Hungarian Vizslas are lively, highly-energetic dogs that are very athletic and love being around people. These active dogs are great choices for pet owners who are very active and enjoy getting around. Vizslas are easy to groom and take care of; however, just as any other dog breed, even Vizslas are prone to different health issues and problems.
It is important to understand the most common Vizsla health problems so that you can care for your pet better and ensure that they live a healthy and active life. So, read on to know more.
Common Vizsla Health Problems
Dogs are prone to many different kinds of inherited bleeding disorders, ranging from mild to quite severe. Vizslas are particularly prone to relatively rare blood disorders such as thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenemia, canine Von Willebrand’s disease (a blood clotting disorder) and hemolytic anemia. Often the dogs seem to be quite normal until they have a serious injury or surgery, which can result in severe bleeding.
Vizslas are commonly afflicted by epilepsy, which is an inherited condition in the breed and can cause seizures. The seizures can be due to trauma, stroke, brain tumor or a metabolic problem. If your Vizsla is prone to seizures, they usually start when your pet is 6 months to 3 years old and can be controlled by lifelong medication. Your pet will also require blood tests periodically to monitor the effectiveness and side effects of these medications.
Bone and Joint Disorders
Vizslas are prone to various musculoskeletal problems that must be diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent your pet from suffering from undue pain. Vizslas are at a risk of hip dysplasia, which is an inherited condition that causes arthritis and as your dog matures, the stiffness in the hips may be a problem.
Your Vizsla may suffer from patellar luxation, where your dog’s kneecap can slip out. Your pet may not need treatment beyond medication, if the problem is a mild one. However, if the symptoms are severe, your Vizsla may require surgery to realign his kneecap to prevent it from slipping out.
Vizslas are particularly prone to developing arthritis, which can be treated with several treatments and the earlier you start the treatment, the better the results will be. Also, as your pet grows older, proper exercise and nutrition can help to reduce bone and joint problems. Don’t let your pet become overweight, because this can put a huge strain on your dog’s joints.
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While dental disease is quite common in all dog breeds, Vizslas are more prone to dental disease. When there is tartar buildup on the teeth, it infects the roots and gums, causing gum disease and if this is not treated, then your pet could even lose his teeth. Also, the bacteria from your pet’s mouth can enter his bloodstream, damaging his kidneys, liver and heart.
Vizslas are at risk of developing or inheriting various eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, canine entropion and distichiasis. If not discovered or treated in time, these diseases can cause your pet severe pain, reduced vision and even blindness. And so, it is very important to have your pet’s eyes checked by the vet regularly and be on the lookout for any infections.
Vizslas are at risk for developing different types of skin issues such as sebaceous adenitis. Typically, you may see that when your dog is between 1-5 years, he has dry and scaly skin and loses hair along the neck, back and top of the head. Treatment for the skin condition is usually long term and your Vizsla will require to be given fatty acid supplements and you must also use a special shampoo to remove the dead hair and skin.
Obesity is a common problem affecting Vizslas and this must be taken very seriously because obesity can cause joint problems or worsen existing joint problems and also cause other problems such as back pain, metabolic disorders and heart disease.
It is extremely important that your pet gets a good, nutritious diet and regular exercise. And, if you are tempted to feed your pet scraps from the table while or extra doggie treats, then you should remember that overfeeding can cause your Vizsla to become overweight and even obese, which can be dangerous for him.
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Like other dogs, Vizslas are also prone to viral and bacterial infections like rabies, parvo and distemper. However, fortunately, most of the infections can be prevented by vaccinations.
Vizslas, just like other dogs, are at risk of parasite infestation such as ticks, ear mites and fleas. And, if your pet drinks dirty, contaminated water, plays in the mud or is bitten by a mosquito, he may get worms.
Sometimes, the parasites that your pet carries may be transferred to humans, putting you and your family at great risk. So, it is very important to get your Vizsla checked and tested for parasites regularly and use preventative medication to avoid any infestations.
This is the 3rd most common type of cancer that is seen in dogs and Vizslas too. It affects different parts of the body like the liver, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow. Usually, lymphosarcoma is treated with chemotherapy and usually, around 80% of the treated dogs go into remission.
Often, several health problems and illnesses in Vizslas are genetic and can be prevented by correct breeding. Typically, these diseases are not detected when your pet is a puppy, so it can be quite difficult to predict if your Vizsla will be at risk of developing them later on.
And so, it is extremely important to find a reputable breeder, committed to breeding healthy Vizsla pups. The breeder you get your Vizsla pup from should be able to show you the certifications of the puppy’s parents and grandparents to ensure that they have been screened for different genetic conditions.
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Being aware and knowing all the potential health concerns of the breed will help you prevent some of these conditions from occurring later in life. Apart from ensuring that your Vizsla is from a reputable breeder, you should make sure that your pet gets his vaccinations on time, have a high-quality diet and routine exercise to ensure that he is fit, healthy and happy.