Havanese Dog Breed Health Concerns: What Every Owner Should Know

Havanese Dog Breed Health Concerns: What Every Owner Should Know

Owning a Havanese dog can be a joyous experience, thanks to their affectionate nature and lively personality. However, like all dog breeds, Havanese dogs are prone to certain health concerns that owners should be aware of. At Alta Vista Animal Hospital, we’re dedicated to providing you with the information you need to keep your Havanese healthy and happy. Here’s a guide to common health concerns in the Havanese dog breed.


Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates or moves out of its normal position. This can cause discomfort and lameness in affected dogs. Havanese dog breed is known to be predisposed to patellar luxation due to their small size and genetic factors. Symptoms may include occasional limping or skipping on one or both hind legs.


Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually leads to blindness. It is inherited and affects the retina, causing gradual deterioration of vision over time. Regular veterinary check-ups and early detection through specialized tests can help manage this condition and maintain your Havanese’s quality of life.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia is a developmental condition where the hip joint doesn’t fit together properly. This can lead to discomfort, pain, and eventually arthritis in affected dogs. While larger breeds are more commonly affected, the Havanese dog breed can also develop hip dysplasia. Maintaining a healthy weight, providing regular exercise, and feeding a balanced diet can help reduce the risk.


Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease affects the hip joint, causing degeneration of the femoral head (the ball part of the ball-and-socket hip joint). This leads to pain, lameness, and decreased mobility. It commonly affects small dog breeds like the Havanese and usually manifests in young dogs around 6-12 months of age. Surgical intervention may be required to alleviate discomfort and restore mobility.


Heart Murmurs

Heart murmurs are abnormal sounds heard during a veterinary examination, indicating turbulence or abnormal flow of blood through the heart. Havanese dogs can develop heart murmurs, which may or may not indicate underlying heart disease. Regular veterinary check-ups, including auscultation of the heart, can help monitor any changes in heart health and determine if further evaluation or treatment is needed.


Dental Issues

Havanese dogs are also prone to dental issues such as periodontal disease. Small dog breeds like the Havanese can be susceptible to dental problems due to their crowded teeth and small mouths. Regular brushing, dental exams, and professional cleanings are essential to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental disease.


Talk to Us

While the Havanese dog breed is generally healthy and long-lived, it’s important for owners to be aware of potential health concerns specific to the breed. Early detection, regular veterinary care, and a proactive approach to health management can significantly impact your Havanese’s quality of life. 

At Alta Vista Animal Hospital, we’re here to support you with expert veterinary care and advice tailored to your Havanese’s needs. If you have any concerns about your Havanese’s health or need guidance on preventive care, don’t hesitate to contact us. Together, we can ensure your beloved Havanese remains happy, healthy, and thriving for years to come.