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Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Inside the eye is a lens that focuses light on the back of the eye, or retina. Vision occurs at the retina. The structure of the eye is similar to a camera, which has a lens to focus light on the film. A cloudy or opaque lens is called a cataract.

  • If a disc in the spine degenerates or is damaged, it may bulge and put pressure on the spinal cord or the roots of the spinal nerves. This pressure can cause symptoms ranging from severe pain to weakness to paralysis.

  • Cervical stenosis is also known as cervical vertebral instability, cervical spondylopathy or Wobbler syndrome. It is caused by compression of the spinal cord, usually at the base of the neck.

  • "Cherry eye" is a common term for prolapse of the third eyelid gland. Many mammals, including dogs, have an "extra" or third eyelid located inside the lower eyelid. This serves as an additional protective layer for the eye, especially during hunting or fighting.

  • Chronic degenerative valve disease (CVD) is a consequence of degeneration of the valves between the atrium and ventricle on both the right and left side of the heart. The changes in the valves stops them from forming a tight seal between the atrium and ventricle when the heart is squeezing or pumping. This causes the valves to leak blood backwards into the upper chambers, and an abnormal sound called a heart murmur.

  • The kidneys have many functions. They principally act to remove waste products from the blood stream, regulate the levels of certain essential minerals such potassium and sodium, conserve water and produce urine. The kidneys have a large amount of spare capacity to perform their various functions so at least two-thirds of the kidneys must be dysfunctional before any clinical signs are seen.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or chronic bronchitis is a slowly progressing inflammatory condition of the lower airways. It most often affects small or toy breeds from middle-aged and senior dogs. The most common sign is a chronic dry cough. Exercise intolerance, collapsing, wheezing, or noisy breathing may develop as the condition worsens. Airborne irritants/allergens, chronic respiratory infections, obesity and dental disease are implicated in triggering the disease. Diagnosis can be made by ruling out other causes of cough through a minimum diagnostic database, radiographs, bronchoscopy, and cytology and culture of lung material obtained through tracheal wash or bronchoalveolar lavage. Treatment aims to minimize inducing factors including weight loss and avoidance of environmental irritants, as well as employing medications such as corticosteroids and bronchodilators. If using long-term, these medications are most often given using metered dose inhalers to manage the disease successfully.

  • Clostridial enterotoxicosis is a complex and poorly understood syndrome characterized by diarrhea that is associated with the bacteria Clostridium perfringens (CP).

  • The general condition of your dog's skin and coat are good indicators of its health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of dogs with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your dog also requires a properly balanced diet.

  • Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal disease caused by the soil fungus Coccidioides immitis. The early signs of coccidioidomycosis include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, and joint pain.