Common health issues
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.
- 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.
- The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating and coordinating the body's movement. Affected dogs are normal at birth, but the cerebellar cells deteriorate prematurely. Symptoms include poor coordination, lack of balance and a high-stepping gait. At this time, there is no treatment for this progressive disease.
- The trachea, or windpipe, is supposed to be a rigid tube. In some breeds, the cartilage rings that hold the trachea open are undeveloped or become weak and allow the trachea to flatten during respiration. Mild cases can be managed medically with cough suppressants and bronchodilators, but surgical placement of tracheal stents is recommended for some severe cases.
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.
- 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.