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Megaesophagus is a disorder that affects the esophagus, making it difficult to digest food. This disorder can affect puppies as early as the weaning stage, and while some dogs will outgrow the disorder, others will need careful food management for the rest of their lives. In this article, we'll learn what Megaesophagus is, which breeds are predisposed to inherit the disease, and what forms of treatment are available.
[h]What is megaesophagus[/h]
In order to understand megaesophagus, we need to understand how the esophagus works. Content, such as food, in this case, moves through the esophagus and other tubular organs through muscular contractions, which are coordinated in waves. This process is called Peristalsis. When the peristaltic function doesn't work, this disorder is called megaesophagus. [...]
Meningitis is a disease that affects the meninges, or the membranes that cover the central nervous system. Most of the time, meningitis is a result of a bacterial or viral infection, but in some cases is can be the result of an inherited abnormality of the nervous system. In this article, we'll take a look at three forms of meningitis that seem to be inherited, as well as the most common form, Steroid Responsive Meningitis.
Beagle Pain Syndrome, obviously affecting beagles, can develop in puppies between three and ten months of age. The most common symptoms are fever, intense neck pain and depression. This disease can be diagnosed through a spinal tap. The disease can be controlled through steroid medication, which helps relieve the inflammation of the spinal cord. [...]
Hair follicle tumors are not pretty to have to deal with, but are typically not malignant or an indicator of cancer in dogs. There are several different types of hair follicle tumors, one that can be serious, so it is important to have any skin growths or tumors checked through a biopsy to ensure they are benign.
Some breeds are more prone to hair follicle tumors than others. Poodles of all sizes are somewhat predisposed to this condition as are Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds. There is no indication that either males or females will be more prone to having the condition and it can occur at any age and with any type of diet. It has also not been linked to any particular grooming procedure and it seems from the research it may be an inherited condition but conclusive research has not been completed to be able state this as a fact. [...]
Among the many inherited conditions that can affect your dog's eyes are a group known as corneal dystrophies. These conditions cause abnormal corneal development, usually in both eyes, and lead to various problems with the animal's vision. Depending upon the type, one or more layers of the cornea (the transparent lens that covers the front of the eye) will be affected. The major types of corneal dystrophies are:
Epithelial Dystrophy, which causes shallow but painful ulcers and erosion on the surface of the cornea.
Endothelial Dystrophy, which affects the function of the endothelial cells, causing a buildup of fluid in the cornea (also known as corneal edema). [...]
In human beings, bloating may sound like a fairly mild problem, brought on by a too-large meal or perhaps water retention.
In dogs, however, bloat is only one name for a life-threatening condition that's also known as gastric dilation-volvulus (GDV), stomach torsion or twisted stomach. Affected dogs will die within several hours if left untreated, and even with treatment more than a quarter of dogs with GDV die.
Bloat is a two-fold illness with several causes. First, for a variety of reasons, the stomach can fill up with air, putting pressure on nearby internal organs, on the large veins in the abdomen and the diaphragm. This in turn makes it difficult for the dog to breathe and prevents blood from returning to the heart. [...]
If you notice your dog is bruising easily or bleeding with no obvious cause, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Your pet may have one of several types of bleeding disorders that can affect canines. These disorders occur when the blood does not clot normally, in turn causing the dog to bleed abnormally or excessively after any minor injury or cut.
There are a number of warning signs that indicate your dog may have a blood disorder. Be watchful for any bleeding or bruises that have no obvious cause, frequent nosebleeds and blood in the animal's urine or feces. Also, the gums may be pale, and there may be tiny pinpoint-sized red spots on the gums or the whites of the eyes. If your dog becomes tired easily, he also may have anemia, which results from a reduced number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. [...]
Stars in your eyes are one thing, but "cherries" in your dog's eyes signal trouble. Clinically known as nictitans gland prolapse, cherry eye leaves a mass of red tissue visible in the inside corner of the dog's eye. The condition occurs when the dog's third eyelid pops out or otherwise becomes dislodged from its normal position.
Like cats, dogs have three eyelids - an upper, a lower and a third, largely invisible, eyelid which contains a tear gland and acts as a windshield wiper across the eye. It's when this third eyelid comes loose from its normal position (prolapses) and swells that the animal is diagnosed with cherry eye. [...]
Skin rashes that occur throughout time and that are directly caused by contact with a particular type of irritant are often classed as chronic eczema in dogs. These conditions will occur throughout a dog's life but often become more obvious and chronic in nature as the dog matures or if it is ill or stressed. All breeds of dogs can have chronic eczema but breeds that are most known for the skin condition include the German Shepherd, Dalmatian and the hairless breeds of dogs such as the Chinese Crested and the Mexican Hairless. Some Basenji dogs that have very sensitive skin are also prone to eczema. [...]
The collapsed or collapsing trachea is most commonly seen in toy breeds and very small breeds of dogs such as the miniature Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier and the Pomeranian. It is also very common in the short muzzled or brachycephalic dogs such as the Shih Tzu, Pug, Bulldog, Boston Terrier and the Pekingese.
Collapsed tracheas can also be seen in almost any other dog that has an injury to the throat area, has a severe or persistent problem with kennel cough or another upper respiratory infection or disease, is extremely obese or has an enlargement of the heart that pushes against the trachea. In rare cases dogs that have under gone a surgical procedure and have had a breathing tube placed down the throat may have problems with collapse trachea later if the tube was incorrectly inserted or if the dog already had the condition and the insertion of the tube made it more severe. [...]
Although any breed of dog can potentially develop congestive heart failure it is most commonly known to affect smaller breeds of dogs. To further add to the problem often these dogs exhibit few symptoms or signs to alert their owners to the ongoing, serious health condition that is slowly decreasing the heart's ability to function correctly. Since the signs of congestive heart failure are often very similar to what might be reasonable expected behaviors of an aging dog, often owners miss the first few subtle signs or assume they are just old age setting in.
There are three common and clear signs that owners of small breeds should be carefully monitoring their dogs for. These include decreasing energy and stamina levels, increased problems in breathing and increases in coughing either when exercising or when resting. [...]
Corneal ulcer is the correct medical term for any type of painful irritation to the corneal or outer protective layer of they eye. Corneal ulcers can happen from a variety of normal circumstances but they can also occur from specific medical conditions and diseases. In dogs the most common forms of corneal ulcers include scrapes and scratches of the eye or eyes from grass, debris or even the dog's own claws, entropion or eyelashes rolled inward to the eyeball, dry eye conditions resulting in abrasion or rubbing of the surface of the eye without lubrication and infections in the eye.
Corneal ulcers are typically noted by increased watering or tearing as the eye tries to soothe the irritated and painful area, refusal to open the eye or squinting, thick discharge from the eye or a red irritated appearance to the eye in mild cases. The dog may try to scratch at his or her eye continually or may rub the side of the head along the ground, on furniture or even against your hand or leg. [...]
Cushing's disease, more correctly known as hyperadrenocorticism is caused when the adrenal glands produce too much glucocorticoid, a natural steroid hormone. This overproduction can occur when the adrenal glands themselves are not functioning properly or when the pituitary gland overproduces the compound ACTH or adrenocorticotropic hormone, which in turn overstimulates the adrenal glands to produce the glucocorticiod. The adrenal gland malfunctioning type of Cushing's disease only occurs in about 20% of diagnosed cases with the pituitary overproduction of ACTH making up the rest of the 80%. Regardless of which of the two causes occurs, the general symptoms will be the same although the treatment options will be different. [...]
Hind leg paralysis, commonly known as Dachshund paralysis is most common in the long backed breeds. The Dachshund has been bred for centuries to have a disproportionately long back with short little legs to support his or her weight on either end. This results in a huge problem for the long spine, especially close to the middle where there is little support and the bulk of the weight. For Dachshunds that are obese this problem can become even more pronounced, however even very fit Dachshunds can have this problem if they injure their back jumping up or down or twisting. [...]
There are several different kinds of heart diseases that can affect puppies and dogs. Just like with people, some dogs appear more likely to get these disease based on their genetic make-up as well as their lifestyle and nutrition. In some cases heart disease are more problematic within the breed as a whole and reputable breeders continue to carefully select breeding pairs to avoid any problems with passing on the condition to future generations.
One type of heart disease that can happen in almost any breed of dog is a congenital heart condition. This is a heart malformation or disease that is present when the puppy is born. It can be genetic or be caused by a birth defect or injury or trauma when the puppy was developing. Often females that are stressed through disease, poor nutrition or injury during pregnancy are far more likely to have puppies with congenital conditions. [...]
Heat prostration, more commonly known as heat stroke, is a potentially fatal disease for any breed of dog, even those that are used to hot climates. Heat stroke in dogs is very similar to the condition seen in humans and occurs when the dog's internal cooling system is not able to sufficiently regulate the body temperature, leading to heart failure and death.
The breeds that are at the greatest risk for heat stroke are very active large or giant breeds and breeds that have the pug-type nose known as brachycephalic dogs. In the pug-nosed breeds the air passages that cool the air in the nose are too short to allow for proper temperature changes, resulting in breathing problems and extra stress on the body in extreme heat conditions. In the larger, active breeds the dogs simply don't realize that they are overheating until it is too late and they have begun to have problems in functioning. [...]