Common health issues
- Inherited deafness in one or both ears occurs due to the degeneration of the structures of the inner ear. It usually occurs within the first few weeks of birth. Deafness is tied to coat color, especially in merle pups, and has an association with blue eyes. Hearing tests can be conducted at referral centers or veterinary schools, but inherited deafness is permanent and cannot be cured.
Pyruvate kinase deficiency
- Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a disease of red blood cell metabolism. A shortened red blood cell life span leads to anemia and can eventually lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Exercise intolerance, pale mucous membranes and weakness can signal anemia. Untreated, this condition is fatal either due to anemia or liver failure. Treatment is possible with a bone marrow transplant.
- Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.
- Also known as aseptic necrosis of the femoral head, Legg-Calve-Perthes is a disease of the femoral head (or ball) of the hip and causes lameness in young, small breed dogs. The blood supply to the femoral head is cut off, causing the bone to die. Treatment inevitably requires surgery to the affected hip.
- A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.