Common health issues
- In this condition, only some of the blood from the intestines passes through the liver, and the rest mixes with the general circulation, so dogs with a liver shunt have excess amount of toxins in their blood. Symptoms generally emerge by 6 months of age and include failure to gain weight, vomiting, and hepatic encephalopathy. Surgical correction is usually curative.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.