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Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Bites wounds are one of the most common reasons dogs are seen for emergency appointments with their veterinarians. The dog's teeth and jaws are very powerful and the wounds they inflict can crush or tear muscles and skin, penetrate through the chest wall and cause lung collapse, or cause serious or fatal damage to intestinal organs. All bite wounds are considered to be contaminated and/or infected. Left untreated, the bacteria in an infected bite wound will cause a localized abscess or more generalized cellulitis that spreads through the surrounding area. All bite wounds should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment will depend on the extent of the injuries, your dog's general health, and the location of the wounds.

  • Bladder stones are rock-like formations of minerals that develop in the urinary bladder. The most common signs that a dog has bladder stones are hematuria and dysuria. Bladder stones can develop within a few weeks or they may take months to form. Most bladder stones are visible on radiographs or an ultrasonic bladder examination. There are three main treatment options for bladder stones: 1) surgical removal; 2) non-surgical removal by urohydropropulsion, or 3) dietary dissolution. Prevention is possible in some cases, depending on the chemical composition of the stones.

  • Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelid and can affect one or both eyes. The affected eyelid will usually be red, swollen, and itchy. Any condition that can cause irritation of the eyelids can lead to blepharitis. Common causes of blepharitis include congenital abnormalities, allergies, infections, tumors, and occasionally other inflammatory disorders. Your veterinarian will conduct an eye examination to determine the extent of the eyelid involvement. Specific treatment for blepharitis will depend on the underlying cause of the disorder and the prognosis depends on the cause.

  • This handout summarizes the possible reactions a dog may experience when receiving a blood transfusion. Many transfusion reactions occur acutely, within seconds of starting the transfusion up to 48 hours post-transfusion. The clinical signs and treatment protocols both vary based on the type of reaction. Prior to a blood transfusion, your veterinarian may perform tests to help ensure that the donor blood is a good match for your dog.

  • This handout summarizes the most common forms of lameness in growing dogs. Included are osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), panosteitis, hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), elbow dysplasia, ununited anconeal process (UAP), fragmented coronoid process (FCP), patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia. Clinical signs for each of these conditions, along with treatment options, is discussed.

  • Dogs are exposed to botulism by eating raw meat or dead animals containing botulinum toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Botulism causes ascending paralysis of the nervous system. Clinical signs are reviewed as well as diagnostic tests and treatment. Prognosis is guarded depending on the amount of toxin ingested and the degree of supportive care available. There is no vaccine.

  • Bowel incontinence refers to the loss of the ability to control bowel movements. There are two broad causes of fecal incontinence: reservoir incontinence and sphincter incontinence. In reservoir incontinence, intestinal disease interferes with the rectum’s ability to store normal volumes of feces. In sphincter incontinence, a structural or neurologic lesion prevents the anal sphincter from closing normally. Clinical signs, diagnostic testing, and treatment vary based upon the underlying cause.

  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome refers to a particular set of upper airway abnormalities that affect brachycephalic dogs. The most common sign of the condition is mouth breathing and, in the long term, the increased effort associated with breathing can put a strain on the dog’s heart. Surgery is the treatment of choice whenever the anatomical abnormalities interfere with a dog’s breathing.

  • Brain injuries are devastating and, unfortunately, often fatal. The typical signs of brain injury in a dog include altered consciousness that may signal bleeding in the skull, decreased blood flow to the brain, or fluid causing swelling within the brain itself. There are many potential causes of brain injury and treatment will always be determined by the underlying problem that led to the injury.

  • Brain tumors are generally classified as either primary or secondary. Several studies suggest that the prognosis for a dog with a primary brain tumor may be improved significantly by surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.