefecture, where it was thought to have originated. When a child is born in Japan, the family traditionally receives an Akita statue, signifying health, happiness and long life.

The breed was brought to the United States by Helen Keller, who was impressed with the Akita’s loyalty. A young Akita police officer instructor who owned the dogs presented Helen Keller with an Akita pup in 1937, and since then the breed has enjoyed relative popularity here.

Japanese Akitas like to be leaders, so obedience training is a must. The breed can range from calm to aggressive and they should always be supervised around small children. As a working breed, they are well suited for performance and therapy work and require daily exercise. Their thick coats require brushing, but Akitas are fastidious and can often be seen bathing themselves like cats.

Despite their fastidious self-grooming, Akitas are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions which can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Akitas are prone to include joint problems such as medial patellar luxation and elbow and hip dysplasia; thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism; stomach conditions such as gastric dilatation-volvus (GDV or bloat); and skin conditions such as atopy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Akita inherits more than just a love of cleanliness or a strong attitude, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)