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Curly Health Links


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Health and Medical Problems In the Curly Coated Retriever

May your curly always be happy and healthy!

The vast majority of dogs of all breeds (as well as mixed breeds) can live long, healthy lives if given proper care and routine veterinary attention. Nevertheless, any dog can fall victim to a wide range of acquired problems. Each pure breed of dogs has its own particular hereditary problems some minor, some impairing, and some possibly fatal. Some may show a very strong hereditary basis and others not much more than a tendency to" run in families". The Curly-Coated Retriever is no exception and unfortunately as seen in other breeds, the problems tend to multiply as the breed continues to increase in popularity and there is an increase in indiscriminate breeding. Failure to screen for these problems before breeding often results in the "doubling up" of unfavorable genes, and the results are distressing for the buyer and dog alike.

A good Breeder of Curly Coated Retrievers should be able to discuss the health screening done with their breeding stock and other measures they've taken to reduce the likelihood of problems. They should be willing to guarantee against common problems and want to know of anything that might show up later in your puppy.

If your Curly should develop a major health problem, you should tell your breeder about it. This way, the breeder can remain informed about potential problems in their lines. Such problems would include those listed below and others, such as seizures, cancer, heart defects, and anything else that might be heritable.

Hip Dysplasia


Hip Dysplasia is an ongoing problems for all the retriever breeds as well as many other breeds of similar or larger size.

Hip Dysplasia is a malformation of the ball and socket joint in the hip, with varying degress of resulting impairment. Diagnosis is definitive only through proper radiographic (xray) analysis. Make sure the breeder supplies you with OFA hip reports on both the sire and dam of the litter.

Read one person's experience with a Curly and HD


Eye problems

Eye Problems - cataracts of various kinds, corneal dystrophy, suspected PRA, distichiasis, entropion, ectropion, PPM, retinal dysplasia. None are particularly common but all should be asked about and guaranteed for. All dogs used for breeding should have annual eye examinations. Make sure the breeder supplies you with current CERF eye reports on the sire and dam.

Cancer

More and more dogs of every breed are being diagnosed with Cancers. Is it environmental? Is it hereditary? Are we breeding dogs with weaker immune systems? If you are looking at a Curly pup, ask about the grandparents. Are they alive? How long did they live? What did they die of? Its scary to hear of dogs dying of cancer at 5 or 6 years of age. Some of the types of Cancer found in dogs:

Mast cell tumors are the most common malignant skin tumor in the dog. An adenoma is a benign growth of glandular tissue cells. An adenocarcinoma is a malignant growth of these cells most often originating (primary site) from the intestines, uterus and mammary glands. They often metastasize (spread) to the lungs. Fibrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor of the deep structures of the skin, specifically the fibrous connective tissue. Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor originating from blood vessels. These tumors usually occur in the skin, soft tissues, spleen or liver. Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a cancerous disease of lymphocytes, a particular form of white blood cells that originate in lymph nodes and bone marrow. Melanoma is a form of cancer in which the pigment-producing cells of the skin known as melanocytes multiply in an erratic fashion eventually invading the tissues that surround them. Osteosarcoma is a tumor of the bone and is the most common primary bone tumor in the dog.

Patterned Baldness

The "Curly Coat Problem" can be frustrating -- it is often misdiagnosed for other diseases such as thyroid deficiency, and it is detrimental to a breeding program trying to establish the proper coat. It is difficult to say how many Curlies are affected with this, as many are not shown, are not noticeably affected, or the problem is thought to be something else, such as wear from the collar. In mild cases, the patterning may appear once and then never again when the coat grows back in. While mildly affected dogs generally lead normal lives, it is an indicator of more serious trouble, as it is caused by some type of auto immune problem. Affected dogs are more likely to have allergies, reproductive problems; in its severest form, it affects the growth hormones and the dogs mature at about 40lbs.

Very often dogs with patterned baldness will have good coats as a puppy, with the bald spots appearing at sexual maturity. Bald patterning appears on the backs and/or insides of the hind legs, and/or on the flanks, and/or on the front and/or sides of neck, and/or the deepest part of the chest and/or as an overall thin or brittle coat. A minor indication of the problem are dogs that are fully coated but only have real curls on their necks and backs. The hair loss is very distinctly bilateral -- that is, on both sides of the dog. There are varying manifestations of this syndrome, from appearing nearly normal to being almost completely bald. In some cases, hair grows back after shedding, but within months rather than weeks.

Diets and supplements do not take care of patterned baldness. You should inform your dog's breeder (send clear, closeup photos of all the spots) of any symmetrical bald spots appearing on your puppy so that they can take this information into account in their breeding program. Unaffected dogs seem to produce affected puppies, implying a recessive gene or genes, but the exact mode of inheritance is unclear. Very few veterinarians know about this problem in Curly Coats.

Cardiac Problems

More and more Curly Coated Retrievers are turning up with Cardiac problems. A good breeder will be screening their breeding stock for cardiac problems. Ask the breeder for an OFA cardiac number for the sire and dam.

Gastric Torsion/Bloat in Dogs.
While it is not known if Bloat is hereditary, it tends to run in families. This may be due to body build and structure and temperament. If you own any deep chested dog such as a Curly Coated Retriever, Setter, Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, or Great Dane you must be made aware of Gastric Torsion or commonly referred to as Bloat.

Seizures, Bloat, Premature cancer, immune problems are all things you should also ask the breeder about.

One Curly's story with Seizures and how he is doing now

Curly Health Site




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    Addison's Disease, kept by Janyne Kizer, jmkizer@pagez.net.
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    Alternative Veterinary Medicine, kept by Jan Agar Bergeron, VMD (jbergeron@monmouth.com) and Susan Gayle Wynn, DVM (swynn@emory.edu).
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    American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists Homepage, kept by Ron Mandsager, DVM, aerrane@Okway.okstate.edu.
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    Amyloidosis, kept by lwaej@olemiss.edu.
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    Blastomycosis, kept by webmaster@canismajor.com.
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    Bloat, kept at the Purdue Veterinary School Home Page.
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    Breeding Medical Information, kept by Mary Wakeman DVM, szeder@neca.com

  • Canine Heart Disease
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    Repolarization Abnormalities, Arrhythmia and Sudden Death in Canine Tachycardia-Induced Cardiomyopathy
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    Integrative Treatment for Canine Heart Disease (Congestive Heart Failure)
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    Encyclopedia of Canine Veterinary Medical Information Heart murmur
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    Normal Canine Heart
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    AVMA Heart pages
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    PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS (PDA)
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    Texas A&M College of Vet Medicine Cardiology Service
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    Veterinary Heart Institute
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    Medscape - cardiology section
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    Sub-Aortic stenosis (SAS)
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    SAS (Sub-Aortic Stenosis) THE ARC HEALTH COMMITTEE REPORT
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    SAS (Sub-Aortic Stenosis) In Rottweilers
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    Canine Epilepsy Information Resources, kept by tolenio@world.std.com.
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    Canine Eye Registration Foundation, kept by webmaster@working-retriever.com.
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    Canine Health Networks, kept by prodogs@prodogs.com.
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    Canine Sports Medicine Update, kept by Geoffrey Clark DVM, 102261.454@compuserve.com.
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    Center for Veterinary Critical Care, kept by dezhug@corl.nbc.upenn.edu .
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    CERF Homepage.
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    Common Poisons Guide, kept by AVMA.
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    The Dog Genome Project, kept by Mellissa DeMille, dog@mendel.berkeley.edu.
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    Ehrlichiosis Page, kept by cdm@srv.net.
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    Elbow Diseases (Osteochondrosis Dissecans, Ununited Anconeal Process, Fragmented Coronoid Process, Degenerative Joint Disease), kept by Ron Mandsager, DVM, aerrane@Okway.okstate.edu.
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    Internet Vet Column, kept by Cindy Tittle Moore, rpd-info@netcom.com.
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    Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, kept by ?.
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    Lyme Disease
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    Lyme Alliance News Page
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    Lyme (TICK-BORNE DISEASE EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION)
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    Luxating Patellas, kept by George Back & Diane McManus, gback@teleport.com.
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    National Animal Poison Control Center Homepage, kept by Dr. Louise M. Cote, l-cote@uiuc.edu.
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    The NETVET, the best collection of Veterinary materials and links. Kept by Dr. Ken Boschert, DVM, ken@wudcm.wustl.edu.
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    Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, kept by ofa@offa.org.
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    Osteology, Canine. Kept by UC Davis, webmaster@vetnet.ucdavis.edu.
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    Pet Overnight Medical Care Association Homepage, kept by James Lemon, mijnomel@wizard.net.
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    Pet Vet, kept by L. Ackerman.
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    PRA Today, kept by the CGD organization, demille@itsa.ucsf.edu.
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    Puppy Strangles, kept by ?.
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    Spay Slide Show, kept by OBVC@aol.com.
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    Tick-Borne Diseases
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    Transitional Cell Carcinoma Resources, kept by Sydney D. Hoeltzli, sydney@biochem.wustl.edu.
  • http://www.cvm.okstate.edu/~ACVA/us.htm
    Ultrasounds on Pregnant Bitches, kept by Ron Mandsager, aerrane@cvm.okstate.edu.
  • http://www.dalmatians.com/dca/listing.htm
    Urinary Stone Formation in Dalmatians and Other Dogs, a compilation of assorted articles about this disease, kept by Brooks Holland, bholland@dalmatian.com.
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    Vaccination Protocol (new) from Colorado State Vet school.
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    Valley Fever Center (Coccidioidomycosis), kept by vfever@arl.arizona.edu.
  • http://www.shoalcreek.com/vin/
    Veterinary Information Network.
  • http://www.netrover.com/~eyevet/info.html
    Veterinary Ophthalmology page, kept by eyevet@netrover.com.
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    Veterinary Technology page.
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    VeterNet (searchable), kept by webmaster@veternet.com.
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    VetGen, Canine Genetic Services, kept by HealthyDog@vetgen.com.
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    VetInfo Index, kept by editor@vetinfo.com.
  • http://pserv.vet.cornell.edu/~vetplus/client-info.html
    VETPLUS-L Client Information Pages, kept by jeffp@blarg.net.


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