One can imagine how uncomfortable dry, irritated eyes can be. Our dogs, who don't have the means to tell us what is bothering them, must often suffer in silence if this disorder isn't quickly detected. But Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS as it is usually abbreviated, can have grave consequences if it is not treated or is misdiagnosed. In this article, we'll discover what causes KCS, which breeds may be naturally predisposed to suffer from it, and what treatments are available.
[h]What is KCS?[/h]
KCS is caused by insufficient or abnormal tear production. It is for this reason that KCS is also sometimes called Dry Eye. Tears are mostly made up of watery secretions produced by the lacrimal glands, and a deficiency in this area can cause the dry eyes. Tears are very important to the health of the eyes; they clean and lubricate the corneas and help play a role in the healing of eye infections. [...]
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS as it is sometimes called, is a disease affecting the eyes, causing the eyes to become dry and irritated. One can easily imagine the pain that dry eyes can cause, and it must be doubly frustrating for our dogs who cannot always tell us what ailments are troubling them. Unfortunately, this disease is sometimes misdiagnosed, and leaving the disease untreated can cause grave problems and even blindness. In this article, we'll learn what causes Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, who can be affected, and what treatments are available. [...]
Lens luxation is only one of a host of ailments that can affect a dog's eyes. This inherited disorder, if untreated, can lead to glaucoma and inflammation called uveitis, both of which are painful and can lead to blindness. In this article, we'll learn about lens luxation, its symptoms and treatment, as well as which breeds are most at risk to inherit this disease.
[h]What is lens luxation?[/h]
Obviously, lens luxation affects the lens of the eye, which is found between the iris, or the colored part of the eye, and the pupil, the darkest part of the eye. Its function is to focus light onto the back of the eye, or the retina. The lens is suspended and held in place by zonular ligaments, which are tiny fibers. Lens luxation occurs when these ligaments break down and the lens is dislodged from its normal position. [...]
There are a number of liver diseases that can affect the health of any number of breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, there are no cures for some of them, but much can be done to help the dog stay active and comfortable during its shortened life. The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, including detoxifying the blood supply, removing waste, producing bile and aiding in digestion. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the diseases the liver can develop and what kinds of treatments are available. [...]
Osteochondrosis of the medial humeral condyle is one of the disorders that are caused by elbow dysplasia. Occuring mostly in larger breeds, this disorder affects one or both of the front legs. If diagnosed early, most dogs can go on to lead a very normal life. While most dogs that develop this disease because of genetics, other factors can lead to its development, including diet. In this article, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll discover what causes OCD of the medial humeral condyle, which breeds are predisposed to develop it, and available treatments. [...]
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. [...]
The Irish wolfhound is a relatively healthy breed of dog, but is occasionally affected by heart disease. There are different heart problems that may affect the Irish wolfhound, but the most common heart disorder is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Until recently, many Irish wolfhounds (as well as other dogs) died because there just wasn't enough research available for a local vet to correctly diagnose the problem as DCM. DCM is now much better known, so veterinarians will usually run tests to rule out this disorder, especially in breeds that are prone to developing DCM, such as the Irish wolfhound. [...]
One of the myriad heart problems which can affect your pet is a condition known as aortic stenosis or subvalvular aortic stenosis. With this condition, the blood flow is partially blocked as it leaves the left side of the heart (the left ventricle) into the aorta, which is the major blood vessel that transports blood to the rest of the dog's body. The obstruction can be a small nodule or a fibrous band of tissue, either of which is usually located just below the aortic valve, which is the dividing structure between the heart and the aorta.
Because of this obstruction, the dog's heart must work harder to pump an adequate supply of blood to the dog's body. Over time, this valve usually narrows even further, a condition known as stenosis. [...]
If your dog has a multicolored coat then it may be susceptible to a rare condition known as Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia, or BHFD. A hereditary disorder carried through recessive genes, BHFD can appear in any purebred or crossbreed dog with a multi-colored coat. An as-yet-unidentified genetic defect in the skin pigment (melanin) and in the hair shaft formation is believed to be the cause.
This condition causes the black or dark-haired portions of the coat to fall out when the animal is still a puppy or young dog, leaving behind bare skin. In the early stages, the pup's dark hair will gradually fade and take on a washed-out, gray or bluish cast. [...]
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. [...]
If you're fond of dogs that have a "smashed in" face, then your pet likely falls into a special category of canine known as brachycephalic. The term comes from two Greek words: "brachy," which means short, and "cephalic," which means head.
These types of dogs have been bred through the generations to have a normal lower jaw in proportion to their body, and a compressed, or shorter, upper jaw. Because of selective breeding, these dogs also have developed a number of health conditions that may cause concerns.
Specifically, these dogs often have brachycephalic respiratory syndrome, a condition that affects different areas of the respiratory tract. Breeds most often affected are Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Pekingese, Pugs and Shih Tzus. [...]
One of the more recently recognized disorders in dogs is one known by several terms, including Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome, CECS, or "Spike's Disease." A tricky disease that is often misdiagnosed as epilepsy, CECS is considered to be a problem of multiple body systems, including the metabolic, neurological and muscular systems.
The symptoms of CECS vary, and an affected animal may display many of them or only a few at one time. Symptoms include trembling, staggering, dizziness, exaggerated stretching, and an unusually slow or methodical posture while walking. Also, the dog's abdominal and lumbar (back) muscles may cramp severely, and the animal may fall over and be unable to rise. [...]
Among the many diseases that can strike the human and canine heart is a disease of the heart muscle itself. Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, causes the walls of the heart's four chambers to become enlarged and thus not function properly, and it usually is found in larger breeds of dog. [...]