Common health issues
- 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.
- 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.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.
- In Aortic Stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can predispose the dog to arrhythmias, heart failure, infection of the aortic valve, and sudden death. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate.
- 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.
- 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.