Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: A few health issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default A few health issues

    Hi!

    I've posted once before about my poor pup Sam and his health problems. I'll be taking Sammy back to the vet soon, but I wanted to check in here about a few pieces of advice I got from the breeder.

    The first one is Sammy's eyes: he doesn't close them properly when he sleeps, so they get very dry. He's now very good about accepting eye drops, but his eyes are still irritated. The breeder said it is a usual problem for Cavaliers and that the shape of his face will change as he gets older, making it easier for him to blink properly. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Another issue is his overbite. There's nearly an inch difference between his top and bottom jaw. The breeder said this also typically corrects itself as he gets older, and that I should do stretching exercises on his lower jaw every day (which sounds dramatic). Has anyone ever seen an improvement this way? He can still eat and doesn't seem to be bothered, but it's quite a gap.

    Finally, one of his testicles hasn't dropped although he's 7 months. The breeder said it probably will still drop later. But I'm concerned that if I don't have him castrated already, it could lead to more problems. Is it really a risk?

    I realise this is a lot of topics in one thread. But if you have any experience with these things from puppy to adulthood, and you feel like commenting, any advice would be welcome.

    Here is Sammy (and it's my friend in the pic, not me)

    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,002
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    Oh dear. I'm sorry that you have had some problems and also sorry you are geting such advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by laram View Post
    Hi!

    The breeder said it is a usual problem for Cavaliers and that the shape of his face will change as he gets older, making it easier for him to blink properly. Has anyone else experienced this?
    While it is true that as their faces/skulls mature this can improve heavy tear staining, I have NEVER heard that it is normal for their eyes not to close and thus to have dry eyes! It is certainly NOT a 'usual problem' and a line that has dry eye problems should not generally be bred from. Dry eye problems are very different from slight tearstaining, more a cosmetic issue that IS common in cavaliers that often disappears or lessens as they mature. On the other hand dogs often sleep with their eyes partly open -- all three of mine are often asleep like this. But this isn't generally a *cause* of dry eye problems -- those will be genetic.

    Another issue is his overbite. There's nearly an inch difference between his top and bottom jaw. The breeder said this also typically corrects itself as he gets older, and that I should do stretching exercises on his lower jaw every day (which sounds dramatic).
    One response to this advice and the assurance that a one inch overbite is going to correct itself:

    That is a large overbite and is unlikely to improve significantly. Very slight under or overbites sometimes resolve into a correct scissorbite but an inch? That is pretty big. As long as it isn't causing a problem for him it is really mainly a cosmetic issue and fairly minor, but sometimes large over/underbites can cause eating problems and so forth. I agree that pulling on the jaw or exercising it is ridiculous -- you could dislocate a puppy's jaw doing this and pulling is hardly going to make the bone grow.

    Finally, one of his testicles hasn't dropped although he's 7 months. The breeder said it probably will still drop later. But I'm concerned that if I don't have him castrated already, it could lead to more problems. Is it really a risk?
    If t hasn't dropped by 6 months most vets say it won't ever drop, though I have heard of some dropping between 6-12 months so you could wait. He needs to be neutered though eventually as that undropped testicle is believed to greatly increase the risk of cancer. Every now and then this happens with a male, but if it happens frequently in a given line, many breeders would feel the parents shouldn't be bred as the tendency may be genetic rather than an anomoly. You don;t need to neuter him immediately though -- you could wait to see what happens for a bit longer. The neuter can be a bit more involved as the vet needs to find the missing testicle up in the abdominal area.

    Regarding the breeder's comments on eyes and jaw: if this is a registered club breeder I would certainly inform the member club that you have been told to do this by a registered breeder, who has also said these situations are 'normal' for the breed. That seems duplicitous to me.

    Hopefully some of the breeder members here will see this and comment as well; this just sounds bizarre to me.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thank you so much for the advice that seems so much more to-the-point than even my vet has given me so far. The breeder just seemed to be very defensive and gave explanations that were designed to appease me rather than advice that was designed to help.

    I think I might need to change my vet aswell - she was the one who diagnosed Sam with dry eyes based on his heavy tearing and said that it was because of him sleeping with his eyes open. I'm glad to hear that sleeping like this is actually quite usual and not necessarily a serious problem. The tearing is heavy, but I have seen other Cavaliers with heavy tearing too. The whites of his eyes are quite discoloured though which I assumed to be a symptom of the same problem. I will still get them checked to make sure they're ok.

    I certainly haven't been stretching Sammy's jaw as the breeder suggested. And unless the bite hurts or hinders him, I'm happy to let it be.

    I will still bring him for a check-up to a new vet, but my mind is more at ease now...

    ... I just have one more bizare Sammy issue (I might as well exhaust my list ). All male dogs (and I stress all) seem passionately in love with him. I do not exaggerate - I've tried taking him to the dog park a couple of times and immediately all male dogs make a bee-line to mount him. I was actually told off by one of the owners for bringing a female dog in heat. She and the other owners there couldn't believe he was male; they said they'd never seen anything like it. When I picked him up to rescue him, the dogs started jumping at me, and when I took him out, they lined the fence howling in agony. It's so sad, because Sam is such a friendly happy, social dog, and it really shocked him. My puppy trainer said it's important that he's socialised with other dogs at this age, but the socialization seems more to be traumatisation so far (when it comes to other males). Do I have a female puppy in disguise? Or is this a phase that adolescent males go through? Just an overload of pubescent hormones? If so, when is it safe to try going to the park again? (he's 7 months now)
    Last edited by laram; 12th April 2007 at 12:03 AM.
    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3,036
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    29

    Default

    I felt really sad when I read your posts. Karlin has already given you some great advice & information, but I just wanted to say I am sorry to hear of the problems your little man is having and also that his breeder is either terribly ill informed or very dishonest. What a shame when they don't want to know & face up to the truth. We went through a similar thing with a great dane we had some decades ago. Every time I think of that breeder I want to rip her throat out. So I've got an idea of how you must be feeling.

    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Gonzales County Texas
    Posts
    421
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Our Beauregard has a significant overbite... probably 3/4" or so. He's now 16 months old, and it hasn't gotten any better. It may be less noticeable since his head has 'shaped out', but it certainly hasn't corrected itself.

    KC

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Stoke-on-Trent, England
    Posts
    2,161
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    My big boy, Monty, often sleeps with only the third lid closed. it doesn't make his eyes dry, but they do tear somewhat, when he wakes, but not to the extent that he gets stained on his face.

    A friend , on another forum, has a relative whose black and tan has a large overbite. It causes him no problems, but he is rather a messy eater.

    I have two dogs with one testicle (it's usually the right one affected0 not fully decended. I was advised that they can descend as late as 16 months of age, but my boys didn't. If the testicle/s is/are within the body cavity castration is highly recommended as the internal organ can become cancerous. My two have a partly descended testicle, which is not such a risk and two vets said it was ok to leave, provided the odd testicle was monitored. However, the vets, who've taken over the practice, recommend castration anyway.

    If a testicle is partly descended, some people reckon that gentle massage can help it on it's way, but it didn't work for mine.
    Barbara, Monty, Joly and Teddy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    24,002
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    His discoloured whites are NORMAL. That is called double pigmentation and is why cavaliers look like they have especially large eyes -- it adds to the effect. It is what breeders breed for, so don't worry about that. Nothing to do with dry eyes or problems, it is a feature of the breed.

    You know, your dog's eyes may be totally normal! I'd definitely try a new vet who knows how to test whether he actually has dry eyes or clogged ducts or simply tears a lot. They can do a simple test to check this. You may not neeed to be giving all those drops. The breed naturally tears. If a vet cannot give any answers you could consider an eye specialist too. Both Leo and Jaspar had very teary eyes until about a year old. Jaspar has hardly any tearing now; Leo a bit. Lily has quite a bit. You can see from discussions on how to remove tear stains on this board, that it IS a very common thing in cavaliers and not indicative of an eye problem! But you do want to make sure Sam doesn't actually need drops before you stop giving them.

    Sam may just be small enough and submissive enough to be of interest to lots of males. Jaspar tends to attract lots of interest, still, from male dogs. He is neutered. I have no idea why but some on this board have seen how some other males will run over to him and won't leave him alone at times. For a puppy this can be intimidating but unless the other dogs are really bothering him I would just let him meet and greet, or just politely and calmly walk away and eslewhere with him if other dogs look like they are going to be a problem. You don;t want him to associate seing dogs with YOU 'running away' every time as that teaches him that you see them all as threats to avoid, so when you do feel it is better to move n, do so cheerfull and in a relaxed way, calling him along. You can also bring along small treats to quietly give to him when other dogs are near so that he associates other dogs with good things happening. This is what I do with Lily. It is good for dogs to socialise if at all possible. Also the more controlled environment of a training class might be easier for him.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New Jersey USA
    Posts
    2,995
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    If you have clinics near you, you might also want to take him to a clinic.

    I was a little concerned about Lucky - he tears a lot and was also blinking a lot - so I took him to a clinic for $25. It was about an hours drive, but he saw an opthamologist, not just a vet and it put my mind at ease.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks!!

    I'll have to stop feeling sorry for Sam because of his eyes. He might be perfectly happy At least he's got lots of extra cuddles out of it (+ some very annoying eye drops).

    The dogs' attraction to Sammy might be just that he is so submissive - he always has his tail between his legs and is practically crawling when he greets other male dogs. It's just that it was so intense, not just one or two dogs. I did try leaving him be for a while. He was literally surrounded by 4 dogs, all trying to jump on him. He started to defend himself eventually, but it looked horrible to see him in the middle of them. When he started growling and snapping at them, it eased up a bit, but they still kept trying. I know that he should learn how to defend himself, but I'm worried that he'll learn to growl and snap at all male dogs. I would be so mad with myself if I let him fend for himself, and it turned out not to be just a normal learning curve of doghood. He does get lots of treats in the dog park, by the way. And I will try to be calmer about it in the future, and just 'happily' move the dogs away or then just leave.

    On a more positive note, he does meet other puppies at the training classes, although they don't get to play together. And he has a female Finnish Lapphund friend who he just adores. They play together for hours a few times a week. He cries his head off in excitment when he knows we're heading to her place.
    Last edited by laram; 12th April 2007 at 02:48 PM.
    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •