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Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Anemia is a medical term referring to a reduced number of circulating red blood cells, hemoglobin, or both. It is not a specific disease but rather is the result of some other disease process or condition.

  • The pupil is a round opening in the middle of the iris that allows light to pass through the eye to the retina. The pupil constricts or dilates (enlarges) according to the amount of light that enters the eyes, with both pupils normally dilating in dim light and constricting in bright light.

  • Antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are bacterial infections that are minimally or no longer responsive to commonly used antibiotics. In other words, these bacteria are resistant to antibiotics - they cannot be killed and their growth cannot be stopped. An infection that does not respond appropriately to an antibiotic is suggestive of an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection.

  • The word stenosis means narrowing, and aortic stenosis describes a narrowing along the aorta as it leads out of the heart.

  • An aortic thromboembolism results from a blood clot that is dislodged and travels within the aorta, becoming lodged in a distant location. This causes severely reduced blood flow to the tissues receiving blood from that particular part of the aorta, leading to decreased oxygen in the tissues. Aortic thromboembolism is a rare occurrence in dogs.

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex condition involving inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints.

  • Certain species of a common fungus called Aspergillus can infect the nasal cavity and sinuses of dogs, and can even become disseminated to different areas of the body. Dogs affected by exposure to this fungus are usually immunosuppressed. Diagnosis of either form, the nasal form or disseminated form can be difficult, usually requiring X-rays or more advanced imaging such as MRI or CT, as well as tissue biopsies and culture. Treatment of the nasal form involves topical administration of an antifungal agent while the dog is under general anesthesia, although oral antifungals such as itraconazole or fluconazole may also be used. Prognosis is fair to good in cases of localized nasal aspergillosis. Treatment of the disseminated form is more difficult requiring additional antifungals, such as amphotericin b; however these can be harmful to the kidneys.

  • The word "ataxia" comes from two roots: "a" meaning "lack" and "taxia" meaning "order." So literally, ataxia is a "lack of order," or incoordination, within the nervous system.

  • Atlantoaxial (AA) luxation is a condition in which instability, or excessive movement, is present between the first two vertebrae within the neck. This spinal disorder is most commonly seen in young, small breed dogs, such as Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas. Less commonly, however, large breed dogs and even cats can be affected.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions or twitching of the heart muscle, specifically in the atria. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in the dog occurs secondary to heart disease. Sometimes, in large breed dogs, atrial fibrillation will occur as a primary heart problem.