We all know how uncomfortable it is to have any type of intestinal woe. Imagine the agony, then, of a gastric torsion, in which the stomach and spleen can literally twist and kink. The condition is excruciatingly painful, and, if ignored, is invariably fatal.
Gastric torsion cases occur most often in large-breed, deep-chested dogs, such as the Bloodhound, Labrador Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Akita or Great Dane. This is a condition that is not connected to a dog's age or gender. In fact, cases can spontaneously occur in healthy dogs of all breeds, usually shortly after a meal. [...]
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. [...]
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. [...]
We have all heard of how excruciatingly painful kidney stones are in humans, imagine how painful and frightening this condition must be to a dog that cannot explain what he or she is feeling. Cystinuria is a congenital genetic defect, which means that puppies are born with the condition but it may not become developed until the puppies mature. That is not to say the puppies may not have trouble with kidney stones even at a young age, it will vary greatly from dog to dog. Factors such as overall health, other presenting genetic or congenital problems or even kidney and bladder infections can make this situation more problematic at younger ages. Breeds that are known to have problems with kidney stones include Scottish Deerhounds, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Boxers, Cairn Terriers, Corgis and Labrador Retrievers. [...]
Dogs, like people, can have sensitive stomachs that are easily upset or they can literally be able to eat anything without having any troubles at all. Some breeds are known for having problems with digestion and if you have a dog that does seem to be very sensitive to changes in foods or with problems with vomiting or diarrhea it is important to talk to your vet immediately to determine if this is just a simple food related problem or if it may be the signs of problems such as worms or more serious health conditions.
Most puppies and dogs will have some problems when types, amounts and even brands of foods are being changed or adjusted. Typically these conditions include food refusal, diarrhea and excessive flatulence. While unpleasant, there is little that can be done to correct these issues until the dog's digestive system has adjusted to the new food, which can take as little as two or three days or as long as a week or more. One way to minimize the chance of these conditions occurring is to very gradually change foods, rather than just suddenly feeding a new food or brand. [...]
Warm and hot weather safety for their dogs is something that all owners should know and understand as it could save their pets life. Regardless of where you live, summertime brings warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours and the need to understand and practice heatstroke safety for your dog. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to protect your pet and make sure that it does not get overheated or suffer any negative effects or even worse, death from the summer heat. [...]
Gastric torsion, more commonly known as bloat, is found in many breeds of dogs but is most often seen in larger breeds with deep, heavy chests. Typically breeds that have higher incidents of bloat or gastric torsion include Basset Hounds, Great Danes, Bloodhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Akitas, St. Bernards, Labradors, Old English Sheepdogs, Weimaraners, Boxers and Great Pyrenees. Other large breeds that are over 60 pounds may also exhibit this potentially fatal condition. Typically is it rarely of very seen in medium, small or toy breeds of dogs.
Typically bloat or gastric torsion is seen in older rather than younger dogs with most cases recorded with the at risk breed that are four to seven years of age. It is also far more predominant in males than females with vets reporting only 1/3 of all bloat cases being female dogs and 2/3 being male. [...]
There are several different types of kidney diseases that are common in various breeds of dogs as well as in mixed breed dogs. Since the kidneys of a dog work to filter wastes from the blood and produce urine to remove those wastes as well as help to balance various components of the blood, they play a large role in overall canine health.
Kidneys also work in tandem with other body organs and systems to help to regulate blood pressure, release and manage the production of calcium in the body, regulate and manage phosphorous in the blood as well as produce hormones that lead to the production of new red blood cells in the body. This is all done through the nephrons or tiny filters that make up the kidney. There are literally millions of these tiny filters each performing multiple tasks to keep the body healthy and free from wastes. [...]
Although commercially made dog food is designed to provide appropriate levels of nutrition for generally healthy dogs, there are some dogs that will have minor to severe digestive problems when on any type of commercial food. Luckily for most owners this is not true for all dogs, but there are some breeds that do have more sensitive digestive tracts. Dogs that are known to have digestive problems within the breed itself include: [...]
It is difficult to imagine that some of our beautiful Christmas decorations, plants and even the delicious Christmas meal and treats may in fact pose health risks to our dogs and cats. In reality a great number of the human holiday traditional types of decorations and plants are in fact very likely to cause illness, injury or even death. Keeping your dog safe over the holiday season doesn't mean getting rid of all your traditions and displays, but it does mean you can be aware of the issues and be proactive in keeping your dog safe over the holidays. [...]