A dog’s health and well being is important to many breeders, Havanese breeders being no exception. There are a number of health tests available breeders can choose to use. Topic include: Spay/Neuter, genetics, health tests (BAER, CERF, Hip Dysplasia, Patella Luxation), holiday hazards, and so much more...
There may come a time that your Havanese will require surgery and/or need to be anesthetized for spaying/neutering, dental work, C-section, injury etc. While anesthetics are better and safer than they used to be, there is always some associated risk. Other than potential allergies and sensitivities, heart rate may slow, irregularities develop, blood pressure drop and body functions collapse.
Hereditary deafness in Havanese, while only mentioned recently, is not a new problem. Deaf Havanese have been appearing sporadically for years, but breeders… thinking it was an isolated incident, rarely shared the information. This heritable disorder has a complex mode of inheritance . It is not known at this time whether it is colour/ pattern linked as in other breeds with hereditary deafness.
Havanese, like any breed, can have congenital deafness. Baer testing is the only test accepted to confirm the hearing status of your Havanese. Baer is also one of four required tests for a Havanese CHIC number. There are two types of deafness found in Havanese - acquired and congenital.
CERF stands for Canine Eye Registration Foundation. A CERF exam is done by an ophthalmologist and checks for eye problems. Of course everyone knows that genetic testing is important in breeding stock but what about all the others and what about all the pets? At this time, heritable cataracts is a serious widespread genetic disorder in the Havanese.
Reputable breeders care about every puppy they breed and are committed to finding homes that will provide the same level of love and care they would themselves. While close placements with owners you have personally met are ideal, reality is that puppy buyers may be across the country or even across the world.
The Havanese is generally a healthy long lived little dog. This does not mean he is perfect. Just like every other dog breed, the Havanese is prone to some genetic hereditary disorders. Like other breeds with a very small gene pool, some of these issues may be compounded and widespread. As the breed is still quite young in its rebuilding, some disorders are just now coming to light.
Diseases affecting major organs: neurological disorders, liver shunt, and heart disease.
Hypothyroidism, a low thyroid is a common cause of skin and hair problems. Some dogs with low thyroid will show no symptoms at all or only a few symptom, while others show numerous symptoms. Possible symptoms include dry brittle hair, thinning coat and hair loss, dry flaky skin, cool skin, skin infections, weight gain with low food consumption, lethargy and fatigue, irregular heat cycles, infertility, inconsistent bowel movements, heat and cold sensitivity and excessive skin pigmentation.
Patellar luxation is the slipping of the kneecap. This may be as a result of injury or be a genetic predisposition. Patellar luxation can affect one or both legs. This condition is quite common in many small breeds including the Havanese. Some signs to watch for are difficulty straightening the leg, a hop I skip in the gait, limping or pain.
How important is Health Testing? Each individual breed has specific health issues that show up in lines and can be produced in offspring, the Havanese are no different. Ongoing research and proper health screening will help reduce such health issues in our breed. An eye test and patella check are the very minimum you should do.
While some health conditions occasionally occur, the Havanese remains a healthy little breed with a life expectancy of approximately 12 to 15 years.
HIPS: It has been a long held belief that Hip issues are exclusive to big dogs. While hip dysplasia most often occurs in medium, large and giant breeds, a number of small breeds, the Havanese included, can also suffer from hip problems.
Hip dysplasia is the hip disorder that most people are familiar with, but there are other conditions which can affect the hip area. One of these is Legg Calve Perthes Disease, a disorder of hip joint conformation.
Patellar luxation is also commonly referred to as kneecap luxation, slipping patellas, slipped stifles or dislocation of the knee cap. Patella Luxation may be congenital (existing from birth) or acquired.