Common health issues
- Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscular disease seen in young dogs and cats. Clinical signs of enlarged muscles, excess salivation and stiff gait are seen in pets as young as 5 months old. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for muscular dystrophy, and affected pets have a poor prognosis.
- 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.
- In Aortic Stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can predispose the dog to arrhythmias, heart failure, infection of the aortic valve, and sudden death. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate.
- Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
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.
- Pulmonic stenosis is an obstruction to blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery, causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the lungs. Severe valve thickening can cause thickening of the heart muscle and lead to congestive heart failure. Both medical management and surgical treatment options exist.