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.
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.
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
- With intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) one or more of the discs that sit between vertebrae break down and their extruded contents bulge into the vertebral canal, pressing on the spinal cord. Symptoms range from mild back or neck pain to paralysis of the limbs. Mild IVDD can be managed medically, but severe IVDD cases require surgery to provide relief.
- 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.
- Brachycephalic Syndrome is a collection of conformational issues specific to short nosed pets, including narrowed nostrils, elongated soft palate, and a narrowed trachea, often resulting in respiratory problems. Clinical signs of this condition can be managed conservatively, but often surgery is needed to allow the dog to breathe easier.
- A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.