Common health issues
- Epilepsy is a neurologic disease that manifests as seizures. Often epilepsy is idiopathic (meaning there is no known cause) and generally we see the onset between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Treatment for this life-long condition centers on controlling seizures with oral medication.
- 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.
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.
- Pannus or chronic superficial keratitis is a progressive eye disease thought to be caused by an inappropriate immune response. It commonly affects both eyes. Medical treatment can often be successful in controlling it but the condition is life-long.
- 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.
- Vitiligo is a condition in which patchy depigmentation of the skin occurs. It may also cause whitening of the fur in the areas where there is loss of skin pigment. It is thought to be immune-mediated, meaning that the immune system attacks the body's pigment-making cells. It is a purely cosmetic condition with no long term health implications.