Common health issues
Mitral Valve Disease
- In Mitral Valve Disease, a defect in the mitral valve causes an insufficient seal in the heart. The leaky valve allows the blood to back flow into the heart rather than flow out to the body, in turn causing the heart to work harder. Over time, mitral valve disease can lead to congestive heart failure.
- 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.
- The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating and coordinating the body's movement. Affected dogs are normal at birth, but the cerebellar cells deteriorate prematurely. Symptoms include poor coordination, lack of balance and a high-stepping gait. At this time, there is no treatment for this progressive disease.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS)
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), better known as "dry eye", is a deficiency in the water portion of the tear film of the eye. Without the water portion of tears, the cornea and conjunctiva become very dry and inflamed and are prone to infection. This uncomfortable condition requires costly topical treatment several times a day throughout the dog's life.
- Entropion describes the inward rolling of the eyelid, often causing the eyelashes to come into contact with the eyeball and cause irritation and often ulceration. Many affected dogs will require surgical correction and severe cases may require multiple surgeries.
Familial Kidney Disease
- In Familial Kidney Disease, the kidneys are normal at birth but deteriorate rapidly. We can start to see the signs of early kidney failure at less than one year of age and some of these patients will succumb to kidney failure within five years. Treatment centers on slowing the progression of kidney disease and managing clinical signs.