Library

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • This handout discusses aspergillosis in dogs, an infection, growth, or allergic response caused by the Aspergillus fungus. If your dog becomes infected, it can be confined to the nasal passages (nasal aspergillosis), or it can spread throughout the body (systemic aspergillosis). The clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of both conditions are outlined.

  • The word ataxia means incoordination within the nervous system. There are several different forms of ataxia, depending upon where in the nervous system the abnormality occurs. The most common sign of ataxia, regardless of the cause, is an abnormal gait in which the dog is very unsteady on his feet. Treatment of ataxia will be influenced by the root cause. Pain management, supportive care, and creating a safe environment (e.g., preventing access to stairs) are cornerstones of ataxia treatment.

  • This handout summarizes atlantoaxial (AA) luxation, a condition in which instability or excessive movement is present between the first two vertebrae within the neck. Atlantoaxial luxation can be caused by trauma, hereditary factors, or a combination of these two factors. The most common sign of AA luxation is neck pain, though severely affected dogs may lose their ability to breathe due to paralysis of the diaphragm.

  • This handout explains atopic dermatitis (atopy) in dogs, a form of allergic skin disease brought on by an abnormal response to allergens in the environment. The clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment are outlined.

  • Atrial fibrillation describes very rapid contractions or twitching of the heart muscle, specifically in the atria. Most of the time, atrial fibrillation in dogs occurs secondary to heart disease. In some large breed dogs, atrial fibrillation occurs as a primary heart problem. Most dogs who develop atrial fibrillation have underlying heart disease, so the signs that are observed are related to that disease and may include exercise intolerance, cough, or difficulty breathing. Treatment varies depending on whether the dog has primary or secondary atrial fibrillation. Your dog will need to be monitored on a regular basis.

  • Atrioventricular (AV) valve dysplasia describes a developmental malformation of the mitral or tricuspid valve. Bull Terriers, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Mastiffs, Rottweilers and Dalmatians are recognized to be susceptible to develop mitral valve dysplasia. Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Weimaraners, Irish Setters, Dogue de Bordeaux, Great Pyrenees, and Old English Sheepdogs are recognized as susceptible to tricuspid valve dysplasia. Exercise intolerance, accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, weight loss, and stunted growth may be seen. Difficulty breathing or collapse may occur if congestive heart failure develops. Treatment of AV valve dysplasia is focused on managing signs of congestive heart failure, generally using medications. Activity may need to be restricted based on your dog’s exercise tolerance and nutritional modification may be recommended.

  • AIHA or IMHA is a life-threatening condition which may occur as a primary condition or secondary to another disease. Most dogs with AIHA have severe anemia, their gums will be very pale, they will be listless and tire more easily, be anorexic and will have increased heart and respiration rates. Diagnosis involves CBC, biochemical profiles, urinalysis, and X-rays or ultrasound of the abdomen and chest. Treatment may involve blood transfusions and other medications over a prolonged course of time. The prognosis may be better if an underlying cause can be identified.

  • The body has an immune system that protects from foreign invaders that can cause disease and infection, however, if with an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks itself by mistake, causing illness.

  • Bacterial pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung, usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection, but can be caused by inhalation of an irritant. Typical signs of bacterial pneumonia include fever, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and coughing. As these can also be caused by other diseases, diagnostics include a full physical exam, blood work, and radiographs, and may also require bronchoscopy or tracheal lavage to collect samples for cytology and bacterial culture and sensitivity. Treatment includes the use of one or more antibiotics that ideally would be selected using the results of a culture. Affected dogs may also require hospitalization and supportive care including intravenous fluids. The prognosis depends on the severity of the disease and whether there are any predisposing factors.

  • Bandages and splints protect an injured or wounded area of the body. It is important to closely monitor your dog’s bandage or splint to ensure it does not slip or become wet or soiled and to ensure there is no discharge or foul odors indicating infection. This handout explains optimal bandage and splint care for your dog at home as well as possible complications that will require veterinary attention.

Downtown Animal Hospital
Yonge Street Pet Hospital
Yonge Street Pet Hospital