Addison's Disease:Hypoadrenocorticism in dogs

Mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids are hormones normally procuced by the adrenal glands, which are located near the kidneys. Both of these hormones are critical to the heatthy functioning of the body, and an abnormal increase or decrease of either of these hormones can lead to serious health problems if not addressed in time.
Hypoadrenocorticism is characterized by a deficient production glucocorticoids and or mineralocorticoids.
Deficient production of both these hormones can cause a number of symptoms like weakness, dehydration, low blood pressure, depression, heart toxicity, vomiting, blood in feces, and weight loss.

The desease is relatively rare in dogs, but when it does occur it tends to be seen most often in young to middle - aged dogs, female dogs and may be seen in Rottweilers.
Bloat or Stomach Dilatation in Dogs

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome in Dogs

Gastric dilation and volvulus syndrome ( GDV ), more commonly
referred to as gastric torsion or bloat, is a disease in dogs in which the animal's stomach dilates and then rotates, or twists, aroind its short axis. A number of emergency conditions may result as a consequence of this gastric rotation, including progressive distension of the stomach, increased pressure within the abdomen, damage to the cardiovascular system, and decreased perfusion. Perfusion is the process of delivering nutrients via blood in the arteries to the body's tissues. Insufficient perfusion may lead to cellular damage and even organ death.

Symptoms of GDV include anxious behavior, depression, abdominal pain and distention, collapse, excessive drooling,
and vomiting to the point of unproductive dry heaving. Further physical examination may alsso reveal an extremely rapid heart beat ( Known as tachycardia ), labored breathin ( known as dyspnea ), a weak pulse, and pale mucus membrane ( the moist tissues )  lining the body's orifices, such as the nose and mouth.

The exact causes of GDV are unknown. A variety of factors, including genetics, anotomy, and environment, are most likely to blame. For example, dogs that have a first relative with a history of GDV has been shown to be at higher risk, especially deep-chested breeds such as great-danes.
Although GDV has been reported in puppies, risk does increase wiht age.

Some factors that are believed to contribute to the development of GDV include ingestion of excessive amounts of food or water, delayed emptying of the gastrointestinal system, and too much
activity after eating. In some cases, dogs affected by GDV have a history of gastrointestinal tract problems. It should be noted, that these characteristics do not necessarily occur with all cases.

Chondrosarcoma of the Bone in Dogs

Bone Cancer

Chondrosarcoma (CSA) of the bone is a fast spreading and malignant form of cancer, which, if not diagnosed and treated early, can be life threatening. Chondrosarcoma arises from the cartilage of the body, the connective tissue that is found between the bones and joints, often metastasizing to other parts of the body, including the ribs. This is the most common rib tumor found in dogs, and the second most common primary tumor in dogs, representing  5 to 10 percent of al primary bone tumors.

The majority of CSA's involves flat bones, with about 30 prcent occuring in the nasal cavity and about 20 prcent involving the ribs.
This form of cancer also affects the limbs, with a resulting weakening in the structure of the bone due to the invasive tumor.
Fractures of the bone are common.
Large dog breeds are at higher risk, as well as older dogs. chondrosarcoma most commonly affects dogs around eight years of age, but it has been found in dogs of almost all ages.


Symptoms and Types

* If tumor is affecting leg, lameness will be observed
* Pain in affected area, e.g. limb
* Swelling at tumor site
* Sneezing and difficult breathing if tumor involves nasal cavity
* Nasal discharge and/or nose bleed if tumor involves nasal    
  Cavity                                                                                                  * Fracture in the bone of the affected limb
* Other signs will depend upon the metastatic site(s)


Causes

Although an exact cause has not been identified, multiple cartilaginous growths or protuberance may lead to this form of cancer.


Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of the dog's health and onset of symptoms.Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog, including a complete blood count (CBC), a biochemistry profile, and a urinalysis. the results of these tests are usually within normal ranges. Tissue samples from the local lymph nodes will also be taken for analysis of cancer cells and evidence of immune system response.

Radiographic studies of the affected areas may show the extent of the tumor's invasion. X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, nucular bone scans, and radiographic scans will usually be helpful in diagnosing the stage and type of the tumor. Bone scans may show involvement of soft tissue and adjacent bones.
The most conclusive and direct method for making a diagnosis is normally by takign a biopsy of the growth for a microscopic laboratory analysis.

Treatment

This is highly aggressive and life-threatening tumor, which requires prompt treatment.  Amputation or limb salvage is usually recommended in cases where there is no metastasis ( spreading ) of the tumor in the affected limb. For nasal tumors, radiation therapy is normally the treatment of choice. Radiotherapy may also help in prolonging the lifespans in those dogs in which tumors are inoperable.

If the tumor involves the ribs, your veterinarion may decide to remove the affected ribs and nearby lung tissue through a wide excision in order to prevent metastiasis. Chemotherapy may also be recommended, but the effectiveness of the therapy has not yet been fully evaluated for CSA. Currently, surgery is the only treatment given for this disease.

In case of leg amputation, most dogs will not have any problems learning to comensate for the lost limb and will go on to live a happy and comfortable live.

Cushing's Syndrome:
 
Also, known as Hyperadrenocorticism
 
Is one of the most commonly diagnosed endocrine ( hormonal )
disorders in dogs.
This condition develops when the adrenal glands, tiny organs at the top of the kidneys, produce excess amounts of glucocorticoids, especially a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol produced in normal amounts helps the body respond properly to stress. It mobilizes nutrients, controls the body's response to inflammation, and stimulates the liver to raise the blood sugar. When a dog's body produces too much cortisol, the normal stress response becomes unbalanced, leading to  the typical clinical signs of Cushing's syndrome, increased water consumption and urination, increased appetite, abdominal enlargement, hair loss, thin skin, and recurrent urinary tract infections.
Ear Care:
 
Your dogs ear canal is "L" shaped, so wax and debris can easily collect there. Without regular care, buildup of debris, including certain bacteria, can lead to a condition called otitis externa, or inflamation  of the outer ear. This condition is marked by severe odor, itch and pain. Since your dog cannot clean his own ears, he need your help to maintain good ear health. A weekly ear cleaning is the best way to prevent buildup, infections, and extra ear related vetrinary expenses.
Eye Care:
 
When it comes to keeping eyes clean, your dog is definate disadvantage, and he needs your help. He has no safe effective way to clean his eyes, and he will instinctively rub against household surfaces - or worse yet, use his paws and nails - to try to remove dirt and/or debris from his eyes.
 
Examine eyes weekly for redness, swelling, mucus discharge, or squirting - all signs of an eye infection. Contact your vetrinarian is you suspect and infection.
Prevent infection by keeping eyes clear of bacteria-laden mucus at all times.
Wipe away dried mucus.
Fleas:
There are four stages of fleas in the developement of fleas; eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults - and the eggs are often laid on the pet, although they fall into the environment. About two days after the egg is laid, it hatches into a larva before it passes through several  developmental stages, which takes about a week. At that time, the  larva starts spinning a cocoon - called a pupa - that is sticky and can be found deep in carpet or crevices. The pupa develops into  a adult and emerges from the cocoon when it senses vibrations, carbon dioxide, or warmth, which tells it an animal host is near. The entire life cycle takes about 15 days.

Giardia:
Giardia is a small parasite of the Intestines of many animals. The adult form of Giardia swims about the intestines, causing irritation of the gut wall, while robbing important nutrients from the animal. The adult
form ( trophozoites ) has a life span of 5 - 10 days. At the end of this time the adult  form is triggered to form inot a protected cyst. The cysts are passed out the animal waste, are immediately infective, and can survive
for many months, even in extremely cold temperatures. Giardia is passed by fecal/oral routes. It can be spread by cantaminated food and water supplies. Also, it can be carried from pen to pen on animal's  coats and paws. Giardia is an intestinal parasite of many animals, including humans. A large percentage of the  veterinary profession view Giardia to spread easily between animals and humans.
Rickets:

Rickets is caused by Protein. Too little or too much. Rickets is a disease of young growing animals. The most common causes are dietary insufficiencies of phosphorus or Vitamin D. Calcium deficiencies can also cause Rickets.
Clinical signs of the disease include bone pain, stiff gait, swelling in the area of leg bone, difficulty in rising, bowed limbs and pathologic fractures. It has been shown that diets with excessive
amounts of calcium have cause rickets like symtoms in Great Danes.
Correction of the diet is the primary treatment. The prognosis is good if there are no pathologic fractures or irreversible damage to the bones. If the animal is housed, exposure to sunlight ( ultraviolet radiation) will also increase the production of Vitamin D.
Recent studies have shown that many homemade diets for dogs are deficient in minerals and have altered calcium phosphorus ratios. Therefore a high quality cammercial food, or one designed by a credited veterinary nutritiionist, is recommeded.
The majority of dog foods have adequate Calcium levels to prevent this type of disease. As Always, good nutrition can prevent a multitude of problems !!!
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Skin and Coat
 
Many factors contibute to the health and appearance of your dog's skin and coat. Enviromental triggers especially- pollutants, parasites, allergens, and even foods - can cause skin reactions. To maintain your pet's healthy skin and coat, we reccoment internal and external care.
 
Internal Support
Most importantly, feed your dog a premium nutritious diet high in quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, and balanced fatty acids. For the large or giant breeds it is just important to have the right amount of Proteins.
 
External Support
 
Topical products applied directly to the skin and coat also help support your pet's comfort, health, and apperance. Make itchy skin more comfortable and prevent damaging scratching.