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The Scottish Terrier is widely regarded as one of the most noble breeds of dog. The "Diehard", as they're known, are renowned for their courage and ferocity in spite of their small size, as well as the strong degree of loyalty that they possess for the the humans to whom they become bonded. This degree of nobility, however, does not come without its price. The Scottish Terrier has the distinction of having a disease named after it in particular, for among all dogs, only the Scottie is said to suffer from it. This disease is known as the Scottie Cramp. [...]
The sebaceous glands are glands in the skin that are responsible for producing sebum, a fatty lubricating oil that prevents skin from becoming dried out and brittle. In dogs with the disease known as sebaceous adenitis, however, these glands suddenly become severely inflamed and shortly thereafter are destroyed for reasons that still are not well understood. After the gland is destroyed, no sebum can be produced, and the result is incredibly dry and brittle skin that is prone to cracking and scaling.
Sebaceous adenitis is usually first observed in young adult dogs. Akitas, Samoyed, and Poodles seem to be affected the most. The disease can first be identified by the observation of dry scaly skin along the head, top and back, accompanied by severe hair loss. [...]
As in humans, canine seizures are defined by a repeated, involuntary behavior or movement with an unapparent stimulus. They are typically broken down into three different classifications that are treated and handled differently.
Generalized, or grand mal seizures are by far the most common type. Grand mal seizures usually involve the entire body and are typified by the often seen cyclical stiffening and contracting of the muscles, over and over again, alternately. The victim of a grand mal seizure usually loses consciousness.
Partial seizures are those seizures which originate from a very specific area of the brain and as such manifest only in a very specific area of the body. A twitching limb or spasming eyes might be a sign of partial seizures. [...]
Dachshunds and Basset Hounds may look cute as they scurry around on their short legs, but the familiar shape of these short-legged breeds is actually due to a congenital defect that results in a form of dwarfism. Specifically these animals have achondroplasia, an improper development of the cartilage at the end of the animal's long bones. It's a defect that can occur in any breed of dog, and is always present in certain breeds like the two mentioned above.
Achondroplasia is one of several types of chondodystrophies, in which the cartilage does not develop properly in the womb, distorting the animal's bones. A dominant genetic defect, achondroplasia appears in about one out of every 10,000 births, and can usually be diagnosed at birth, since the deformities are easily visible. Any dog with the defective gene will be affected, and if the dog is bred, its offspring have a 50 percent chance of being achondroplasic. [...]
Malamutes and Huskies are two very hardy breeds of dogs that have been developed to withstand horrifically cold temperatures and work in the most inhospitable climates and conditions. These wonderful dogs, though healthy and hardy, can have one major health problem and that is an inability to absorb and use the zinc in their diets. Some of the giant breeds such as the Great Dane may also have inherited problems in absorbing zinc, leading to long term zinc deficiencies that do not respond to typical feeding routines.
Zinc deficiency can also occur in dogs that are not fed enough meat in their diet or are fed a mostly vegetarian diet. In some cheap types of foods the zinc may be bound in unusable forms to the dog and therefore is just the same as not having it in the diet at all. [...]
Ununited anconeal process is a form of elbow dysplasia that is inherited. This condition is present at birth and can range in severity from mild and relatively unnoticeable to a severe impairment in the dog's ability to move. In some cases ununited anconeal process is very painful on an ongoing basis for the puppy or dog, while in others the pain seems minimal and may only flare up if the dog is exercised more than usually or has been relaxed for a long period of time and then suddenly gets up to move.
Ununited anconeal process is inherited by a polygenetic factor, which means that more than one gene combination causes the condition. This complicates the ability to simply breed out the condition within a line or breed since there are many different genes that could be involved. [...]
Dogs that are diagnosed with a condition known as thrombocytopenia will have problems with both bleeding and bruising due to a low number of platelets in the blood, which will prevent the blood from clotting. This condition can be fatal, especially if the dog is seriously injured and has internal or external bleeding that cannot be stopped. In addition if the dog's platelet count drops below a certain level they can start spontaneously bleeding internally which is almost always a fatal condition.
There are two different types of thrombocytopenia. The first type is called immune-mediated thrombocytopenia and is hereditary in nature. The breeds most commonly seen with this inherited condition include Poodles, American Cocker Spaniels and Old English Sheepdogs. It is much more prevalent in females, which is one of the key factors in determining that it is a sex-linked genetic condition. [...]
There are many breeds that are prone to excessive tear production just as some breeds are more prone to dry eye conditions and lack of tear production. Either condition can be a direct result of injury, genetic conditions or infections to the eyes that are inhibiting or stimulating the tear gland functioning.
In cases where excessive tearing is noted there are usually both genetic and health factors at work. In breeds such as the Maltese, Miniature Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Shar Pei, Pomeranian and American Cocker Spaniel excessive tear formation, also known as epiphora, is very common. In white and light colored dogs the result may be a reddish stain down the muzzle from the eyes, typically known as red yeast stain. In darker colored the dogs the tear stain may be much less noticeable, but there may be a slightly yeasty or dank smell about the head of the dog. [...]
Swollen hock syndrome is most common in the Shar Pei breed and goes by many different names, depending on where you are and what the local breeders are referring to the condition as. In some areas it is called Familial Shar Pei Fever, Hock Fever or Systemic Amyloidosis. Not a true fever as such, swollen hock syndrome is caused by an inability of the body, namely the kidneys and liver, to correctly break down and remove amyloidal proteins from the body. These amyloids can collect in the joints, bones and muscles resulting in the swelling and tenderness in the legs, muzzle and other muscles of the body. [...]
The medical term for pinched nostrils is stenotic nares and it is a common problem in many of the brachycephalic or pug-nosed dogs. These breeds seem to have a huge list of respiratory problems that can develop over time due to their short head formation and the compact nature of the respiratory system. Stenotic nares in themselves may not be problematic for the dog unless there are other complications that make breathing difficult for the pet.
The most common breeds affected by stenotic nares include Pugs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, English Bulldogs, Boxers and Shih Tzus. These dogs are born with cartilage malformations in the nose that limit or restrict the opening of the nostril, slightly to greatly reducing the airflow through the nose. [...]
One of the only known dogs to have a condition known as stationary night blindness, the Briard dog of Sweden is now in the cutting edge of DNA testing to determine a specific test to clearly identify carriers, affected dogs and non-affected dogs.
Stationary night blindness is characterized by various degrees of blindness in the Briard dogs that may become progressively more pronounced as the dog matures or may remain relatively constant. This variation can go from slight loss of vision in shadows or dark areas to almost complete blindness even in full light. Since the dog's will have temperament changes when they start to loose their vision this is often the first indication that there is something wrong with the dog. [...]
One of the most frustrating issues with treating dogs with skin allergies is trying to determine exactly what is the source of the irritation, known as the allergen. For many dogs it is fleas, well not exactly the fleas themselves but the saliva they secrete as they bite and feed off the dog. There are many different allergens in flea saliva and these are considered to be some of the most problematic conditions for dogs as they are so concentrated even a single bite can cause irritation across a large part of the dog's skin.
Food allergies are also very problematic for many dogs. Often these allergies are to gluten or wheat products in the food but they can also be from corn, preservatives and even flavorings and colorings used in the food. Since most commercially produced dog foods have the same ingredients, owners may need to go to a BARF or bones and raw foods or other natural type diet to eliminate the problematic ingredients from the dog's food. [...]
One of the most common diseases or conditions found in adult dogs is diabetes mellitus. It is caused when the endocrine system, most specifically the pancreas, does not produce enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar in the body. This leads to "highs" and "lows" in blood sugar, both which can be life threatening if they are too high or too low.
Thankfully diabetes is a relatively common (about 1 in 500 dogs will be diagnosed with the disease) and easy to diagnose condition in dogs that is usually very easy to manage, although it is not curable. Since the conditions that are problematic in diabetes are the sugar highs and lows in the blood, insulin can be used to maintain the blood sugar at a constant level throughout the day. [...]
One of the more catastrophic ailments that can affect your large-breed dog is a condition known as Wobbler Syndrome, or clinically as cervical vertebral instability.
This syndrome occurs when the spinal cord is compressed in the cervical (neck) area. This compression, or pinching, happens because the vertebra through which the cord passes is malformed or misaligned. The compression injures the part of the spinal cord that's necessary for an animal to stand and/or move normally.
What causes these deformities in the vertebrae isn't yet known, but it is believed to be related to both genetics and nutrition. In some young dogs, Wobbler can develop if the animal is fed a diet excessively high in protein, calcium and phosphorus, in an attempt to accelerate the growth process. This is believed to cause the skeletal changes that occur in some affected dogs. [...]
There are many types of heart disease that can affect your dog, and one of the more serious of these is a condition known as cardiomyopathy. There are several types of this fatal disease, and they are a major cause of irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), congestive heart failure and sudden death. The two most common include a condition known as arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM) and a second known as idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. In many cases, the dog will develop ACM first, and then the condition will develop into DCM.
The term cardiomyopathy literally translates to "sick heart muscle." It occurs when the walls of the heart muscle become thin, weak and unable to contract properly. The left side of the heart is normally affected the most, but both sides can become enlarged. [...]