The Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively healthy breed with a typical lifespan of 12-15 years. With the exception of Factor VII disorder, most health conditions manifested in this breed are applicable to all dog breeds and not breed specific. Below are some known health defects seen in this breed:
Autoimmune Thyroiditis (AIT) – a genetic disease that affects the thyroid gland and can usually lead to chronic hypothyroidism. This disease might not develop until a dog is well into adulthood (over 3 years).
Luxating Patella (LP) – a condition in which the patella (kneecap) dislocates or slips out of its socket, causing intermittent lameness. Patella luxation is an inherited condition, but it can also be caused as a result of trauma.
Congenital Cardiac Disease – include various types of valve, vessel and tissue malformations of the heart. Severity can range from low grade heart murmur to death.
Factor VII Deficiency – a blood clotting disorder. FVII is a double recessive genetic trait, which means an “affected” dog will carry two copies of the deficiency gene (one copy from each parent). With careful planning, a FVII carrier dog (with one copy of the deficiency gene) can be bred to a FVII normal mate. The offspring may either be FVII carrier or normal, neither of which will be affected by the disorder.
Umbilical (Belly Button) Hernia – a break in the abdominal muscle wall at the point where the umbilical cord enters the body. This condition can be fixed at the same time the puppy is under anesthesia during spay/neuter surgery.
Cryptorchidism – one or both testicles did not descend from abdomen into scrotal sacs as a male puppy matures. A cryptorchid dog should be neutered and not bred. In addition, some responsible breeders take an extra step to eliminate even “late bloomers” from their breeding program, as this condition is highly hereditary.