Short

Havanese: health of small dogs


The Havanese is not only a very lovable and cute dog breed, but also very robust. With good care, the little dog has a very long life expectancy and can live to be around 15 years old. Unfortunately, breed-typical diseases cannot be completely avoided - even if decent dog breeders do their best to mate only healthy animals. Havanese are small and cute, but they are still tough and robust - Shutterstock / Dorottya Math

Havanese are - if at all - susceptible to the so-called patellar luxation (PL), which can also overtake other small dog breeds such as the Yorkshire Terrier or the Chihuahua. In addition, it happens occasionally that Havanese suffer from eyes and blindness. Furthermore, pay attention to the fur care, so that the shaggy fur of your Havanese does not become matted.

Important for health: buy Havanese from reputable breeding

When buying a Havanese, make sure that the breeders show you the test results of the parent animals, which prove that they have no predisposition to breed-typical hereditary diseases that they could have passed on to your Havanese puppy. It cannot be completely ruled out that your dog will later have knee problems or lose his eyesight, but the probability is as low as possible. In addition, reputable breeders generally pay attention to the well-being of their dogs so that they are not plagued by parasites, vaccinated and socialized well. You can find even more tips in the guide "Buy Havanese puppies: you have to consider this".

Problems with the knee cap at the Havanese

Patellar luxation (PL) can be translated with "movable patella". It can be innate in a Havanese, but it can also occur as a result of an accident. There are different degrees of severity; In the lightest form, the kneecap shifts, but when you push it, it springs back so that your dog has no problems. At level 2 PL, the kneecap sometimes slips when your four-legged friend stretches the leg, but slides back into place when he actively bends the leg or you push the kneecap into place. Your Havi will sometimes paralyze or pause while walking and try to shake out his lame leg to push the kneecap in place.

If your Havanese always limps, the kneecap is so strongly displaced that it can only be moved into place by applying greater pressure. It is then a level 3 PL. Level 4 means that your dog can hardly walk because the kneecap is permanently displaced. Only surgery will help here. If your Havanese has problems walking, go to the veterinarian immediately so that they can have a close look at the extent of the complaint.

Havanese: Small fluffy dog ​​from Cuba

Havanese are prone to eye diseases

Eye problems are also inherited among Havanese. Cataracts can be observed increasingly in this breed, but so-called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is also a danger in small dogs that can be inherited. The cells of the retina continue to die, so that the animals gradually lose their eyesight. A blind dog can still lead a good life with the appropriate help, in which case you have to take special care of him and change your commands to sounds and noises, provided you have given signals via body language beforehand.

So your little dog stays as healthy as possible

Hereditary diseases cannot be handled with 100% certainty, but with the right care you can help your Havanese to be spared from avoidable diseases for a long time. His fuzzy fur needs regular fur care so that it does not become matted and no parasites nest or he gets skin diseases.

A healthy, balanced diet and sufficient exercise and employment is also important for the Havanese so that he does not become overweight or develop behavior problems from boredom. You can find more tips on this in our article "Havanese: The right care for your dog".