Breed Specific Healthcare

One of the many ways we can customize care for your pet, is to become experts on their breed. Having knowledge about medical issues associated with specific breeds assist us in providing individualized healthcare.

Purebred dogs and cats, even mixed breeds, often suffer from illnesses specific to their breeds. As a prospective pet owner, you may want to obtain a written guarantee of health from a breeder before purchasing a puppy; reputable breeders do their best to ensure that their dogs don’t succumb to breed-specific illnesses. Here are some common illnesses specific to purebred dogs.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia occurs when your dog suffers a subluxation in the hip joint. This causes abnormal wear of the joint, which leads to osteoarthritis. Dogs of all ages can develop hip dysplasia and concurrent arthritis symptoms; in some severe cases puppies as young as five months have displayed symptoms including limping and pain with exercise. For the most part, however, dogs develop hip dysplasia later in life.


Larger breeds are most at risk for bloat or gastric torsion. Bloat occurs when your dog’s stomach swells due to swallowed air, or when gas or fluid causes your dog’s stomach to swell dramatically. This swelling can cause the stomach to become twisted, cutting off circulation to the internal organs. Bloat is a serious, life-threatening illness that requires emergency veterinary care.

Any large, deep chested dog may be vulnerable to bloat. You can avoid bloat by feeding several small meals a day instead of one or two large meals, and by encouraging your dog to rest for an hour after eating. We offer stomach tacking, which significantly reduces the chance of illness. Ask a medical staff member for more details.


Hypothyroidism is a hormonal imbalance that occurs when your dog’s thyroid doesn’t function properly. Hypothyroidism is quite common in dogs; symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, weight gain, excessive shedding, discoloration of the skin, sensitivity to cold, and anemia. Hypothyroidism is easy to treat with daily medication.

Congenital Heart Disease

Heart disease is also common in dogs. Heart disease can be fatal, but, if caught early, can often be successfully treated with diet and medication.


Epilepsy in dogs may have physiological causes including low blood sugar, ingestion of toxins, organ failure, or brain tumors. However, many researchers believe that idiopathic epilepsy (or epilepsy for which there is no obvious cause) may be hereditary.