Apologies if this thread didn't wind up in quite the right place of if there's some old duplicate out there. I'm new to this forum.
I've got major puppy fever right now. Going to wait 'till I've adjusted to normal life after college before considering getting a dog, but I've been doing research to see what breeds would be an ideal fit for me and my situation. I've been doing a lot of research on Dalmatians. Temperamentally, they seem a good fit for me, from what I've read so far. But I'm really concerned about their potential health problems.
It sounds like the most major things affecting Dalmatians are deafness and the formation of bladder and kidney stones from high uric acid in their urine.
When people talk about deafness in Dalmatians, is this something that Dals are either born with or not? Or is there also a strong tendency for them to start lose hearing as they age? Everything I've found so far only talked about looking out for deafness in puppy selection, and almost nothing has indicated whether Dal owners should be worried about hearing loss in adult dogs.
And as for stone formation, how preventable is this condition? Is it enough to just make sure they drink plenty of water and eat low purine foods? I found that some breeders breed LUA Dalmatians, which don't have the stone forming problem, but these pups tend to be very expensive. I'd also have to travel halfway across the country, minimum, to obtain one since they are pretty hard to come by.
So is the risk of bladder stones high enough that going to that trouble to obtain a LUA Dalmatian is worth it? Or can a regular NUA / HUA Dalmatian with a low purine diet, plenty of water, and plenty of exercise live a full, healthy life?
Apologies that this is long, but I've had a dog before who suffered from many excruciatingly painful medical problems for the last few years of her life. It's not fun to watch dogs suffer like that, so I'd like to avoid being in that situation if at all possible.
Thanks in advance!