Cataracts are one of the most common eye problems in dogs, and they show up in canines of all breeds and in animals both young and old. As with humans, the only successful treatment is surgery.
The word "cataract" literally is Latin for "break down," and refers to a problem that develops with the fibers in the lens of the eye. The disruption of these fibers causes the lens to become cloudy, reducing vision. There are several types of cataracts, which have different causes. All, however, result when the biochemistry of the eye (66 percent water and 33 percent protein), becomes out of balance. The end result is that too much water remains in the lens of the eye, while the percentage of insoluble proteins increases. The combination causes the cloudy white coating, loss of transparency and loss of vision characteristic of cataracts. [...]
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 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. [...]
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. [...]
Hearing loss in dogs, as in humans, can be caused by a wide range of disease, trauma, and/or congenital problems. In congenital cases, the dog is born deaf. Hearing loss can come on suddenly or gradually due to injury, disease, ear infections, exposure to loud noises or explosions, or simply the wear and tear of old age.
Hearing loss is categorized as unilateral (affecting one ear only) or bilateral (affecting both ears). Dogs with white or partially white coats are often subject to a congenital form of deafness connected with the special pigmentation in their skin. In these cases the dog may have unpigmented skin in the inner ear, which causes the nerve endings inside the ear to wither away and die when the affected puppy is only a few weeks old. The end result is deafness.
Unlike some conditions, hearing problems are usually noticeable to the pet owner. [...]
It's startling for many pet owners to learn that their furry friends also are susceptible to allergies, including hives (urticaria). Contact with plants, insect stings, or certain types of food can cause a dog to break out in hives. While usually not serious and rarely lasting for more than a few days, these welts are extremely itchy, and many dogs will scratch themselves raw during an outbreak. In conjunction with this problem, many dogs also develop swelling of the face, a condition known as angiodema.
The good news is that hives aren't very common in animals. Those that are affected, however, tend to have them constantly, and it can become a challenge to identify the cause. Complicating the problem is that an animal may suddenly develop an allergy to something that it has been around its entire life without prior problems. [...]
Cataracts are one of the most well-known forms of eye disease, appearing as a cloudy or opaque spot that changes the lens of the eye and causes it to lose its translucence. Cataracts may be limited to a small section of the lens, or they may grow to affect the entire eye. Cataracts also can strike one or both eyes, depending upon the cause. If left untreated, cataracts inevitably end up costing the dog its sight.
Many breeds are prone to inherited cataracts, which can be passed along through both dominant and recessive genes. Inherited forms result in what are known as primary cataracts. [...]
Many dogs experience skin conditions throughout their lifetime, and the bulk of these are caused by allergies. Canines react to many of the same allergens as humans, specifically flea bites, dust and dust mites, trees, grasses, weed pollens, milk and dairy products, foods and food additives (usually meats, grains, and chemical preservatives), rubber and plastic materials, and fabrics like nylon and wool.
Exposure to an allergen causes the affected dog's immune response to kick into gear, in an attempt to protect the dog. It does this by producing a protein known as IgE, which in turn attaches itself to "mast cells," which are disease-fighting white blood cells located in the animal's skin. This process also releases chemicals like histamine, which create many of the irritating symptoms of an allergy, including a runny nose. [...]
Flea bite dermatitis is caused by a hypersensitivity to the saliva of the common flea. Dogs that are allergic to the flea's saliva have incredibly severe reactions to the flea bites and can actually bite at their skin or scratch until they have open lesions and infections of the skin. Hair loss is also common when the dog becomes obsessed with licking and scratching at this incredibly itchy spots on their skin.
Flea bite dermatitis is typically most noted in the spring and fall when flea activity is at its peak. During these months even dogs that are treated with monthly flea applications will still be bitten by adult fleas, leading to the reaction. Unlike some allergens the 15 different possible compounds in the fleas saliva that a dog can react to do not seem to decrease in effect with exposure. Dogs that are sensitive will remain just as sensitive or become worse, not better, as they age. [...]
Follicular conjunctivitis is a condition that causes the whites and pink areas of a dog or puppy's eyes to turn red, become itch and irritated, and typically will produce lots of tearing. Some dogs and puppies will also start to squint to avoid opening up their eyes and causing further irritation. There are many difficult conditions that can cause the eyes to become red, itchy and swollen but follicular conjunctivitis is by far the most common and is actually relatively easy to treat if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. [...]
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. [...]
Most Spaniels, and this includes the Cavalier King Charles can have problems with their ears. The long ears are a breeding ground for fleas and ticks and if your dog knocks his ears when he gets over excited this can cause problems. You should always check the insides of your dogs ears on a regular basis as they are prone to getting a build up of wax. This can become infected and will eventually affect the dog's hearing. [...]
As mentioned in other places, each breed of dog was created to fulfill some kind of purpose and the ideal characteristics of that breed, as outlined in the breed standard, reflect that purpose. For example, Greyhounds are thin and aerodynamic for running down fast prey, while Bloodhounds have long droopy ears to catch scent. Some breed standards call for docking, or the surgical removal of part of a dog's tail or ears; this practice seems to be quite old, dating perhaps back to Roman times, and was purportedly performed to prevent injury to dogs who could have gotten bitten on the ears or tail or had burs or thorns stuck on their tails or ears. [...]
Dog lovers agree that everyone, everywhere, should have a dog. Dogs make great companions, work associates, and friends. But it is a sad truth that many people are allergic to dogs. And while there is not too much that many people can do to effectively control their allergies enough to have a dog in the house all the time, there is a solution that can severely undermine the dog hair allergy: the Portuguese Water Dog.
Most people who have dog allergies are allergic to the dog's hair. And with most dog breeds, especially ones with long hair, the coat sheds, particularly in warm weather. This leaves a layer of hair all over the house, and no amount of vacuuming can ever be enough to pick it all up. The Portuguese Water Dog, even though he has medium length hair, is considered hypoallergenic because he doesn't shed like other dogs of his coat-type. [...]