Common health issues
persistent pupillary membrane
- Persistent pupillary membranes are abnormal strands of tissue in the eye. They are remnants of blood vessels that supplied nutrients to the developing lens before birth. Depending on their location, they may interfere with vision by causing opacities in the surface of the eye or cataracts. In most dogs, persistent pupillary membranes cause no problems.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cataracts describes the transparency of the lens in the eye.While cataracts are a common finding in older dogs, many breeds, including Cavaliers, have a genetic predisposition to juvenile cataracts, i.e., occurring in young animals. Hereditary cataracts can occur as early as six months of age and progress to complete loss of vision by two years old. The good news is that most affected lenses can be treated surgically. Cost of treatment: $1,500 to $3,000 per lens.