Common health issues
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.
- 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.
- Entropion describes the inward rolling of the eyelid, often causing the eyelashes to come into contact with the eyeball and cause irritation and often ulceration. Many affected dogs will require surgical correction and severe cases may require multiple surgeries.
- 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.
- 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.