Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • Mastitis is a term used to describe inflammation of a mammary gland (breast). In most cases, mastitis is caused by a bacterial infection.

  • Megaesophagus is not a single disease. Instead it is considered a combination disorder in which the esophagus (the tube that carries food and liquid between the mouth and stomach) dilates and loses motility (its ability to move food into the stomach). When esophageal motility is decreased or absent, food and liquid accumulate in the esophagus.

  • Meningoencephalitis is a term referring to inflammation of the brain and the surrounding fluid and tissues. Meningoencephalitis of unknown origin is a term used to describe those cases of meningoencephalitis in which MRI and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis indicate inflammatory, non-infectious CNS disease but diagnosis through histopathological analysis is not available.

  • The heart has four chambers. The upper chambers are called atria (one chamber is called an atrium) and the lower chambers are called ventricles. The heart is also divided into right and left sides. Each chamber of the heart has a one-way valve to keep blood from flowing backward.

  • Mothballs are solid pesticides that slowly release a gas vapor to kill and repel moths, their larvae, and other insects from stored clothing and fabric. Mothballs are sometimes also used to repel snakes, mice, and other animals, although this use is not recommended and can be harmful to pets, children, and the environment.

  • Motion sickness in dogs is a common problem. Motion or car sickness is more common in younger dogs than adults. The reason may be due to the fact that the parts of the inner ear involved in balance aren’t fully developed. Puppies will often “outgrow” motion sickness by the time they’re about 1 year old.

  • The phrase ‘multidrug resistance mutation 1 (MDR1)’ refers to a specific mutation that can occur at a gene known as the MDR1 gene, also known as the ABCB1 gene. Many herding breeds (most commonly Collies and Australian Shepherds) have a mutation at the MDR1 gene that makes them more sensitive to the negative effects of certain medications.

  • Muscular dystrophy is an inherited disease that affects the muscles. Signs of muscular dystrophy are typically seen early in life (at one to three months of age) and they progress as the dog ages. There are multiple forms of muscular dystrophy noted in animals and humans. The most common form of muscular dystrophy in dogs is seen in Golden Retrievers.

  • Myasthenia gravis is a disease in which there is a malfunction in the transmission of signals between the nerves and muscles.

  • Narcolepsy is a disorder of the nervous system, affecting primarily young dogs and cats. A narcoleptic episode involves sudden collapse and loss of movement. The pet literally falls asleep, often while physically active, then wakes up abruptly and proceeds as if nothing happened.

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