Eulogy after the death aged 3 of the world’s tallest dog, Zeus, makes me sick

Zeus, the former world's tallest dog until he died of cancer aged 3.
Zeus. Image: video screenshot.

The blindness of humans to what they are doing knows no bounds. The delusional behavior of humans is extraordinary. Humans are so wrapped up in their self-indulgent activities that they just don’t see it or get it. I am referring to the recent death of Zeus, the world’s tallest dog as per the Guinness World Records, a Great Dane.

He died at the ridiculously young age of 3 due to bone cancer of one of his legs. The surgery appeared to have caused pneumonia which killed him.

Quick research tells me that Great Danes are prone to lymphoma, mast cell tumors and hemangiosarcoma. Great Danes are also at risk for osteosarcoma, also known as bone cancer.

My guess is that Zeus had a genetically predisposition to bone cancer through negligent selective breeding by a dog breeder following the breed standard as laid down by a dog association.

The point is this: human carelessness caused his early death and then hypocritically we have these eulogies saying how wonderful he was: stubborn by loving etc. It shouldn’t have happened. We should not be breeding the tallest dog predisposed to serious, genetically inherited diseases.

The best vets tried to save him no doubt at extraordinary cost which was partly or totally paid for by an expensive insurance policy. I guess you wouldn’t want to own a Great Dane unless you had a health insurance policy.

To me it is all so self-indulgently sickening. The whole world records stuff is dodgy for a start. In this instance it will encourage breeders to create – as if they are a god – the tallest dog. That’ll require inbreeding probably to excess which will exacerbate the potential for genetically inherited diseases to be manifested in their ‘creation’.

It is not good. The whole process is unhealthy and it is not the kind of relationship humans should be having with their companion animals.

Some more on the genetically inherited diseases of the Great Dane

Great Danes, like many other dog breeds, are prone to certain inherited genetic diseases. It’s important to note that not all Great Danes will develop these conditions, but they have a higher predisposition compared to some other breeds. Some of the common inherited genetic diseases and health issues that can affect Great Danes include:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic malformation of the hip joint that can lead to arthritis and pain.
  2. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Also known as bloat, GDV is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on its axis, potentially cutting off blood flow.
  3. Cardiomyopathy: Great Danes are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and weakened.
  4. Wobbler Syndrome (Cervical Spondylomyelopathy): This is a disorder of the spine that affects the neck area, causing wobbling or unsteady gait due to compression of the spinal cord.
  5. Hypothyroidism: A deficiency in thyroid hormone production that can lead to various health problems.
  6. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a group of genetic diseases that cause the gradual degeneration of the retina, leading to vision loss.
  7. Osteosarcoma: Great Danes are at higher risk for osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer that usually affects the limbs.
  8. Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD): A bone disease that primarily affects rapidly growing large and giant dog breeds like Great Danes, causing painful swelling and lameness.
  9. Ectropion and Entropion: These are eyelid abnormalities that can cause irritation and discomfort due to the rolling in or out of the eyelids.
  10. Cleft Palate: A congenital condition where there is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth.
  11. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): A disease of the heart muscle that results in an enlarged, weakened heart and can lead to heart failure.

It’s essential for Great Dane owners to work closely with veterinarians and breeders who prioritize health testing and responsible breeding practices to minimize the occurrence and impact of these genetic diseases in the breed. Regular check-ups, a healthy diet, appropriate exercise, and early detection of any health issues can help in providing the best care for Great Danes.

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