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Are Samoyeds Prone to Diabetes or Cancer?

Are Samoyeds Prone to Diabetes or Cancer?

The Samoyed is a large dog breed, known for being incredibly friendly, playful, and good-natured. However, being a larger dog breed, Samoyeds are at a greater risk of developing serious health problems than smaller dogs, especially as they get older. 

Are Samoyeds Prone to Diabetes or Cancer? Yes, Diabetes and cancer are unfortunately two diseases that Samoyeds are somewhat prone to getting. As for why this is, it’s most likely due primarily to genetic factors.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at diabetes and cancer in Samoyeds, and we’ll explain the steps of treatment you can take to help deal with these diseases. We’ll also touch on some of the other diseases that Samoyeds are prone to and explain how to treat them as well. 

Is It Common for Samoyeds to Get Diabetes or Cancer?

Sadly, it’s not terribly uncommon for Samoyeds to develop diabetes or cancer as they get older. In fact, compared to mixed breed dogs, Samoyeds are about 12 times more likely to develop diabetes at some point in their lives. 

Fortunately, a diagnosis of diabetes or cancer is not a death sentence for your Samoyed; there exist treatments for both of these issues that can potentially allow your Samoyed to live the rest of their life with relative ease. 

Here’s what you need to know about diabetes and cancer in Samoyeds, and how to treat these issues:

How to Treat Samoyed Diabetes

Diabetes in dogs isn’t exactly the same as it is in humans, but overall the effects of this disease are the same. In any case, diabetic dogs are unable to metabolize and regulate their own blood sugar levels, due to either a lack of insulin or their body’s inability to use existing insulin.

Any dog can get diabetes, but obese dogs are at a much greater risk of this. Dogs are also at a higher risk of developing diabetes if they have been receiving medications containing corticosteroids for a long period of time.

Just like in humans, it’s possible to treat diabetes in dogs, but it helps a lot if you’re able to catch it early on. To that end, you should definitely be familiar with the symptoms of diabetes in dogs, which include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive appetite
  • Weight loss (despite excessive appetite)
  • Cloudy eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Chronic infections

If your vet does end up diagnosing your Samoyed with diabetes, part of the treatment will involve daily insulin injections. The specific treatment might vary depending on the severity of your Samoyed’s issues, but in most cases, you’ll probably have to give your Samoyed two insulin injections a day.

In addition, you’ll have to make several adjustments to your Samoyed’s lifestyle to help them manage their diabetes. Having the right diet is very important; in particular, you’ll want to provide them with a high-fiber diet. Luckily, plenty of pet food companies make food specifically for diabetic dogs.

Making sure your Samoyed gets enough exercise is also an important part of managing their diabetes. If you have a female Samoyed with diabetes, your vet will also likely recommend that you get her spayed if she hasn’t been already. This is because one of the female sex hormones, progesterone, can mess with the normal action of insulin and make it less effective.

Long story short, if your Samoyed is diagnosed with diabetes it will involve a serious commitment of time and effort on your behalf to keep them healthy. However, if you take the time to do so, the good news is that your Samoyed should have the same life expectancy as a non-diabetic dog.

How to Treat Samoyed Cancer

Like us, Samoyeds and other dogs are prone to multiple types of cancer. Again, while cancer is a pretty serious diagnosis, it does not mean your Samoyed’s life is over; depending on the type of cancer they have, treatment may be relatively easy.

Some of the more common types of cancer in dogs include:

  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma

The type of treatment your Samoyed will receive is dependent on what kind of cancer they have. If your Samoyed has a tumor, simply removing it may solve the problem, but if the cancer cells have spread within their body then your vet may recommend chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

One interesting thing about canine chemotherapy is that it doesn’t affect dogs the same way it affects people. While some dogs might experience vomiting or diarrhea after receiving chemotherapy, many dogs don’t experience significant side effects at all. In addition, chemotherapy doesn’t cause dogs to lose their hair.

There probably won’t be all that much that you can do on your own to help treat your Samoyed’s cancer, but if you’re proactive about taking them to the vet then they’ll likely be able to help you come up with a plan of action before the situation becomes too dire.

Do Samoyeds Have a Lot of Health Problems?

While there are numerous health problems that a Samoyed can potentially develop, and while Samoyeds are somewhat more susceptible to certain health problems than other breeds are, Samoyeds are generally considered to be pretty healthy dogs.

Aside from making sure that they get enough exercise and eat a healthy diet, the only thing you really need to do regularly to maintain your Samoyed’s health is to brush their teeth. Make sure you use special dog toothpaste and not human toothpaste; human toothpaste often contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

What Diseases are Samoyeds Prone To?

Even though Samoyeds are fairly healthy dogs, they are still prone to a variety of diseases and conditions. Many of these conditions are not limited to Samoyeds and are relatively common among other dogs of a similar size.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the diseases that Samoyeds are prone to getting and explain what they are and how they can be treated.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a relatively common condition that can affect any breed but is most often seen in larger dogs. If your Samoyed has hip dysplasia, it means the ball and socket of their hip joint aren’t fitting together correctly. Normally, the joint should rotate freely as your Samoyed walks, but his dysplasia causes grinding within the joint.

Not only is this quite painful, but it’s eventually debilitating. If hip dysplasia is left untreated for too long, the affected joint will end up losing all of its functionality, leaving your Samoyed unable to walk.

However, you can decrease the risk of hip dysplasia through proper care. You’ll want to make sure that you’re feeding your Samoyed the right kind of food for them, as well as the right amount; obesity can exacerbate or even cause hip dysplasia in some instances.

You’ll also want to ensure that your Samoyed is getting enough exercise. However, too much exercise can actually increase the risk of hip dysplasia, so it’s important to find the right balance for your Samoyed’s physical activity.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative disease that affects the photoreceptors (light-sensitive eye cells) of affected dogs. Put simply, PRA causes the photoreceptors to degrade, which eventually results in blindness.

There are two types of PRA, one which is early onset and one which typically occurs later in a dog’s life. The early onset variety is also referred to as retinal dysplasia and usually occurs in puppies that are between 2-3 months old, while the other variety usually happens in dogs that are between 3-9 years old.

The bad news about PRA is that there’s no treatment for it; if your Samoyed gets it, blindness is unfortunately inevitable. The good news, on the other hand, is that PRA is not a painful condition and your Samoyed will eventually adjust to their blindness and lead a more or less normal life.


Your Samoyed’s thyroid gland is one of their most important glands, as it helps regulate their metabolism. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid is underactive, which in turn means that your Samoyed’s metabolism is slow.

An inactive thyroid will affect all of your Samoyed’s internal organs and have a severe impact on their health. Hypothyroidism can result in many symptoms, some of which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Very thin coat of dry, dull-colored hair
  • More frequent instances of skin and ear infections
  • Slow heart rate
  • High cholesterol

Hypothyroidism can’t be cured, but it can be treated. Treatment involves administering a thyroid replacement hormone, which must be done for the remainder of your Samoyed’s life. 

Heart Issues

Unfortunately, Samoyeds are prone to a variety of heart issues. However, if you manage to catch these issues early on, they can usually be treated with the right medication.

Some Samoyeds can develop a condition called pulmonic stenosis, where the blood flowing from the heart to the lungs becomes partially obstructed. This can really sap your Samoyed’s energy, or even cause them to pass out during exercise. Surgery can be used to correct this condition, however.