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Many breeds of dog are vulnerable to specific health problems, and the Collie is no exception. These beautiful animals are subject to a genetically-carried eye problem known as Collie Eye Anomaly. It's a disorder that occurs deep within the eye and strikes all types of Collies.
Also known as choroidal hypoplasia, collie scleral ectasia syndrome and optic nerve/disc coloboma, it causes four main changes in the dog's eye. [...]
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. [...]
You may have noticed that your dog or puppy appears to have a metallic or opaque look to the outer layer of each eye, either in the middle or to the edges of the eye. In some breeds it may also appear like a crystalline growth in the eyes, or even as a smoky or smudgy area of the cornea. Any type of eye discoloration that is inherited, bilateral (affecting both eyes), and is not swollen or inflamed is known as corneal dystrophy. This condition is common in many different breeds of dogs and can strike at any age from just a few months old up to senior ages. Typically the condition affecting the dog's vision will slowly progress, decreasing sight in both eyes as the dog matures and ages. In some breeds the progression will be relatively slow while in others the condition rapidly leads to vision loss. [...]
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. [...]
You know how much it hurts when your lips are dry and chapped, well now imagine how it would feel to have the end or part of your tongue always dry and cracked. That is exactly what dogs with hanging tongue syndrome have to deal with every day. Although many smaller breeds such as the Mexican Hairless, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and some of the brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs are most prone to the condition it can also be seen in larger breeds such as the German Shepherd.
The condition is caused by an injury or trauma to the jaw or muzzle, a neurological problem or an anatomical malformation that prevents the dog from pulling his or her tongue back into the mouth. Normally dogs will pant and even sit with their tongues hanging out to stay cool, but they do pull the tongue back in to swallow and to moisten the surface. [...]
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 sensitivity or the inability to tolerate heat can be a problem in many breeds. The brachycephalic dogs or pug nosed dogs such as Boston Terriers, Pugs, Pekingese, Boxers, Bulldogs or Shih Tzus are the breeds most prone to problems in handling the heat but other breeds may have concerns as well. Some of the double coated breeds that have been bred for colder, northern climates can also be prone to heat sensitivity when moved to more temperate regions. Heat sensitivity can lead to the serious, life threatening heat stroke seen in dog's whose internal temperature rises above 107 degrees Fahrenheit. [...]
Have you ever noticed how some breeds of dogs have a little cork screw or screw-tailed appearance? Often these dogs tend to be the short muzzled or brachycephalic breeds as well, and their short little kinky tails tend to balance out their short, pushed in faces.
While the short little kinked tails may be cute in appearance, it is also an indicator of a deformation of the vertebrae of the spine, known as hemivertebrae. There are also some types of hemivertebrae or hemivertebra that can occur in other areas of the spine as well resulting in other malformations and movement problems. The breeds most likely to have hemivertebrae at the tail include Pugs, Boston Terriers and the English and French Bulldogs. The breeds that are most commonly seen with hemivertebrae in other areas of the spine include German Short Haired Pointers and the German Shepherd. [...]
Hemophilia in dogs, which can actually be type A or type B, is a blood disorder that prevents the blood from clotting at the site of wounds or injury. In normally functioning dogs without hemophilia there are series of compounds and chemicals that are released by the blood and body in reaction to an injury. Each chemical reaction leads to another, which then eventually results in the blood platelets being "glued" together by coagulants at the site of the wound, forming a sort of a natural dam that stops blood loss.
In dogs with hemophilia A, there is a breakdown in the chain of reactions at the factor XIII stage. This condition, as with hemophilia B, is inherited and is a sex-linked genetic deficiency, which means that it is almost exclusively seen in male dogs. Females can be carriers so in breeds prone to the condition, such as German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and Scottish Terriers, it is important to check the blood clotting ability of the female prior to breeding. [...]
While this may seem like an obvious question, in some cases the answer to "Is it a boy or a girl?" may not be so easy when it comes to some puppies. Within the canine species, as with almost any other type of animal, there are sometimes genetic mix-ups that result in congenital problems in sexual differentiation.
This condition, known as hermaphrodism, occurs when an animal is born with both male and female sexual organs. They may not be functional in the sense that the organs may not allow the dog to reproduce, but they can be present. Often hermaphrodism results in sterility in the dog and typically vets recommend both spaying and neutering to prevent any further complications that can occur in the rare case that the dog may conceive. Since hermaphrodism is a genetic mistake, there is a good chance that the puppy will also have other congenital conditions that may develop later. [...]
Although it sounds somewhat similar to hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism affects the body much differently. The parathyroid glands are located right next to the thyroid glands and work to balance the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by secreting parathyroid hormone or PTH. This hormone will cause the absorption or release of calcium from the bones in the skeletal system to regulate the blood calcium and phosphorus levels. The Keeshond is the breed most commonly associated with primary hyperparathyroidism.
There are actually two different types of hyperparathyroidism caused by two very different sets of circumstances. The first type of hyperparathyroidism, called primary hyperparathyroidism is caused when the parathyroid glands become tumerous. Usually the tumor is benign and is known as an adenoma. This tumor causes the parathyroid to produce large amounts of PTH, resulting in highly elevated calcium levels in the blood. [...]
Just like people dogs need to have sugar in their blood to supply the body and brain with the fuel it needs to work properly and efficiently. In some breeds, particularly the toy dogs such as Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians and Maltese hypoglycemia can be a problem in adult dogs that simply don't have enough body fat to carry their blood sugar between meals. Most of these small breeds have a significant drop in blood sugar that can trigger hypoglycemia if fasting for more than eight hours.
Another type of hypoglycemia is called juvenile hypoglycemia that occurs when puppies are weaned and switched to regular dog foods. Often these puppies do not eat properly or skip meals, leading to rapid drops in blood sugar resulting in seizures, lethargy and poor growth and development. The smaller breed puppies, especially those that are bred to be teacup or toy are most prone to the problem, but any puppy that is not getting proper nutrition can develop the symptoms. [...]
One of the most distinguishing features of the Bulldogs, either English or French is their unique very small, often very kinky or corkscrew tail. This is a breed trait and while common is typically considered a fault or must be clearly defined as a screwed tail with definite kinks. A corkscrew tail may also be called an ingrown or internalized tail and is not as commonly noted in any other breed other than the Bulldog. Occasionally a Shar Pei or Bichon Frise may have what is known as a corkscrew tail or pig tail, but this is typically considered a disqualifying fault in these breeds.
The Bulldog often have a growth problem in the tail that actually leads to the tail growing inwards instead of outwards. This tends to leave a rather large, or small, depending on the age and size of the dog, cleft or indentation just where the tail would normally be. [...]