Japanese Akita

Cardiovascular conditions

Ventricular septal defect

• Relative risk 3 to 4.9

• No sex predilection

• Not known to be inherited in this breed

Pericardial effusion

• Relative risk 6.5

• Usually affects middle-aged dogs

Dermatological conditions

Pemphigus foliaceous

• Uncommon disease

• No sex predisposition

• Mean age of onset 4 years

Canine uveodermatological syndrome

• Also known as Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome

• See also under Ocular conditions

Granulomatous sebaceous adenitis

• Young to middle-aged dogs affected

• No sex predisposition

• Tends to involve generalised, greasy changes in Akitas

• Some animals may show systemic signs

Gastrointestinal conditions

Gastric dilatation-volvulus

• Possible breed predisposition

Musculoskeletal conditions


• Idiopathic

• This breed is prone to a more severe form of the disease

Cranial cruciate ligament rupture

• Neutered individuals may be predisposed

• Young animals may be predisposed in this breed

Neurological conditions

Congenital vestibular disease

• Signs seen < 3 months

• May be seen with congenital deafness

Congenital deafness

• Signs seen from birth

Meningitis and polyarteritis

• Reported in this breed

• Age of onset: < 1 year

Glycogenosis (glycogen storage disease)

• Rare

• Age of clinical onset: < 3 months

Ocular conditions

Entropion (usually lower lids)

• Breed predisposition; polygenic inheritance likely

Uveodermatologic syndrome

• Also known as Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome

• Breed predisposition

• Young adults (1.5-4 years)


• Breed predisposition

• May be associated with a narrow iridocorneal filtration angle

• Age of onset: 2-4 years

Multifocal retinal dysplasia

• Congenital condition; inheritance as an auto-somal recessive trait suspected

Generalised progressive retinal atrophy (GPRA)

• Autosomal recessive inheritance suspected

• Night blindness is present at 1-3 years, complete blindness at 3-5 years

• Schedule 3 BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme

Multiple ocular defects

• Congenital defects; autosomal recessive inheritance suggested

• May include microphthalmia, cataract and retinal dysplasia

Physiological conditions

Red blood cell microcytosis

• Red blood cells may be small in this breed without disease

• MCV may be as low as 55-64 fl (normal 85-95)

• Red blood cells contain more potassium than other breeds, therefore haemolysis can cause false findings of hyperkalaemia