Down Syndrome In Animals: A Myth Or A Reality?

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Animals are hands down the cutest creations of God regardless of their appearance. Like us humans, animals too have a condition called down syndrome.

Animals with down syndrome are all over social media making people drool over their cuteness. It will not come to you as a surprise if I tell you that these animals with down syndrome actually have a fan following on social media.

However, the type of down syndrome in animals is different from the type found in humans since most of these animals have a chromosome disorder. There is a lot of confusion regarding animals with down syndrome hence, according to our knowledge we have explained all the important aspects about animals with down syndrome. 

To make it easier to understand we will be talking about the syndrome in detail. This article about the down syndrome in animals is divided into the following parts.

  1. What is down syndrome
  2. What happens
  3. What are the effects
  4. Pictorial references
  5. Can animals have down syndrome
  6. The origin
  7. symptoms 
  8. Animals and chromosome disabilities
  9. Study on mice
  10. Famous animals with down syndrome
  11. Bottom line

Keep reading to learn everything about the animals with down syndrome!

What Is Down Syndrome?

Also known as trisomy 21, in simple words, down syndrome is a genetic disorder. When there is an abnormal cell division in the body, it results in an extra copy of chromosome 21(which contains 200 to 300 genes that instruct protein division in the body). Hence someone with down syndrome is likely to have either a full or an extra copy of chromosome 21. 

Chromosomes carry our genes and inherited traits. Normally, a body is born with 23 pairs of chromosomes out of which half of the chromosomes are inherited by the mother and the other half are inherited from the father. 

What Happens In Down Syndrome In Animals?

When a down syndrome is present inside the body, it imbalances the genetic material. The extra genetic material changes the development time and way. 

How Does Down Syndrome Affect Animals?

Following is a list of changes that occur in the case of down syndrome:

  1. Changes in stature (small stature)
  2. Changes in eyes (upward slant to the eyes)
  3. Changes in muscle (low muscle tone)
  4. Changes in facial appearance (flattened face)

However, not all animals show the mentioned traits. Some may have a few of the mentioned and vice versa.

Down Syndrome In Animals: Pictorial References

Down Syndrome In Animals

Changes in Stature:

Down Syndrome In Animals
A giraffe with down syndrome.

Changes in Eyes:

Down Syndrome In Animals
A cat with down syndrome.

Changes in Muscle:

Down Syndrome In Animals
A cat with down syndrome

Changes in Facial Appearance: 

Down Syndrome In Animals

A chimpanzee with down syndrome

Can Animals Have Down Syndrome?

The genetic makeup of animals is way different than that of a human. This is why there are no claims of the duplication of chromosomes having the same effect on an animal as it does on a human body. The reason is that most of the animals do not have chromosome 21. For instance, only cats have 19 pairs of chromosomes. 

Then why does google list a number of animals under animals with down syndrome? Well, these animals on social media have certain chromosome disorders, inbreeding, and hormonal deficiencies that make their physical appearance similar to that of down syndrome.

However, there are a few endearing situations where creatures with chromosomes and different issues get embraced and this is vital to assisting them with getting the additional care they need. To say they have Down condition is totally not true, in any case.

The Origin of Down Syndrome in Animals

If something, social media is well known for making tales and enhancing the virality of unconfirmed data. There is a whole bunch of collections of animals with down syndrome from articles to pictures, every other site has some of the other false information about the down syndrome in animals confusing them with the physical abnormalities. Filled by web-based media and blended in with our inborn interest in creatures, these fantasies can rapidly sustain themselves in present-day culture.

What Are the Symptoms of Down Syndrome in Animals?

Following are the symptoms of animals with down syndrome:

  1. Short neck
  2. Protruding tongue
  3. Small head
  4. Flattened face
  5. Slanted eyes
  6. Small or unusually shaped ears
  7. Low muscle tone

Animals And Chromosome Disabilities

It is totally false and a myth to say that animals have down syndrome. However, there have been a case of apes where there were certain cases of chromosome abnormalities that were similar to down syndrome. Apes have a total of 24 chromosome pairs whereas humans have 23. And fun fact, many apes have been born with an extra chromosome 22 (well, humans who have down syndrome are born with an extra chromosome 21).

As per an investigation led in 2017, a chimpanzee who had the additional chromosome experienced indications like those found in individuals with Down condition. These side effects included development deformities and heart issues. Scientists actually stay muddled about this problem and in spite of the fact that it was a chromosomal imperfection, it wasn’t Down syndrome. 

Research On The Mice

Relating to down syndrome, several studies were conducted on the mice. These studies show that an extra chromosome activates genes that as a result blocks the growth factor. This represses the advancement of blood vessels, which has the surprising advantage of securing against diseases like cancer by preventing blood supply to tumors.

Stories Of Animals With Down Syndrome

This part of the article talks about interesting stories regarding animals with down syndrome. All true!

1. Kenny The Tiger

In spite of the miserable truth about Kenny having since a long time ago been known, numerous still erroneously accept he had Down condition.

Well, in reality, Kenny’s deformations are the consequence of ages of inbreeding as opposed to the sort of chromosomal transformation that represents Down syndrome in people.

Since white tigers like Kenny are so uncommon in nature yet so wanted for their remarkable fur, most that are alive today are the consequence of forceful reproducing programs that utilize inbreeding between white tigers to attempt to keep the white hide characteristic alive.

Kenny might be quite possibly the most famous creatures on the web professed to have Down syndrome. Kenny’s anomalies come from forceful inbreeding rehearsals because of the worth and uncommonness of white tigers, especially their fur. However, the good news is that these methods that focus on expanding physical expression on rare species have been banned by the association of zoos and aquariums.

2. Monty The Cat

Monty is another popular cat of social media guaranteed to have Down syndrome. As indicated by Monty’s social media platform  Monty was received from a creature cover when he was only three years of age and experienced a chromosome irregularity, causing a depressed nasal extension. 

The owner of this lovable and surprising car face is Monty, who lives in Copenhagen with two other lovable felines. Monty was brought into the world without a nasal scaffold bone because of a chromosomal irregularity, which is the reason this surprising creature got a particularly one-of-a-kind and adorable face.

3. Lil Bub The Cat

Lil Bub acquired popularity on social media in November 2011 when her photographs were posted on Tumblr and Reddit. Her fame wasn’t simply restricted to the web, she proceeded to show up including the Today show, The View, and her own special narrative appearance on Lil Bub and Friendz.

Despite the fact that influenced by different hereditary transformations including cat dwarfism, Lil Bub immediately discovered her way into the hearts of general society, gathering in excess of 3 million preferences on her Facebook page. Sadly, Lil Bub died on December 1, 2019. 

According to her owner, Mike Bridavsky expressed that she was confronting a forceful bone disease as the hour of her passing.

Bottom Line

Down syndrome is a condition where there is an extra chromosome 21 in the body. This imbalance in the body and the extra genetic material changes the development time and way. 

In most cases, animals do not have down syndrome. However, they can have any chromosome abnormality or disorder.