Common health issues
- 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.
Cervical Vertebral Instability
- Cervical vertebral instability results from instability of the vertebrae in the neck. Chronic compression of the spinal cord leads to weakness in the hind limbs, and if severe, can progress to weakness in the front limbs, as well. Cervical vertebral instability can be managed medically if it is mild, but often requires extensive surgery and physical therapy to correct.
- 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.
- 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.