Common health issues
- Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
- 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.
- Elbow dysplasia is actually a collective term which refers to the effects of one or more diseases of the elbow joint which result in pain and arthritis. Many of these problems can affect both elbows and result in forelimb lameness and elbow pain, often requiring surgical correction.
- Clinical signs of hypothyroidism are caused by a decrease in normal thyroid activity. In congenital hypothyroidism, puppies will have stunted growth and other abnormalities. A blood test confirms the disease and treatment with thyroid hormone supplements is lifelong.
- 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.
- In this condition, only some of the blood from the intestines passes through the liver, and the rest mixes with the general circulation, so dogs with a liver shunt have excess amount of toxins in their blood. Symptoms generally emerge by 6 months of age and include failure to gain weight, vomiting, and hepatic encephalopathy. Surgical correction is usually curative.
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.