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Life-Shortening Conditions That Affect Havanese Dogs: A Guide to Common Causes of Death

Last Updated on January 26, 2024 by admin

Owners of Havanese dogs, beware—this breed faces a number of life-shortening conditions. Read on to learn more about the common causes of death in Havanese dogs and how to potentially prevent them.

Common Causes of Death in Havanese Dogs:

1. Heart disease:

  • The most common cause of death.

2. Liver disease:

  • Another common cause of death.

3. Cancer:

  • A leading cause of death.

4. Stroke:

  • More common in older dogs.

5. Trauma:

  • As a result of being hit by a car or falling from a height.

Key Takeaways:

  • Heart disease: leading cause of death in Havanese dogs

  • Liver disease: major cause of death in Havanese dogs

  • Cancer: common cause of death in Havanese dogs

  • Strokes: life-threatening in Havanese dogs, especially older ones

  • Trauma: can be fatal to Havanese dogs, especially from car accidents or high falls

Do Havanese Have a Lot of Health Problems?

Heart disease, particularly degenerative valve disease, is the most prevalent cause of death in Havanese dogs. This condition affects the valves in the heart, leading to improper blood flow and eventually heart failure.

While Havanese dogs are generally healthy and have few genetic health issues, they are prone to specific ailments that can contribute to their mortality if left untreated. Liver disease, including chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, is a significant cause of death among Havanese. Additionally, cancer is a leading cause of death in Havanese, with lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma being particularly common types.

Moreover, Havanese dogs can suffer from hereditary eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma, which can result in vision impairment or even blindness if not properly managed. Joint problems, including hip dysplasia and luxating patella, are also prevalent among Havanese, potentially leading to mobility issues and pain.

Owners considering adopting a Havanese should be aware of these potential health concerns and take appropriate preventive measures, such as regular veterinary checkups and a balanced diet, to help their furry companions live long and healthy lives.

Do Havanese Get Dementia?

The most common cause of death in Havanese is liver disease. Liver disease is a serious condition that can lead to liver failure and death. Symptoms of liver disease in Havanese include vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and abdominal pain. If you think your Havanese may have liver disease, it’s important to take them to the vet right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve the chances of a successful outcome.

In addition to liver disease, there are several other common causes of death in Havanese, including:

  • Heart disease: Havanese are prone to a number of heart conditions, including degenerative valve disease and heart failure.

  • Cancer: Havanese are also at risk for certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma.

  • Pulmonary disorders: Havanese can develop respiratory problems, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

  • Gastrointestinal problems: Havanese can experience digestive issues, such as pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Neurological disorders: Havanese are susceptible to a variety of neurological conditions, including seizures and strokes.

It’s important to be aware of the common causes of death in Havanese so that you can take steps to prevent them. By providing your Havanese with a healthy diet and exercise, and by taking them to the vet for regular checkups, you can help to increase their chances of a long and healthy life.

Havanese Cause of Death

Unveiling the Leading Cause of Death in Havanese

Delving into the factors that contribute to the mortality of Havanese, we find liver disease as the most common culprit. This prevalent condition, characterized by the deterioration and scarring of liver tissue, poses a significant threat to these beloved canine companions.

Liver disease in Havanese can manifest in various forms, including cirrhosis, a condition marked by the irreversible scarring of liver tissue, and hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver often caused by viral infection. These conditions impair the liver’s ability to perform its vital functions, leading to a cascade of health complications and ultimately posing a grave threat to the dog’s life.

While liver disease stands as the primary cause of death in Havanese, other factors also contribute to their mortality. Cancer, a relentless disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth, takes the lives of many Havanese. Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, and hemangiosarcoma, a cancer that originates in blood vessel cells, are two of the most common types of cancer seen in this breed.

Degenerative valve disease, a condition that affects the heart valves, leading to improper blood flow, also poses a significant threat to Havanese. As the heart valves deteriorate, the heart must work harder to pump blood, eventually leading to heart failure and potentially death.

In addition, strokes, sudden interruptions of blood flow to the brain, can be life-threatening, particularly in older Havanese. These events can cause neurological damage and impair the dog’s ability to function, potentially leading to death.

Recognizing the leading causes of death in Havanese is crucial for dog owners and veterinarians alike. By staying informed about these conditions and taking proactive measures to prevent or manage them, we can help ensure that these cherished companions enjoy long, healthy, and happy lives.

What Is the Disease Predisposition of the Havanese Dog?

Cancer is the most common cause of death in Havanese dogs, followed by liver disease and degenerative valve disease. Liver failure, cancer, and advanced age are all common causes of death for Havanese dogs. Providing proper veterinary care, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing underlying health conditions are essential for maximizing a Havanese dog’s lifespan and overall well-being.

Neurological Disorders

Neurological ailments are the most frequent cause of death in Havanese dogs due to their breed-specific susceptibility to various neurological disorders. Idiopathic epilepsy, a condition characterized by recurrent seizures, poses significant treatment challenges and can be fatal if not managed effectively. Syringomyelia, a condition wherein a fluid-filled cavity forms in the spinal cord, can lead to pain, neurological complications, and ultimately paralysis. Chiari-like malformation, characterized by brain herniation into the spinal cord, also presents neurological challenges such as walking and balance difficulties. These neurological disorders significantly contribute to the mortality rate in Havanese dogs.

Valvular Endocarditis

Valvular Endocarditis (VE), a bacterial or fungal infection of the heart valves, stands as the most common cause of death in Havanese. Havanese dogs, compared to other breeds, exhibit a higher susceptibility to VE, often developing the condition when bacterial or fungal infections elsewhere in the body enter the bloodstream and reach the heart. Typically, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, and Candida infections cause VE.

In Havanese with VE, the most common abnormality is the presence of a heart murmur. Being vigilant for this symptom is essential for early detection and prompt treatment.

Havanese dogs, with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years and some living up to 18 years, often grapple with neurological conditions as the predominant cause of their demise. Idiopathic epilepsy, syringomyelia, and Chiari-like malformation are the leading neurological afflictions among Havanese.Idiopathic epilepsy is a condition that causes seizures in dogs and can lead to death if not treated properly. Syringomyelia causes a fluid-filled cavity to form in the spinal cord, leading to pain, neurological problems, and paralysis. Chiari-like malformation causes the brain to herniate into the spinal cord, leading to neurological problems such as difficulty walking and balance issues.

Apart from VE and neurological disorders, Havanese are prone to various other health concerns, including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, cataracts, glaucoma, Von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, heart disease, dental issues, and skin problems.

Heart Failure

The most prevalent cause of death in Havanese dogs is neurological conditions, with idiopathic epilepsy, syringomyelia, and Chiari-like malformation being the most widespread neurological disorders.

Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) is the most prevalent heart ailment in dogs, leading to a large proportion of deaths in Havanese dogs. The mitral valve, positioned between the heart’s left atrium and ventricle, fails to close properly in MVD. This causes a condition called regurgitation, where blood flows back into the left atrium during heart contraction (systole).

Regurgitation can have significant consequences:

  • Increased workload on the heart, potentially leading to heart failure.

  • Pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

  • Thromboembolism, a blood clot traveling through the bloodstream, obstructing an artery.

Symptoms of MVD can include:

  • Persistent coughing

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Lethargy, lack of energy

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

Management of MVD usually involves medication to alleviate symptoms and decelerate the disease’s progression. In some cases, surgery might be an option, although it’s a complex procedure with risks. The prognosis for dogs with MVD depends on the severity of the condition and the dog’s response to treatment. With proper care, numerous dogs with MVD can enjoy long, fulfilling lives.

MVD’s prevalence emphasizes the significance of regular checkups and early detection. Havanese owners should be vigilant about monitoring their dogs for any signs of MVD, as early intervention can significantly improve the outcome.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Havanese?

Heartbreakingly Common: Mitral Valve Disease and the Tragic Loss of Havanese Lives

In the vibrant world of canine companions, Havanese stand out as beacons of joy, affection, and unwavering loyalty. Sadly, their remarkable lifespan of 12-15 years is often cut short by the devastating grip of cardiac disease, with mitral valve disease (MVD) emerging as the most prevalent culprit.

Nestled between the left atrium and left ventricle, the mitral valve plays a crucial role in ensuring the proper flow of blood through the heart. However, when this valve malfunctions, dire consequences ensue. In MVD, the mitral valve fails to close tightly, causing blood to regurgitate back into the left atrium. This insidious process places an immense burden on the heart, leading to a cascade of debilitating symptoms and potentially a premature demise.

MVD’s relentless progression often manifests in telltale signs that no loving Havanese owner can ignore. Persistent coughing, labored breathing, lethargy that dampens their usual vivacity, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss are all poignant indicators of a heart struggling to keep up with the demands of life.

While there is no definitive cure for MVD, dedicated veterinarians can administer medications to alleviate symptoms, slow the disease’s relentless march, and improve the quality of life for affected Havanese. In some cases, surgical intervention may offer a glimmer of hope, but it remains a complex and perilous procedure, reserved for those cases where the benefits outweigh the inherent risks.

The prognosis for Havanese battling MVD hinges on the severity of the condition and their unwavering response to treatment. With meticulous management, many can defy the odds, living long, fulfilling lives despite the insidious disease. However, the outcome can be uncertain, leaving their devoted owners suspended in a perpetual state of worry and heartache.

MVD’s prevalence among Havanese is a poignant reminder of the fragility of life, even for our beloved canine companions. It underscores the importance of regular veterinary check-ups, vigilant monitoring for any signs of distress, and the willingness to seek prompt medical intervention. Together, we can strive to grant our Havanese companions the gift of a longer, healthier, and happier life, free from the clutches of this devastating disease.


Cancer remains a prevalent health concern for Havanese dogs, with various types of cancer posing a significant risk as they age. Among these malignancies, lymphoma and osteosarcoma stand out as common and potentially life-threatening.

Lymphoma, a cancer affecting the lymphoid tissue, often manifests as swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, weight loss, and a diminished appetite. Osteosarcoma, on the other hand, affects the bones and may cause lameness, pain, and swelling at the tumor site.

Due to the complex nature of cancer development and the variability in presentation and progression, prompt veterinary examination is crucial. This allows for early detection and timely intervention, improving treatment outcomes and potentially extending life expectancy in Havanese dogs battling cancer.

Renal Failure

Renal failure, a prevalent cause of death among Havanese dogs, accounts for roughly 10% of all fatalities within the breed. Chronic kidney disease (CKD), a progressive condition characterized by the gradual decline of kidney function, is the most common type of renal failure affecting Havanese dogs.

Numerous factors can contribute to CKD, including genetics, age, and various diseases like diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Havanese dogs with CKD may exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If left untreated, CKD poses a serious threat to a dog’s life. Fortunately, treatment options exist for CKD in Havanese dogs, including following a special diet, administering medication, and providing fluid therapy.

It is crucial to recognize the signs and symptoms of CKD in Havanese dogs to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can help manage the condition and improve the quality and longevity of life for affected dogs.

Remember, renal failure is a serious concern for Havanese dog owners, and understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options can help ensure the well-being of these beloved pets.