Common Diseases of American Akitas

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 28, 2016
Common Diseases of American Akitas
American Akita

Animal file: American Akita

The American Akita is a breed loved for its great loyalty and fidelity. There are few breeds which show their human families as much devotion as this dog, which also has some equally striking physical characteristics due to its sturdy frame.

Taking in an American Akita is a big responsibility; training such a dog properly requires quite a lot of time. It is equally important for the owner to be informed about the most common diseases that can affect this breed, in order to know the right way to act if necessary and prevent them as far as possible.

This AnimalWised article, then, will talk about the most common diseases of American Akitas.

You may also be interested in: Common Diseases of American Pit Bull Terriers
  1. Health of American Akitas
  2. Hip dysplasia
  3. Eczema
  4. Stomach twisting

Health of American Akitas

An American Akita is a very robust and strong dog, and the average life expectancy for this breed is around 9-10 years. However, if you look after your dog well your American Akita can not only can it exceed this age, but also enjoy a healthy old age. Therefore, it is hugely important to provide it with a good quality of life.

An American Akita's health will also be reliant on optimal nutrition, adequate veterinary check-ups and sufficient physical exercise.

Common Diseases of American Akitas - Health of American Akitas

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can affect any dog, but it is especially common in large dog breeds . This condition prevents the proper development of the hip joint while the dog is growing. The joint moves to the side and eventually affects the dog's range of movements.

Because of this malformation, the dog will face difficulty in performing daily activities, experiencing pain and sometimes limping. It is a hereditary disease, so it is therefore important for the breeder to give you a certificate proving that the parents of the dog you are adopting don't suffer from this disease.

To prevent the American Akita from developing hip dysplasia, it is important for it to avoid sudden movements and exercises until it is one year old. However, if your dog develops this disease, you should continue exercising it to prevent muscle atrophy.

Common Diseases of American Akitas - Hip dysplasia


Due to the American Akita's coat, this breed is prone to eczema, i.e. an inflammation of the skin or dermatitis characterized by intense itching. Your Akita is more susceptible to this skin condition during molting - this breed, like Shiba Inus, shed quite a lot -, but you can easily prevent itif you brush its coat every day during autumn and spring.

Furthermore, if you observe anomalies on your American Akita's skin, you can quickly treat it with the help of topical anti-inflammatory drugs, which should always be prescribed by the vet. A quick eczema treatment will guarantee a normal molt without complications.

Stomach twisting

Stomach twisting is more often suffered by large dogs and pedigrees, and has fatal consequences if not treated in time. The mortality rate in untreated dogs is 100% and 38% in dogs which receive treatment.

The twisting occurs when the stomach is dilated due to an accumulation of gases; the ligaments that hold it together stop working and a twist occurs in the intestine, blocking blood flow.

You can slightly prevent stomach torsion by being aware of your dog's feeding time: never give it food before a walk, but after. Another way is to ensure it has a high-quality diet, and that it eats slowly.

The symptoms of a dog exhibiting stomach twisting are as follows:

  • The dog is restless, looks toward the ground or even towards its stomach
  • Pain and swelling in the abdominal area, which sounds like a drum if tapped
  • Nausea without being able to vomit

If you suspect that your dog has this condition you should go to the vet as soon as possible, since the sooner it receives care, the higher the chances of survival.

Common Diseases of American Akitas - Stomach twisting

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Common Diseases of American Akitas, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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1 comment
Cher Whaley
My female Akita has been throwing up and having diahrea for three days the vet prescribed medicine for garbage gut but only took her tempature to come to this conclusion no blood work x-rays or ultrasound I'm very worried and don't know what to do please help what you think k this may be
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Cher,

Only a professional vet will be able to give you the proper diagnosis. If they have given a prescription, it may need some time to work properly. You should go back to the vet if the symptoms get worse, but we cannot diagnose the problem in these comments we are afraid. If you think your vet wasn't attentive enough, perhaps you should consider changing vets? We wish your Akita a speedy recovery.
Same here but she died within a few days. No answers from vet about what happened, refused autopsy to find cause
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Common Diseases of American Akitas