Neo-Natal Ataxia

(Bandera’s Syndrome) This disease has appeared fairly recently, and so far has a rare occurence here in Canada. “Bandera’s Syndrome” affects young puppies neurologically, and leaves them unable to walk due to a lack of coordination of movements. There is evidence that the disease is hereditary. Affected dogs can be diagnosed well in advance of ever being sold by the breeder, so the risk of a new owner encountering this problem is small. For more complete information, please visit the link below.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

In most cases, this disease is also hereditary. It is caused by a de-generation and loss of retinal tissue. Night blindness is usually the first sign of PRA. There is no treatment. The only way to prevent the spread of the disease is by proper testing of breeding stock to ensure that affected dogs are not used. Eye evaluations are done by certified ophthalmologists.

Patellar Luxation

This condition is a dislocation of the kneecap or stifle. It can be seen in varying degrees of severity. The problem usually appears when the dog’s kneecap slips in and out of place as he walks or trots. The dog may limp, or skip, or hop. It may occur on every step (more severe) or after many steps (less severe). The condition can be diagnosed with a physical exam and x-rays and it is almost always repairable with surgery done by an orthopedic specialist. It is possible to reduce the incidence of this condition by proper screening of breeding dogs.

Dysplasia (Hip and Elbow)

Hip dysplasia is a painful malformation of the hip joint. It is caused by many inherited traits such as poor position of the hip or insufficient muscle mass. It can also be seen in varying degrees of lameness, and treatment depends on the severity. Surgery may help. Prevention is again via proper x-raying of breeding stock, evaluated and rated by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA), or PennHip, or a Provincial Veterinary College. Please visit the link below.

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