Animals with Down Syndrome

All animal lovers want their pet animals to be playful, active, and adorable every time. These animals have their gestures and characteristics that are built-up from an early age. Right from the time of birth till they are fully grown, these animals adopt various types of changes both physically and mentally from time to time. But due to some diseases originating from heredity, many animals cannot go through such an adaptation process.

Animals with Down Syndrome

Just like normal human beings, animals also face some difficulties at the time of giving birth. The newly born animals may face lots of issues both physically and mentally that may eventually impact the overall development of the babies. Among all these diseases, the animals with Down syndrome have been the most discussed issue.

The overall development of the animal is greatly hampered due to such Down syndrome. Besides, this disease is visible among every category of animals and birds as well. There are some common symptoms of such problems and certain behavior must be done for proper handling of the babies.

What is Animal Down syndrome?

Down syndrome can be defined as a genetic disorder that results in abnormal cell division in the animals when they are born. This type of disease seizes the normal distribution of the chromosomes by making an extra chromosome 21 along with the default numbers. This problem is seen among all the categories of animals as well as human beings and has been a very alarming topic for a long time. The additional number of chromosomes due to this syndrome affects the natural physical and mental development of the animals from an early age.

down syndrome animals

All the animals are born with a specific number of chromosomes that come from both father and mother. These chromosomes carry the gene and other characteristics of the animals that are passed from generation to generation through their parents. Down syndrome hampers this natural phenomenon of chromosome distribution due to the additional number of such carriers.

It eventually leads the Down syndrome animals lacking proper body development. Besides, lots of problems arise due to such disease as- facing difficulties in doing daily tasks, acting abnormally without any causes, and many more. These types of diseases are common and are mainly responsible for the hereditary disorder.  

Common symptoms of the Down syndrome

Down syndrome is named after the additional 21 chromosomes in the newly born human cell. The number of such chromosomes varies among different animals. So the disorder of such chromosome distribution among other animals is often said to be mental illness rather than Down syndrome. This type of abnormal phenomenon hampers the natural growth of the baby for which the survival gets challenging.

Besides, the animals will face many physical problems from time to time like breathing difficulties, unable to walk, unable to detect things, etc. Though the characteristics of this disease vary from animal to animal, some common symptoms are observed among all the affected babies.

Down syndrome can be found in all types of animals and birds since such diseases are originated from hereditary. Primarily, Down syndrome can be detected by observing the abnormal physical and mental development among babies. The most common symptoms of Down syndrome are mentioned below:

Abnormal eye-ball:

The eyes of all the animals are more or less round. The eyeball can be easily moved all-around to observe the surroundings. But the animals affected with Down syndrome have Almond-shaped eyes. For this reason, infected babies face difficulties in observing throughout their lives.

Unable to coordinate muscle:

This symptom is commonly seen among all the animals affected with Down syndrome. The animals face difficulties in movement as the abnormal development of the muscles seizes the proper body coordination. The muscle tone cannot synchronize with the normal movement for which, the infected animals cannot walk or run properly.

Abnormal tongue:

Down syndrome affects physical growth to a great extent and the behavior of the tongue is a notable issue. The affected animals always have their tongues hanging outside their mouth and the size is also large in comparison with normal ones. The tongue remains too much dried for which, the infected animal faces problems in eating or making noise.

Loss of hearing:

The affected animals are said to be deaf throughout their lives and cannot respond to any type of action. The proper development of the brain and hearing ability is damaged due to such Down syndrome which eventually results in gradual loss of hearing.

Abnormal face formation:

The face of the affected animals is flattened due to the lack of proper body development. It results in the abnormal appearance of the infected animal and difficulties in leading a normal life.

Sleeping disorder:

The sleep of the affected animals is hampered due to such Down syndrome. The animals cannot sleep in normal time due to abnormal anxiety and lack of brain development. Besides, the animals face lots of diseases due to such sleeping disorders all time.

Heart problems:

This symptom is very common among all the affected animals. Various types of body defects are seen due to Down syndrome like- heart defects, lung problems, etc. These issues gradually increase with the age of the infected animal and eventually result in a short life span.

Down Syndrome in Different Animals

At present, all animal lovers have a very common question about the health of their beloved pet- “can animals have Down syndrome?” as it cannot be controlled or predicted. Though this disease is seen among human beings due to genetic disorders, animals also face similar problems while giving birth.

The animals that are affected with Down syndrome can be easily recognized with their abnormal physical development. Apart from the physical deformation, the infected animals also face mental illness and cannot lead a normal life like other animals of their species. 

There are lots of animals that went viral on the internet as they were infected with Down syndrome. All the animals like- dogs, cats, lions, tigers, etc. and many more have a record of having a similar genetic disorder. Not only animals but also birds also face such development disorders and face lots of difficulties throughout their lives.

All the animal species are infected with Down syndrome due to unorganized cell development. Recent researches on this issue show that about 30% of the newly born animals become the victim of such genetic disorder. So let’s discuss the characteristics and lifestyle of Down syndrome infected animals:

Tiger and Down syndrome

Tigers are known as the strongest animal in the jungle and they have an excellent reproductive capability. There are two reasons behind the infection of Down syndrome among the tigers which are:

  1. Inbreeding
  2. Abnormal chromosome mutation

The chances of abnormal chromosome distribution are very less among the tigers since their chromosome number doesn’t match with the general law of Down syndrome. So the additional chromosome set cannot bring that much change in the normal development of the physical and mental structure.

Inbreeding is a very strong issue for which many animals including tigers are becoming the victims of Down syndrome. This process was encouraged to save the animals from extinction by breeding an animal of specific species with another animal closely related to them. Due to such activities, the newly born animal faces lots of problems in the natural development of the body. Apart from the physical structure, the cub is born with various medical issues that get worse from time to time. There are lots of symptoms that can ensure the abnormal development of tigers:

  • Unusual facial structure
  • Flattened nose and head
  • Lack of response to sudden action
  • Hearing disorder
  • Heart and other mental illness
  • Difficulties in running and walking
  • Abnormal size and growth

Kenny the white tiger had a similar Down syndrome disease due to the unusual inbreeding. It was done to save the white traits on the tiger alive. But the whole operation went wrong resulting in getting an abnormal cub with various genetic disorders. The tiger with Down syndrome had to face lots of medical and physical challenges and Kenny was alive for only 10 years.

Lions and Down syndrome

lion with down syndrome

Lions can also have similar Down syndrome problems due to abnormal chromosome mutation and inbreeding problems. Though the chances of such diseases among the lions are rare, the infected animal undergoes lots of difficulties in the natural development of the body. The symptoms of such diseases that are noticed among the infected lions are:

  • The affected lion cannot run for a long time due to weak heart and abnormal body structure.
  • The lacking of sleep is a noticeable issue among the victims of Down syndrome.
  • The infected lion cannot response to sudden actions due to mental illness and loss of hearing.
  • The facial structure becomes abnormal as the tongue stays out of the mouth and the eyes turn to almond-shaped.

This lion with Down syndrome cannot hunt their prey and as a result they cannot get the proper appetite. This eventually leads to the early death of the lions.

Cows and giraffe with Down syndrome

A giraffe can be affected by Down syndrome as well as other animals. In this case, the infected giraffe lives a very short span of life as they face various types of difficulties throughout their lives. These problems damage normal development both physically and mentally.  

Domestic animals like cows also get infected with such disorder. The cows with Down syndrome undergo various medical issues and cannot lead a normal life. The symptoms of cows and giraffes are almost similar when they are infected with genetic disorder problems:

  • Abnormal facial expressions like- eyes coming out and remains wet all the time, hanging tongue, etc.
  • Lack of movement coordination due to weak brain and heart condition.
  • Makes unusual sounds and cannot respond to the surrounding environment.
  • The infected animal faces lots of medical issues like- breathing difficulty, always lying down, indigestion, etc.

Down Syndrome in Dogs

Dogs are the most beloved pets to all animal lovers. Since, they are very playful and active every time, there is less chance of such pets getting affected by any fatal disease. But if the dogs are born with any type of genetic disorder, then it gets difficult for them to survive.

Dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes that come from both father and mother. Any type of disorder in the distribution of these chromosomes may result in Down syndrome or autism. Though this issue cannot be understood at the time of birth, the symptoms appear gradually from time to time. Dogs that undergo such genetic disorders can be detected from the symptoms easily:

  • The infected dogs cannot hear the commands of their owners and cannot respond properly.
  • Dogs with Down’s syndrome are found to chase their tail and rotate in the same place. This type of abnormal behavior is mainly responsible for the genetic disorder.
  • The infected dogs have weak eyesight and cannot run properly due to this problem.
  • The affected dog may have lots of skin problems like- white spots, lack of furs on the body, thin skin, etc.
  • Lack of muscle tone and body coordination is very common among all the symptoms of Down syndrome.
  • The natural growth and height of the dog are hampered as short limb problems arise due to genetic disorders in the dogs.

Besides, the dogs that are affected by Down syndrome or autism cannot run or play around rather they often sleep or stare in one direction. Lack of appetite and digestion causes various medical issues in the dogs and results in a short life span.

Cats and Down syndrome

Though cats are known as the calmest pet animals, they may suffer from various genetic disorders as well. Body colors, structure, and mental state of the cats are hampered due to such problems. As a result of the abnormal chromosome distribution, cats cannot develop naturally. This phenomenon results in the deformation of various physical and mental structures.

The additional number of chromosomes in cats at the time of birth is the main reason behind Down syndrome. This disease seizes the natural development of cats and gives rise to many difficulties. Such diseases can be detected by observing common symptoms. Let’s check out the symptoms of cats Down syndrome:

  • The behavior of the affected cats is different compared to other cats.
  • The shape of the ears is different and they gradually lose the power of hearing from time to time.
  • The vision of the cats is affected due to Down syndrome. Besides, the eyes are oddly shaped due to a lack of proper development.
  • Due to the nervous system and motor dysfunction, the infected cat cannot walk or run properly.
  • Cats with Down syndrome have a weak heart and can be infected with any disease due to a low immune system.
  • The nose and face of the infected cats are flattened or upturned. It makes them look different from others.

The problem of Down syndrome in cats has been an alarming issue for a long time. Monty created a great sensation over the internet for having such genetic disorders. The flattened face and upturned nose made the cat looked very different from others. Lack of sleep, excessive anxiety, and lack of appetite made Monty weak gradually day by day. For this reason, the cats affected with such abnormalities have a very short lifespan.

Apart from the other animals, Down syndrome can affect birds, monkeys, bears, and many more. In the bird kingdom, the chances of such genetic disease are rare. A bird with Down syndrome cannot coordinate the body while flying. Besides, the abnormal body structure and other problems create lots of difficulties.

Besides, a monkey with Down syndrome has similar types of symptoms as human beings. Since the chromosome numbers are identical in both monkeys and humans, the additional chromosome set brings almost similar types of changes.

Reasons for Mental Disorders in Animal

The main reason for such disorder in an animal is the lacking of mental health care. Apart from any genetic disorder, mentally disabled animals also face lots of difficulties in leading a normal life. The reasons behind such problems are:

  • Lack of enough space for the animals to play.
  • Lack of proper attention and care they need to recreate.
  • Lack of proper diet and sleep also hampers the mental condition.
  • Any type of abuse or trauma can create mental illness among animals.

These types of mental illness can be recovered by giving proper nurturing to the animals. Besides, spending time with them playing makes them active and stress-free. This positive feeling of animals can overcome all types of mental disorders.


Down syndrome has always been an alarming issue for all animal species. This type of genetic disorder hampers the overall development of the physical and mental state of an animal. It eventually results in the lifespan of the affected animal to become short.

Animals that are affected by such problems cannot survive too long due to various types of body deformation and diseases. The abnormal mind and body state of animals seize the natural flow of life. It creates various difficulties in their movement, appetite, and other daily activities. Veterinaries are making various vaccines at present to save the newborn cubs from such abnormal chromosome distribution. Animals suffering from Down syndrome and other mental illnesses can be cured with proper care and affection.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *