Found  Articles :: Page 5 of 25
Lumbar-sacral syndrome occurs when the nerve roots and spinal cord are compressed at the point where they pass through the lumbar-sacram portion of the lower spine, near the hips. The disease is also known as "cauda equine" syndrome.
This disorder can be inherited (congenital), meaning it is present at birth, or it also can be developed after birth. It can appear at any age and in both males and females, and is common in dogs that have been struck by an automobile. Large-breed dogs are affected more often than smaller breeds, and the syndrome is seen most often in German Shepherds. Dogs that are severely overweight also can develop the condition. [...]
Pelger-Huet Anomaly is an inherited condition in which certain blood cells are mutated, specifically the neutrophils and eosinophils, which are white blood cells actively involved in the immune system. The disease is passed through a dominant gene, which makes it critical that affected animals not be bred. [...]
Sunburned noses aren't solely the domain of small children in summertime. Certain breeds of dogs also can be sensitive to sunlight, causing them to develop lesions on their noses, eyelids and lips. Known as nasal solar dermatitis (NSD) or "Collie nose," it is an inherited disorder and is usually worse in locations with a sunny climate. [...]
Retinal dysplasia, or RD, is an inherited disorder in which the retina of the eye is malformed. To understand retinal dysplasia it's first necessary to understand the basics of the eye's anatomy. The retina itself is the nerve-containing structure in the back of the eye that takes in light and converts it into electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve, and interpreted by the brain as vision. Formation of the eye in utero is a complex, multi-stage process that is closely tied to development of the entire nervous system.
There are three forms of retinal dysplasia. The first and least serious occurs when the two primary layers of the retina do not form together properly, creating folds in the inner retinal layer. In geographic RD there are larger areas where the retina is malformed in addition to the inner retinal layer. In the most severe form of the disease, the two retinal layers do not meet at all, resulting in retinal detachment, or separation, from the rest of the eye. [...]
If you notice your dog squinting and pawing at its eyes, or if the eyes are red, inflamed and watering heavily, a trip to the veterinarian is in order. It's possible in this case that your dog may have distichiasis, a condition that occurs when the eyelashes grow abnormally, placing them in direct contact with sensitive eyeball tissue. The hairs are often long and stiff and grow out of oil glands within the eyelids. In most cases there are multiple improperly grown hairs, and both eyes are affected. Also, even though dogs usually have no lower eyelashes, in cases of distichiasis both lower and upper eyelids can be affected. [...]
One of the more miraculous parts of the mammalian body is the retina, a structure that fits snugly and smoothly against the inside back wall of the eyeball. The retina is responsible for sending visual images to the brain via the optic nerve. Or, in other words, it acts as the "film" in the camera that is vision. When the retina becomes separated from the support tissue underneath (the choroid, which supplies the retina with blood and oxygen) it can no longer function and is termed "detached." If not treated promptly and properly, the affected animal will become blind, sometimes within a matter of days. [...]
One of the more heartbreaking disorders that can strike your dog is an inherited brain disorder known as cerebellar abiotrophy. In this condition there is premature aging and deterioration of the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. In most animals with this condition, the cerebellum matures normally before the puppy is born, but then specific cells in the cerebellum, known as Purkinje cells, deteriorate steadily after birth. Occasionally cells in other areas of the brain are affected as well. [...]
In normal male canines, the testicles develop in the abdomen and then descend into the scrotum before or shortly after birth. In pups with a condition known as cryptorchidism, however, either one or both testicles fail to descend within two months after birth and are left underdeveloped and non-functional. The undescended testicle(s) may remain inside the abdominal cavity or else drop into the groin tissues outside of the scrotum. [...]
Watching any animal attempt to run and play while battling arthritis can be hard. Yet it's especially heartbreaking for owners whose animals have a form of rheumatoid arthritis known as Juvenile Onset Polyarthritis Syndrome. One of a wide variety of types of polyarthritis, this incurable disease strikes early and cripples the dog's limbs, causing chronic severe pain and lameness.
This type of arthritis begins with an abnormal immune cell response that causes too many white blood cells (the body's disease-fighters) to invade the joints. Once there they release chemicals that create swelling, joint pain and fever. Animals with polyarthritis often feel ill and are reluctant to move around. Rheumatoid arthritis is especially aggressive in eroding cartilage that cushions the joints. Plus, over time, it deforms the bones surrounding the joints as well, leaving the limbs deformed and unable to bear the dog's weight. The disease usually affects more than one joint; often all of the dog's joints are involved. [...]
Mention torn ligaments and most people are more likely to think of athletes than animals. However, this problem also occurs in many pets and livestock. In fact, one of the most common knee injuries in dogs is known as a ruptured cruciate ligament. [...]
Dermatomyositis (and its related disorder, ulcerative dermatosis) occurs when a dog's skin and underlying muscles become inflamed. The first sign of the disease is a series of lesions that appear on the skin by the time the dog is six months of age. In many cases, muscle problems also develop later on. In dogs the condition is similar to that of humans, producing blisters and crusting that occur mainly in the groin and underarm regions. [...]
As medical research teaches us more about the immune system, and as more and more autoimmune conditions are diagnosed in canines, especially purebreds, the issue of a dog's immunity is becoming a concern for would-be pet owners.
In all mammals, the immune system serves as the body's defense against disease. It's comprised of white blood cells, antibodies and various other chemicals the body uses in its war against infections and any substance it perceives as foreign to the host animal. It's designed to combat any of these cells that it identifies as "non-self," and it does this through chemical markers that are found on the surface of every cell in the animal's body. It's this natural combative design that causes a person's or animal's body to reject blood transfusions, organ transplants and skin grafts. [...]
We all know how painful it can be to have a single eyelash stuck in our eye. Imagine, then, the unending torment of an entire eyelid full of eyelashes turned inside out, with all of those lashes continually pressed against sensitive eye tissue.
This problem occurs in many breeds of dogs, and is known as eyelid entropion, or a rolling in of the eyelid. The condition is not only painful, but it also can cause ulcers or erosion on the cornea of the eye, resulting in scarring and reduced vision. [...]
One of the rarer conditions that can strike your dog is known as Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada Syndrome (VKH) or uveodermatological syndrome (UDS). In humans the disease is caused by an autoimmune response in which the person's own T-cells mistakenly attack the body's melanin-forming cells. These are the cells responsible for the color of a person's skin, hair and eyes. Specifically, the disease attacks the front portion of the eye, known as the uvea, which is the dark portion of the eye containing blood vessels. In many cases the iris also is involved, and occasionally the back portion of the eye is affected as well.
It's not yet known how UDS occurs in dogs, but it's believed to also be connected to the autoimmune response. Other potential, but not yet proven, causes include infections, metabolic disease, tumors and trauma or injury to the eye. [...]
If you've ever been kept awake by a dog that can't stop scratching, biting and licking itself, then both of you have suffered from skin allergies. Skin allergies, or dermatitis, are one of the trickiest problems to diagnose in an animal, since they can have many different causes. In its misery, the affected animal also usually worsens the problem by continually scratching and licking at the affected places, undoing any healing that's occurred. [...]