Common health issues
Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia
- In this life-threatening condition, the body's immune system attacks it's own red blood cells, leading to anemia (low levels of red blood cells). IMHA can be secondary to other diseases, but the majority of the cases occur with no known cause. Diagnosis and treatment are costly, and treatment usually requires a lengthy hospital stay.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- The cells of the body need sugar to function and need insulin to carry sugar in through their walls. Diabetic animals do not have enough insulin to transport sugar into the cells, resulting in high blood sugar and starving cells. Treatment entails the lifelong administration of insulin shots, and usually requires frequent trips to the vet for rechecks.
- 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.