Some animals look like they have Down syndrome but mostly we can see it in cats. Many of the cats appear to have down syndrome. Animals with down syndrome – Is this the truth or a myth. Every aspect related to down syndrome will be cleared.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down Syndrome is a medical condition. More precisely we can say that it is a genetic condition. Chromosome 21 is duplicated in this disorder. This disorder is also called trisomy 21.
The additional chromosome can cause disability of physical and developmental characteristics. After birth, this additional chromosome changes the development of the brain and body. Down syndrome also causes people to have a low IQ. The IQ falls in the range of mild to moderate.
Physical Characteristics of Down Syndrome
The development of the physical characters is altered since a baby is born. It is a genetic condition. So the physical characteristics are changed in those who have Down syndrome.
Some physical characteristics are:
• Flattened face
• Short neck
• Small ears
• Almond-shaped eyes
• Small hands and feets
• Poor muscle tone
• Short height
Animals With Down Syndrome
We have seen animals with Down syndrome. But this is not true. The simple answer to this is that animals cannot have Down syndrome and it’s just a myth.
Down syndrome is an exclusively human disease. The genome structure of humans and animals is different from each other. The chromosomal structure is also different in humans and animals.
Animals cannot have Down syndrome. But they can exhibit conditions very close to Down syndrome. The physical characteristics of these conditions are very much like that of Down Syndrome. This is the reason people often confuse other medical conditions of animals with Down syndrome. Cats with down syndrome are the most common misconception among people and down syndrome dogs are also misinterpreted often.
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Down Syndrome in Apes
Apes are the only animals that sometimes seem to exhibit a genetic defect that is corresponding to Down Syndrome. The chromosomes in chimpanzees come in 24 pairs. The number of chromosomal pairs in human ones is 23.
Chromosome 22 has been found to be duplicated in some chimpanzees. The human chromosome 21 and this chromosome 22 are comparable. So this causes a condition in apes that is very similar to Down syndrome in humans.
According to studies the defects in apes/chimpanzees are the same as the effects of Down syndrome. This condition is analogous to Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Cat
Cats are often interpreted to have Down syndrome. On the internet, you will see many people posting pictures of cats. These look like cats with Down syndrome. But it is not true at all.
Cats cannot have Down syndrome because they do not have chromosome 21. They can have some other genetic condition or illness that can have the same symptoms as Down syndrome.
The Down syndrome-like symptoms of these diseases include unusual appearance and behavior. Small or oddly shaped ears, blurred vision, heart problems, and flat nose are also symptoms of these diseases.
All these symptoms are similar to Down syndrome so people think that these are Down syndrome cats. But all this is a misconception. The Down syndrome cat is all a fallacy.
Down Syndrome Dog
The Down syndrome dog is also not a thing but there are several other conditions in dogs that have symptoms like that of Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a human disease. It can only occur in humans. Dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes. But alternation or duplication of chromosome 21 will not cause Down syndrome in dogs.
Other medical conditions in dogs that have the same symptoms :
• Pituitary dwarfism
• Congenital hydrocephalus
• Growth hormone deficiency
• Portosystemic shunt
All these concepts of animals with Down syndrome are a myth. Down syndrome is a human condition. It can only occur in humans but can not happen to animals. Animals have some other conditions which have symptoms like that of Down syndrome. So people think that animals also have Down syndrome. But all this is not true. There is a difference in the genome structure of humans and animals.
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