Common health issues
- Cutaneous asthenia is an inherited connective tissue disease. Clinical signs are caused by abnormal collagen formation and include loose, fragile and easily torn skin. There is no cure or treatment for this disease other than avoiding trauma. It is fairly easy to recognize this condition in dogs, but can be confirmed with a skin biopsy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.