Many owners experience health concerns over their dogs and we are often given an inkling of some condition or disease by the veterinarian and then when we come away we forget or are left unsure as to what the condition actually is.
Below you will find a list of various conditions or diseases and for those with a link in blue you will find a more detailed description available.
A list of Health Concerns for your dog
Bloat or Bloating known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)
A life threatening condition in which the stomach swells up with either gas or fluid. In severe cases the stomach can twist developing into Gastric Torsion (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or GDV) which would require an immediate life saving operation.
More common in large dogs with deep and narrow chests, particularly if the dog is of a nervous or anxious disposition.
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)?
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome or BOAS is a reasonably common condition that affects the breathing of snub nosed breeds, making it difficult for them to breathe normally without struggling for breath or snoring and snorting uncontrollably. Excessive soft tissue in the mouth and nasal areas can make breathing difficult, particularly when being energetic or excited. This is a progressive condition that will worsen with age and in the worst cases will need surgery to enable your dog to breath efficiently.
The lens of one or both eyes becomes opaque, as the opaqueness becomes greater the loss of vision becomes greater also and can lead to blindness. It is something that many consider only happens in older dogs but can can occur in younger dogs too particularly in relation to diabetes.
More common in white, merle and piebald dogs. Congenital Deafness in dogs is when they are born with deafness or most commonly, suffer a structural problem within the inner ear during the first few weeks after their birth in one or both ears.
Congenital Heart Disease
This is a malformation of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the heart.
Canine Congenital Heart Diseases are abnormalities or defects of the cardiovascular system that are present in the womb and thus at birth. They can be the results of genetic or hereditary defects, infections, environmental conditions, or medication taken by the mother. They can also be the result of poisoning or poor maternal nutrition and in some cases the congenital heart disease may be due to a combination of these factors that may develop later in the dogs life.
Distemper or Canine Distemper as it is referred to is a viral disease that has the ability to affect numerous species of animals, including that of the domesticated dog, when acquired Canine Distemper generally has a high fatality rate.
Ectropion (see Entropion)
The eyelid rolls outward or often downward and expose the inside of the eyelid, typically seen in cartoon characters of Basset hounds. In certain breeds such as the Basset, Boxer or Bloodhound this condition is hereditary, expected and as such does not normally present a problem.
It can however lead to other eye problems and needs to be watched, other dogs that have this condition when it is not considered part of their breeding may need help to avoid surgery.
Elbow Dysplasia (see also Hip Dysplasia)
The cause is generally inherited thus affects some breeds more than others, it is an arthritic condition causing pain and debilitation.
Entropion (see Ectropion)
Part of the eyelid is inverted or folded inward. Particularly noticeable often as it leaves a mass of red or swollen mass in the corner of the eye. Also referred to as a third eyelid.
Not a major problem but it can cause problems if it becomes infected.
The dog will have uncontrolled seizures or fits where it drops to the ground and also often with a foaming mouth. Quite a shocking episode which can last just seconds or a few minutes and will usually leave the dog in an exhausted state.
CHD or Hip Dysplasia in Dogs(see also Elbow Dysplasia)
An inherited condition where the Ball and Socket joint of the hips do not fit together very well. If left it will lead to painful arthritis and is very debilitating for walking.
Treatment is not generally available until the dog is about 2 years old, but x-rays can determine if their is a potential problem for pups.
HYPERTHYROIDISM is when the body overproduces the thyroid hormone, increasing the metabolic rate, due to an OVERACTIVE thyroid.
Hypothyroidism in dogs occurs when the animal cannot secrete enough thyroid hormones and is usually caused by a thyroid disease.
“HYPOTHYROIDISM is when the bodies metabolic rate slows down due to an UNDERACTIVE thyroid.
For more detail on Hypothyroidism click here
Kennel Cough is an infectious disease with a hacking, harsh cough. This is a contagious cough which can be very mild and warrant no medical attention at all, or, it can progress to a life-threatening case of pneumonia.
The severity of the disease depends on the dog’s own immunological strength and the particular type of Kennel Cough involved.
The most vulnerable dogs are Puppies and Elderly infirm dogs.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, also referred to as LCPD or LCP disease, is a orthopaedic developmental disease that affects dogs.
This is where the femoral head of the femur leg bone deteriorates causing degeneration of the joint, often because part of the bone has died. The bone degeneration worsens with time making the joint arthritic which makes it painful and subsequently immobile affecting the surrounding muscle and tissues into atrophy.
Although this condition can be caused by a knock to the eye it is mostly an inherited condition, common in Terriers. Dogs suffering from lens luxation, have suffered a dislocation of the lens of the eye. The lens shifts out of position and moves to the front or the back of the eye.
If the lens is trapped in the front of the eye, it may cause water-logging of the eye and an increase in pressure within the eye can cause glaucoma.
If it falls to the back of the eye, the lens can damage the tissue at the back of the eye causing it to loosen. This can also lead to glaucoma.
In either case the eye becomes painful, and blindness can develop without appropriate treatment.
Myelopathy – Degenerative
Myelopathy is a disorder resulting from severe compression of the spinal cord. Causes of myelopathy include spinal stenosis, spinal trauma and spinal infections. This can also be the result of an autoimmune condition, oncological, neurological or a congenital disorder.
Nuclear or Lenticular Sclerosis
Nuclear sclerosis is an age-related sight problem causing change in the density of the crystalline lens nucleus, something that occurs in all older animals. It is caused by the compression of older lens fibres within the nucleus by new lens fibre formations. The denser nucleus causes it to scatter light. In veterinary medicine the term is also known as lenticular sclerosis, describing a bluish-grey haze at the nucleus and does not normally affect vision greatly, except for unusually dense cases.
Osteochondritis dissecans is an abnormal development of bone tissue from cartilage. The most commonly affected are the shoulder and elbow joints.
Patellar Luxation or Luxating Patella
Luxating patella is a condition where the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal place. Also known as Patella luxation it is a common condition in dogs and prevalent in small and miniature breeds.
PLL or Primary Lens Luxation
Primary lens luxation (PLL) is a condition that affects the eyes. It can occur as a complication of other eye disorders such as cataracts or glaucoma if left untreated. It is commonly found as a hereditary health condition passed from parent dogs to their offspring.
PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy
There various types of PRA, all of them creating difficulties with vision particularly in situations of low lighting . Some of these PRA conditions lead to complete blindness. Although most causes are known there is no known cure for dogs. A hereditary condition often worth with age it is a blindness that is slow to take effect. The two main types of PRA are GPRA and CPRA, there are also a number of lesser known types such as RPED.
Van Willebrand’s Disease