Common health issues
- 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.
- Megaesophagus is a dilation of the esophagus due to the loss of normal muscular contraction. The condition is often see shortly after weaning, when puppies begin to regurgitate food and may fail to thrive. Regurgitation may lead to pneumonia if stomach contents are regurgitated and inhaled. This condition cannot be cured, but may be managed with controlled feedings.
- 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.
- With inherited laryngeal paralysis (often shortened to lar-par), signs are usually apparent before six months of age and present as difficulty (or increased noise) while breathing, especially during exercise or in hot/humid weather. While lar-par can present as an emergency respiratory situation, most dogs are able to be successfully treated through surgical intervention. Uncomplicated diagnosis and surgery: $1,500 to $5,000
- 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.
- GDV (or bloat) describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.