samoyed breed information

common health issues

Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscular disease seen in young dogs and cats. Clinical signs of enlarged muscles, excess salivation and stiff gait are seen in pets as young as 5 months old. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for muscular dystrophy, and affected pets have a poor prognosis.

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.

In Aortic Stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can predispose the dog to arrhythmias, heart failure, infection of the aortic valve, and sudden death. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate.

Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), better known as "dry eye", is a deficiency in the water portion of the tear film of the eye. Without the water portion of tears, the cornea and conjunctiva become very dry and inflamed and are prone to infection. This uncomfortable condition requires costly topical treatment several times a day throughout the dog's life.

Pulmonic stenosis is an obstruction to blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the lungs. Severe valve thickening can cause thickening of the heart muscle and lead to congestive heart failure. Both medical management and surgical treatment options exist.

The Samoyed is named for the tribe of nomadic herders that originally bred him, the Samoyede people of Siberia. He was bred to hunt, guard, herd reindeer and pull sleds through the formidable Siberian landscape, but the peaceful Samoyede people also treated him like a family member. Most of the Samoyed strains in North America today are descended from dogs brought from Siberia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to pull sledges on Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Today, he has adapted well to living in all kinds of climates, though no matter where he lives, he prefers to be close to his people, and an active member of the family.

The Samoyed — sometimes called the Sammy — has a fluffy, dense, weather-resistant coat that ranges from pure white to cream or biscuit-colored. His coat needs to be brushed weekly, and will need more attention during shedding season, when the undercoat will shed completely. He can range in size from around 35 to 65 lbs., but all display the wide grin and curling lips known as the distinctive “Samoyed smile”.

Although his coat was developed to work outdoors, the Samoyed is at his happiest when he is with his family. Because of his heritage as a family dog, the Samoyed developed a friendly, loyal disposition. He makes a wonderful companion and faithful protector for children, though he may resort to instinctive herding techniques to get them to play! He does love to run and bark, so channeling that energy with plenty of exercise will help keep him from finding mischievous ways to entertain himself.

Arctic heritage aside, the Samoyed is still prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health — not to mention your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Sammies are prone to include eye conditions such as glaucoma and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or dry eye); skin conditions such as alopecia X; cardiac problems such as pulmonic stenosis; muscular problems such as muscular dystrophy; and brain conditions such as spongiform leukodystrophy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Samoyed inherits anything more than an ability to withstand the elements, 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)