Common health issues
Color Dilution Alopecia
- Color Dilution Alopecia is seen in dogs with a fawn or blue coat color. Affected dogs may start to show signs of hair loss and itchy skin within six months of age. The condition results in a poor, patchy hair coat and can progress to widespread hair loss. Affected dogs can lead a normal life with periodic symptomatic treatment.
- 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.
- Inherited deafness in one or both ears occurs due to the degeneration of the structures of the inner ear. It usually occurs within the first few weeks of birth. Deafness is tied to coat color, especially in merle pups, and has an association with blue eyes. Hearing tests can be conducted at referral centers or veterinary schools, but inherited deafness is permanent and cannot be cured.
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.
- Also known as aseptic necrosis of the femoral head, Legg-Calve-Perthes is a disease of the femoral head (or ball) of the hip and causes lameness in young, small breed dogs. The blood supply to the femoral head is cut off, causing the bone to die. Treatment inevitably requires surgery to the affected hip.