Common health issues
- 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.
- Corneal dystrophy is weakness in the layers of the cornea. Severely affected dogs are prone to painful corneal erosions and ulcers. Some types of corneal dystrophy result in lipid or cholesterol deposits on the cornea, which are generally painless and do not interfere with vision. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the lesions.
- Atopy refers to skin allergies caused by inhaled or contact allergens. Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to pollen, dander, grasses and trees. Their allergies result in itchiness that can be seasonal or year-round. Affected dogs are prone to ear and skin infections. The condition varies in severity but is usually lifelong and often requires constant medical management.
Shaker Dog Syndrome
- Shaker Dog Syndrome affects small white dogs like the Maltese and causes tremors of the body. It tends to develop suddenly in young dogs and can range from mild to severe. Medical treatment is generally effective at controlling signs. While some dogs recover completely, others will require lifelong treatment.
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.