Educational Articles

Dogs + Medical Conditions

  • A hernia occurs when one part of your body or part of an organ protrudes through a gap or opening into another part of the body. Many types of hernias occur in the abdominal area. Hiatal hernias, also known as diaphragmatic hernias, form at the opening (hiatus) in the diaphragm where the food tube (esophagus) joins the stomach.

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip that occurs during growth. The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint. During growth both the "ball" (the head of the femur or thighbone) and the "socket" in the pelvis (acetabulum) must grow at equal rates.

  • Horner's syndrome is a common neurological disorder of the eye and facial muscles. The condition usually occurs suddenly.

  • Acute moist dermatitis or "hot spots" are a common skin disorder in dogs. "Hot spots" can appear suddenly and become large red, irritated lesions in a short time. Hot spots are the result of intense chewing and licking. The inciting cause is often an insect bite.

  • Hydrocephalus literally means “water on the brain.” The “water” is actually an excess of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that has leaked inside the skull, leading to brain swelling. CSF is the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, providing both nutrients and protection. Buildup of CSF can occur in the brain if the flow or absorption of CSF is blocked or too much CSF is produced by the body. This leads to increased pressure within the skull that presses on the sensitive brain tissues. Increased intracranial pressure can lead to permanent, irreversible brain damage and death.

  • A hygroma is a fluid-filled swelling surrounded by a thick capsule of fibrous tissue that develops under the skin. Hygromas are typically not painful. They can form over any bony prominence on the dog’s body, such as the side of the hock (ankle) joint or over the side of the hip, but they are most commonly found over the elbow.

  • The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the body. It is located in the neck near the trachea or "windpipe" and has two lobes, one on each side of the trachea. The thyroid gland is controlled by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain.

  • Ichthyosis is a very rare skin condition in dogs that is the result of a recessive genetic mutation. The mutation prevents the outer layer of skin from developing properly.

  • Icterus is also known as jaundice or yellow jaundice. It refers to an excessive accumulation of a yellow pigment in the blood and tissues. When icterus has been present for any length of time, it will discolor many tissues and will become visible as jaundice on most body surfaces, including the skin.

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic disease of the intestinal tract. Occasionally, the stomach may be involved. Most dogs with IBD have a history of recurrent or chronic vomiting or diarrhea. During periods of vomiting or diarrhea, the dog may lose weight, but is normal otherwise.