Common health issues
Cranial Cruciate Disease
- The cranial cruciate ligament is one of the ligaments stabilizing the knee joint. Rupture of this ligament leads to joint instability and is the most common orthopedic problem in the dog. Pain and lameness result from both partial and full cruciate ligament tears, and surgery is recommended to prevent progression of joint disease.
- 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.
- Clinical signs of hypothyroidism are caused by a decrease in normal thyroid activity. In congenital hypothyroidism, puppies will have stunted growth and other abnormalities. A blood test confirms the disease and treatment with thyroid hormone supplements is lifelong.
- 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.
- Demodex canis mites live on all healthy dogs. In the vast majority of cases they never cause a problem. However, some breeds can pass on an immune defect to their offspring that can result in a generalized proliferation of Demodex mites. The most common signs of demodectic mange are hair loss, scaling and irritation of the affected skin.
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.